The Sources of Normativity


The Sources of Normativity
  • By Christine M. Korsgaard


    Foreword by Onora O'Neill

  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press

    Online Publication Date:May 2010

    Online ISBN:9780511554476

    Hardback ISBN:9780521550598

    Paperback ISBN:9780521559607

  • Book DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511554476

    Subjects: Ethics , History of Ideas

Ethical concepts are, or purport to be, normative. They make claims on us: they command, oblige, recommend, or guide. But where does their authority over us come from? Christine Korsgaard identifies and examines four accounts of the source of normativity that have been advocated by modern moral philosophers--voluntarism, realism, reflective endorsement, and the appeal to autonomy--and shows how Kant's autonomy-based account emerges as a synthesis of the other three. Her discussion is followed by commentary from G.A. Cohen, Raymond Geuss, Thomas Nagel, and Bernard Williams, and a reply by Korsgaard.


 Reviews:

"The book is well worth reading..." International Studies in Philosophy

"This book is destined to replace Kant as the ultimate formulation of Kantian ethics. It should be required reading for any philosopher and should be in every library." W.F. Desmond, Choice

"This is a book anyone working in ethics should have on the desk. It is provocative and makes original and major contributions to a defense of a Kantian ethic. The historical developments of the various strands of thought are traced out in clear and helpful style. Korsgaard's writing is itself engaging and clear and her arguments forceful and for the most part compelling. This book constitutes a major advance in ethical theory." L. W. Colter, Review of Metaphysics

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