Natural Goodness, Rightness, and the Intersubjectivity of Reason: A Reply to Arroyo, Cummisky, Molan, and Bird-Pollan
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CitationKorsgaard, Christine. 2011. Natural goodness, rightness, and the intersubjectivity of reason: A reply to Arroyo, Cummisky, Molan, and Bird-Pollan. Metaphilosophy 42(4): 381-394.
AbstractIn response to Arroyo, I explain my position on the concept of “natural goodness” and how my use of that concept compares to that of Geach and Foot. An Aristotelian or functional notion of goodness provides the material for Kantian endorsement in a theory of value that avoids a metaphysical commitment to intrinsic values. In response to Cummiskey, I review reasons for thinking Kantianism and consequentialism incompatible, especially those objections to aggregation that arise from the notion of the natural good previously described. In response to Moland, I explain why I think Hegelian worries about the supposed emptiness of the Kantian self do not apply to my account. And in response to both Moland and Bird-Pollan, I argue that, contrary to the view of some Hegelians, the intersubjective normativity of reason is not something developed through actual social relations; rather, it is something essential to an individual's relations with himself or herself. I want to begin by thanking Christopher Arroyo, David Cummiskey, Lydia Moland, and Stefan Bird-Pollan for their interesting and provocative comments in this symposium. There's more in their papers than I can possibly respond to in a reasonable space, so I'm just going to pick and choose. “The Origin of the Good and Our Animal Nature” spells out some of my current thinking on the good, so a summary of that paper will put me in a position to begin by addressing some of Arroyo's and Cummiskey's points.
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