Practical reason and motivational scepticism

In Heiner F. Klemme, Manfred Kühn & Dieter Schönecker (eds.), Moralische Motivation. Kant und die Alternativen. Felix Meiner Verlag (2006)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In her influential and challenging paper “Skepticism about Practical Reason” Christine Korsgaard sets out to refute an important strand of Humean scepticism as it concerns a Kantian understanding of practical reason.1 Korsgaard distinguishes two components of scepticism about practical reason. The first, which she refers to as content scepticism, argues that reason cannot of itself provide any “substantive guidance to choice and action” (SPR, 311). In its classical formulation, as stated by Hume, it is argued that reason cannot determine our ends. Our ends are determined by our desires and reason is limited to the role of identifying the relevant means to these ends. The second component, which Korsgaard calls motivational scepticism, suggests doubt about the scope of reason as a motive. The claim here, as Korsgaard interprets Hume’s view on this matter, is that “all reasoning that has motivational influence must start from a passion, that being the only possible source of motivation” (SPR, 314).2 Korsgaard’s fundamental objective in “Skepticism about Practical Reason” is to show that motivational scepticism must always be based on content scepticism. In other words, according to Korsgaard, motivational scepticism has no independent force. In this paper I argue that Korsgaard’s attempt to discredit motivational scepticism is unsuccessful.

Links

PhilArchive

External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The Normativity of Instrumental Reason.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1997 - In Garrett Cullity & Berys Gaut (eds.), Ethics and Practical Reason. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Korsgaard's Rejection of Consequentialism.David Cummiskey - 2011 - Metaphilosophy 42 (4):360-367.
Acting for a Reason.Christine M. Korsgaard - 2005 - Danish Yearbook of Philosophy 40 (1):11-35.
Kant's Fact of Reason as Source of Normativity.Bryan Lueck - 2009 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 52 (6):596 – 608.
Skepticism About Practical Reason.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 83 (1):5-25.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
183 (#68,433)

6 months
18 (#54,222)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Paul Russell
Lund University

References found in this work

Creating the Kingdom of Ends.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
The Normativity of Instrumental Reason.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1997 - In Garrett Cullity & Berys Gaut (eds.), Ethics and Practical Reason. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Add more references