Three Theories of Value: a Kierkegaardian Critique

Anthony Rudd

in Self, Value, and Narrative

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199660049
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744976 | DOI:
Three Theories of Value: a Kierkegaardian Critique

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Detailed critical consideration of Frankfurt’s evaluative anti-realism, Korsgaard’s constructivism and Philippa Foot’s neo-Aristotelian naturalism, gives further (negative) support to Kierkegaard’s Platonic thesis that a proper relationship to an objective Good is needed for the elements that are constitutive of selfhood to be held in creative tension. Frankfurt’s insistence that our basic cares and loves are brute psychological facts that cannot be further evaluated, unacceptably exaggerates our immanence. Korsgaard’s interpretation of autonomy leads her to reject the idea of objective values to which our choices should be answerable, and her consequent ultimate valuing of the sheer capacity for choice itself exaggerates our capacity for transcendence. And Foot’s naturalism, which tries to understand human goodness by analogy to the ‘natural goodness’ of other animals which realise their biological potentials, fails to fully recognize our capacity to stand back from our given natures, and thus also exaggerates our immanence.

Keywords: aristotelianism; constructivism; ethical anti-realism; ethical naturalism; Frankfurt; Foot; Korsgaard

Chapter.  15005 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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