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Keywords:

  • Korsgaard;
  • self-constitution;
  • integrity;
  • Kantian ethics;
  • rationalism;
  • consequentialism

Abstract: In her recent book Self-Constitution: Agency, Identity, and Integrity, Christine Korsgaard does a wonderful job developing her Kantian account of normativity and the rational necessity of morality. Korsgaard's account of normativity, however, has received its fair share of attention. In this discussion, the focus is on the resulting moral theory and, in particular, on Korsgaard's reason for rejecting consequentialist moral theories. The article suggests that we assume that Korsgaard's vindication of Kantian rationalism is successful and ask whether, nonetheless, her account is consistent with consequentialism. It suggests further that we grant that moral reasons are not based on substantive principles, and that they must instead emerge from the purely formal principles of practical reason. Can consequentialist principles nonetheless emerge from the formal constraints of practical reason? Why can't a consequentialist embrace Korsgaard's account of self-constitution and normativity?