Essay On Identity And Obligation

1352 Words 6 Pages
*If having an obligation depends on one accepting an identity, but one can temporarily violate that identity and obligation, to what extent does one actually assume that identity? Korsgaard has claimed that an action will be accepted as a reason due to being intrinsically fit to be a something, given the identity in question. Presumably the same can be said of an obligation. An action is prohibited by an identity if it is intrinsically unfit, given the identity in question, to be performed. But if this is the case, how could it be so easy for someone to fail to fulfill their obligations? If the intrinsic fittingness or unfittingness of an action is what determines whether it will be accepted or rejected as a reason, this implies that the action 's intrinsic properties are obvious to the agent. In failing to fulfil a duty, it seems that an agent must either not recognize that their action is unfit to be performed, which would indicate that the act is not …show more content…
This means that identities can be relinquished by individuals, which in turn means that an identity can stop being normative for us if we stop accepting the reasons and duties it ascribes as compelling. However, Korsgaard asserts, it is necessary that one has a notion of one 's practical identity (120). According to her argument, there is reason to adopt a practical identity because, without it, one completely lack reasons for acting in any way. This reason is derived from one 's identity as a human, not from any specific practical identities one possesses. As such, she thinks that so long as we value our human identity, which she claims is the same as a moral identity, we have a reason to act in accordance with our particular identities. Our human identity simply is our moral identity because “valuing humanity in your own person rationally requires valuing it in the persons of others”

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