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Valuing Humanity: Kierkegaardian Worries about Korsgaardian Transcendental Arguments

Watts, Daniel and Stern, Robert (2019) 'Valuing Humanity: Kierkegaardian Worries about Korsgaardian Transcendental Arguments.' International Journal of Philosophy and Theology, 80 (4-5). 424 - 442. ISSN 2169-2327

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This paper draws out from Kierkegaard’s work a distinctive critical perspective on an influential contemporary approach in moral philosophy: namely, Christine Korsgaard’s transcendental argument for the value of humanity. From Kierkegaard’s perspective, we argue, Korsgaard argument goes too far, in attributing absolute value to humanity – but also that she is required to make this claim if her transcendental argument is to work. From a Kierkegaardian perspective, to place this sort of value in humanity is problematic since it threatens to make the relation between individuals too claustrophobic. Finally, we explore the possibility of a rival approach, in which we should view others as ethically significant because they too are related to the kind of ‘third’ which Kierkegaard argues is needed to bring stability to the structure of the self. In this way, we claim, a different and more successful transcendental argument to the value of humanity can be found in the work of Kierkegaard.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Kierkegaard, Korsgaard, ethics, moral philosophy, transcendental arguments, value theory, philosophy of religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Philosophy and Art History, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2019 16:50
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2021 01:00

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