Transcendental Arguments in Practical Philosophy

Öffentlicher Abendvortrag

Transcendental arguments, as I understand them, seek necessary conditions for the possibility of some assumed phenomenon. Taking the phenomenon for granted, they ask what must be presupposed as its “transcendental condition.” Our focus is on transcendental arguments in practical philosophy. And mine is more specifically on arguments that seek to show that we are committed to fundamental principles of morality, for example, the Categorical Imperative or some related principle, as a necessary condition for the very possibility of some practical phenomenon.
I argue that shared second-personal competence, and a shared basic second-personal authority of anyone with second-personal competence is a presupposition of the second-person standpoint so understood. On this understanding, it follows that morality, as constituted by norms all (second-personally competent) moral agents are mutually accountably for complying with, is a transcendental condition of second-personal agency.
Stephen Darwall is Andrew Downey Orrick Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. He previously taught for two decades at the University of Michigan‘s philosophy department, where he is now John Dewey Distinguished University Professor Emeritus. He began his teacher career at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He has been a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2001. He and David Velleman are founding co-editors of Philosophers‘ Imprint. He is, inter alia, author of Impartial Reasons (1983) and The Second-Person Standpoint (2006).
Moderation: Professor Robert Stern, Ph. D.

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