Refleksja jako źródło autorytetu. Podmiotowość moralna w świetle argumentu konstytutywizmu Korsgaard


  • Adriana Warmbier



normative authority, practical identity, reflective endorsement, Immanuel Kant, Korsgaard’s constitutive argument


The authority of reflection. Moral agency in the light of Korsgaard’s constitutive arguments: In this paper I address the question as to whether Christine Korsgaard’s account of normative relations between the moral agent and the ends of her actions which constitutes her practical identity avoids falling into the trap of being just another abstract theory in moral philosophy. Proponents of constitutive arguments for the normative authority of reasons for action offer a promising approach to this meta‐ethical question by arguing that the normative authority of reasons is found within the practice of reasoning itself (in agency itself). In two constitutive arguments for the normativity of rational requirements, Korsgaard attempts first to argue that “the normative question” does not consist in looking merely for an explanation of moral practices but in asking “What justifies the claims that morality makes on us?”, and secondly to establish that the reason why ethical standards make claims on us is that they represent commands which are constitutive of having a self (the cost of violating ethical standards is the loss of practical identity). Korsgaard deals with these two arguments using her own modified version of the reflective endorsement method. She claims that the reflective structure of human consciousness establishes the normative relation we have to ourselves and that this is a relation of authority (that is the source of obligation). I argue that Korsgaard’s account of action as self‐constitution (the constitution of a practical sense of identity) fails to arrive at establishing the authority of reflection. I draw on the discussed claim that reasoned authority for our actions comes from reflective scrutiny (the test of reflection). Viewing the Kantian model of practical reason which lies at the basis of Korsgaard’s approach, I suggest the possibility of applying the Aristotelian model of practical reason as an useful framework for the reflective endorsement strategy.