Philosophical Review 107 (4):607 (1998)

Allen Wood
Indiana University, Bloomington
This book follows hard upon Korsgaard's The Sources of Normativity. Both present the author's influential version of a Kantian theory of normative ethics and metaethics. Whereas The Sources of Normativity was a systematic investigation of "normativity" written as a single unit, the present volume is a collection of previously published papers, some of them already well known and much discussed, dating between 1983 and 1993. By the nature of the case, one might expect less thematic unity in this book than in the other one, but the present book is a deeper and more wide ranging presentation of the author's views. Korsgaard's historical focus in The Sources of Normativity is less on Kant and more on the British moralists. Creating the Kingdom of Ends deals quite explicitly with the interpretation of Kant's moral philosophy. The papers in this book contain, in my judgment, the heart of Korsgaard's work: a variety of fresh and illuminating insights into Kant's moral theory and its relation to contemporary ethical theory which have helped to reshape the image of Kant's ethics and to refocus the issues dealt with in current moral philosophy. Or to make claims less grand but of more immediate relevance to this review, there is no question that some of the papers in this book have helped to reshape both the present writer's image of Kant's ethics and his conception of the way questions of ethical theory should be addressed. I hope below to say something both about where I think Korsgaard has gotten these matters right, and where I find her position either unclear or dubious.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0031-8108
DOI 10.2307/2998379
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