Korsgaard's Constitutivism Reframed: Elucidating Agency's Practical Normativity

Berdini, Federica (2017) Korsgaard's Constitutivism Reframed: Elucidating Agency's Practical Normativity, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Science, cognition and technology, 27 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/8242.
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This dissertation aims to critique and extend upon Christine Korsgaard’s theory of agency. Unlike much of the burgeoning literature engaging with Korsgaard’s work that addresses the metanormative ambitions of her argument, the scope of the present analysis is her first-order metaphysical account of agency. Instances of so-called “disorders of agency,” and “socially displaced agency”—exemplifying the problem of defective actions—are examined, and evidence for considering these cases as genuine instantiations of agency is presented and discussed. The conclusion is that Korsgaard’s constitutive norms of agency seem to be neither necessary nor sufficient to properly account for them, which points to the need for a clarification of the metaphysics of agency and of constitutive normativity. In particular, in light of the Disorders scenario, arguments are brought against Korsgaard’s assimilation of the practical normativity of agency to moral normativity, and the notion of agential responsibility predicated upon Hanna Pickard’s articulation of responsibility without blame is advanced. The analysis of both cases, however, corroborates Korsgaard’s relational account of responsibility as answerability, on which the dissertation builds a reframing and extension of her theory of agency. A conceptual elucidation of the notion of constitutive normativity is pursued, and the distinction between socially-generated constitutive normativity and non-practice-based constitutive normativity is introduced. The view of an interactionist approach to agency is laid out, by indicating three central components of a first-order constitutivist theory of agency: i) the necessity of a scalar approach, ii) relationality, and iii) context sensitivity and situatedness. The reframing of Korsgaard’s account advanced here is unique in two respects. First, it suggests incorporating aspects of G. E. M. Anscombe’s seminal work on intention—interpreted as an outward-looking and interactional/dialogical approach. Second, and congruently, the notion of intersubjective recognition is introduced as a necessary component for the characterization of the social constitution of agency.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Berdini, Federica
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze umanistiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
philosophy of agency; theory of agency; Korsgaard; constitutivism; constitutive norms; practical normativity; agential responsibility; accountability; disorders of agency, Anscombe; intersubjective recognition; socially displaced agency; social interaction; social constitution of agency
Data di discussione
6 Settembre 2017

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