Talk: Impractical Moral Identity, by Shaun Oon (15 November 2010)

Philosophy Seminar Series: 15 November 2010, 2-3pm, Philosophy Resource Room; Speaker: Shaun Oon, Current MA Student, NUS; Moderator: Ms. Tan Li Ling

Abstract: While we do have reasons to act morally, there is no reason why we must necessarily be moral beings and act morally. In Sources of Normativity, Christine Korsgaard argues otherwise. She claims that if we have any practical identity at all, we necessarily have moral identity. She also argues that bearers of moral identity necessarily have reasons to act morally. So given that we have practical identities, we necessarily have reasons to act morally. I will show that this argument fails as it equivocates on moral identity as, what I call, agential identity and moral identity as practical identity. While we necessarily have the former (agential moral identity), which Korsgaard plausibly shows as being so, it does not mean that we necessarily have the latter (practical moral identity), which is what Korsgaard has yet to show and which she needs for her argument to succeed.

ShaunAbout the Speaker: Shaun Oon is a 2nd Year Graduate Student (M.A. in Philosophy) at the National University of Singapore. He graduated with B.A. Honours (First Class) in Philosophy from the same institution. The paper he will present is to be read at The New Zealand Division of the Australasian Association of Philosophy (AAPNZ) in Waikato University.

More information on the Graduate Seminar Series can be found here.

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