self constitution agency identity and integrity pdf

Self constitution agency identity and integrity pdf

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Book Review. Self-Constitution: Agency, Identity, and Integrity. By Christine M. Korsgaard

How to be a Person

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Oxford: Oxford University Press, Korsgaard, p. Available on the web through Oxford Scholarship Online.

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Book Review. Self-Constitution: Agency, Identity, and Integrity. By Christine M. Korsgaard

Also like The Sources , this new book is based on a series of lectures the Locke Lectures given at Oxford in Despite that, the book has many new ideas and arguments on offer. Korsgaard says that what distinguishes this book is a direct focus on the nature of human agency p. This is clearly an important contribution to the overall argument, which is that the normativity of morality has its source in essential features of agency and the agent.

This suggestion is based on the interesting observation that Kant's and Plato's accounts of the self share some of their core features. Among them are the claim that the proper goal or task of moral agency is not to be good or rational but to unify the self 1.

I suspect that many of those claims will provoke an immediate negative reaction in most philosophers, including Kant scholars; some seem so strong that one cannot help thinking that something must be wrong with the arguments for them. In the light of this, one can only admire Korsgaard's persistence and ingenuity in the pursuit and defence of her view. The focus on agency and Plato's conception of the self certainly adds some new twists to the story.

In this short discussion, I shall set aside the more familiar worries concerning Kantian ethics. As Korsgaard explains 7. If one construes the self, or the agent, as a mere bundle of mental states, one concedes, in effect, that there is no self. But if we assume, on the other hand, that the self is a separate entity, distinct from all the mental events and dispositions, then there are no properties that distinguish it as an individual entity.

On this view, the self is a mere substance without an essence. Plato's view offers an alternative by analogy with a constitutional model of the city state or nation. The city is neither the sum of its parts or inhabitants, nor some abstract entity. Rather, the city is to be identified with the constitutive principles which give it its unity to act as one city. The real controversy comes with the claim that any bundle of mental states and dispositions must be organized in accordance with Kant's categorical imperative in order to constitute a well functioning and well unified agent.

From this she draws the conclusion that willing must be universal 4. Concerning this last step, it has not become clear to me why the impossibility of particularistic willing entails that willing must be universal. But there is no clear argument for the claim that willing cannot be merely general that is, neither particularistic nor universal. But my main worry concerns her argument against particularistic willing. Like other arguments in the book, it is based on controversial assumptions concerning the nature of agency.

According to Korsgaard, if you have conflicting desires and you choose to pursue one of them, then you must identify with the principle of choice which you must deploy in making the choice. Herein lies, in my opinion, a major shortcoming of the book. Korsgaard does provide arguments for her claims concerning the sources of normativity.

But many of them are based on strong assumptions concerning the nature of human agency which are themselves in need of justification. The problem is that few of these are properly justified here. Concerning the first claim, it is not obvious that there is no sense in which this can be true on a Humean account.

The second claim seems to beg the question. On the Humean approach, there is a sense in which actions are just that, the effects of forces working on or in the agent — although the Humean would not put it quite like that, of course. Again opponents can say that there might well be an interpretation of this claim which is true even on Humean accounts of agency.

They would insist that there is no need to insert ourselves into the causal order, because we are already and always part of it. In response she argues that there is no paradox, as the self in question does not exist prior to the choice of the action. Rather, this self is constituted by the choice. But this response overlooks a problem that arises in connection with claims about responsibility.

Some philosophers, including Korsgaard, think that we are truly responsible only if we literally create ourselves 1. But if the self is constituted by that very choice, how can it be responsible for it? Finally, I shall address one worry concerning the overall project. The central idea is that the relevant psychological necessities stem from the structural and constitutive features of agency and selfhood. But the suggestion that the force of normativity derives from the psychological necessity to unify the agent strikes me as problematic.

Nevertheless, it seems that the view identifies the wrong reasons — the wrong type of ground. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.

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On Trying to Leave Truth Alone. The Habermas-Rawls Debate.

How to be a Person

This book presents an account of the foundation of practical reason and moral obligation. Moral philosophy aspires to understand the fact that human actions, unlike the actions of the other animals, can be morally good or bad. Few moral philosophers, however, have exploited the idea that actions might be morally good or bad in virtue of being good or bad of their kind — good or bad as actions. Just as we need to know that it is the function of the heart to pump blood to know that a good heart is one that pumps blood successfully, so we need to know what the function of action is in order to kn Just as we need to know that it is the function of the heart to pump blood to know that a good heart is one that pumps blood successfully, so we need to know what the function of action is in order to know what counts as a good or bad action. Drawing on the work of Plato, Aristotle, and Kant, the book proposes that the function of an action is to constitute the agency and therefore the identity of the person who does it.

Navigationsleiste aufklappen. Sich einloggen Anmelden Registrierung Spende: 8. Sehr geehrter ZLibrary-Benutzer! Wir haben Sie an die spezielle Domain de1lib. Korsgaard Christine M. Korsgaard presents an account of the foundation of practical reason and moral obligation. Moral philosophy aspires to understand the fact that human actions, unlike the actions of the other animals, can be morally good or bad, right or wrong.


Download Citation | Self-Constitution: Agency, Identity, and Integrity | This book presents an account of the foundation of practical reason and.


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Don't have an account? If reasons are public in their normative force, every agent's reasons are normative for every other's. How then can an agent have a practical identity of his own? After sketching an anti-realist account of value, the first part of this chapter proposes that the answer to that question rests in an attitude an agent can and should have towards his own identity. He can view it as a valuable instance of human possibility, a possible role in the larger human story, which he especially desires to play.

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3 comments

  • Klaus A. 19.05.2021 at 10:11

    Also like The Sources , this new book is based on a series of lectures the Locke Lectures given at Oxford in

    Reply
  • Yvette P. 19.05.2021 at 11:27

    PDF | On Jan 1, , Reviewed by Sergio Tenenbaum published Christine M. Korsgaard, Self-Constitution: Agency, Identity, and Integrity | Find, read and cite.

    Reply
  • Curtis B. 20.05.2021 at 12:42

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