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Unformatted text preview: Korsgaard Conclusion she wants: we should regard all animals as ends in themselves. Start by reviewing the standard Kantian argument. Kant thinks we must treat all people never merely as a means, but as ends in themselves. But why? Basic Kantian Argument: A) We regard ourselves as ends in ourselves. B) If we regard ourselves as ends in ourselves, then we are rationally required to regard all rational agents as ends in themselves, so C) we are rationally required to regard all rational agents as ends in themselves. Argument for A): 1) If you make any rational choices at all, then you regard yourself as an end in yourself. 2) You make rational choices, thus 3) You regard yourself as an end in yourself Argument for 1): i) When you make a rational choice to x, you must regard x as worth pursuing. ii) If you regard x as worth pursuing, you must regard yourself as capable of conferring value on x through your choice to pursue x. iii) if you regard yourself as capable of conferring value on things, you must regard yourself as having absolute worth: as an end in yourself. Argument for ii): a) We choose to pursue the things that we judge to be good for ourselves. (what we would welcome, given our natural concerns and dispositions.) b) It is only rational to choose to pursue things that are good absolutely. c) So we take what is good for ourselves to be good absolutely, so d) we are taking ourselves to be capable of conferring value on our ends through our rational choices. (17‐18). More support for the move from c) to d): POE. a) Could x be good absolutely (in itself)? No, of course not. b) Could x be good because I’m inclined to want it? No, because my inclinations could be mistaken. c) Could x be good because it makes you happy and happiness is good in itself? No, because happiness is not good in itself. d) Could x be good because it is the object of a rational choice? Yes! Argument for B). 1) You value yourself as an end in itself simply in virtue of your status as a rational agent. 2) Other rational agents have the same status. 3) So, you are rationally required to view others this way. Now, we modify this argument: Accept that the self that confers value is the “autonomous rational self”, but claim that the self on whom value is conferred is not just this chooser, but is also the self whose interests are in question: the animal self. So we are a “lawgiver”, and we make a law that confers absolute value to our animal selves. Because of this, the Basic Argument becomes: A) We regard ourselves as ends in ourselves. B) If we regard ourselves as ends in ourselves, and if we are animals, then we are rationally required to regard all animals as ends in themselves. C) We are animals, so D) We are rationally required to regard all animals as ends in themselves. ...
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- Spring '09