Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
The Sources of Normativity

The Sources of Normativity


Onora O'Neill, G. A. Cohen, Raymond Geuss, Thomas Nagel, Bernard Williams, Christine Korsgaard
View all contributors
  • Date Published: July 1996
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521559607

£ 26.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Ethical concepts are, or purport to be, normative. They make claims on us: they command, oblige, recommend, or guide. Or at least when we invoke them, we make claims on one another; but where does their authority over us - or ours over one another - come from? Christine Korsgaard identifies four accounts of the source of normativity that have been advocated by modern moral philosophers: voluntarism, realism, reflective endorsement, and the appeal to autonomy. She traces their history, showing how each developed in response to the prior one and comparing their early versions with those on the contemporary philosophical scene. Kant's theory that normativity springs from our own autonomy emerges as a synthesis of the other three, and Korsgaard concludes with her own version of the Kantian account. Her discussion is followed by commentary from G. A. Cohen, Raymond Geuss, Thomas Nagel, and Bernard Williams, and a reply by Korsgaard.

    • Introduces an original account of the foundations of ethics
    • Links the history of moral philosophy and contemporary philosophical discussions to each other
    • Includes commentary from leading philosophers
    Read more

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: July 1996
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521559607
    • length: 290 pages
    • dimensions: 213 x 140 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.34kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction Onora O'Neill
    Prologue: excellence and obligation: a very concise history of western metaphysics 387 BC to 1887 AD Christine Korsgaard
    1. The normative question Christine Korsgaard
    2. Reflective endorsement Christine Korsgaard
    3. The authority of reflection Christine Korsgaard
    4. The origin of value and the scope of obligation Christine Korsgaard
    5. Reason, humanity, and the moral law G. A. Cohen
    6. Morality and identity Raymond Geuss
    7. Universality and the reflective self Thomas Nagel
    8. History, morality and the test of reflection Bernard Williams
    9. Reply Christine Korsgaard

  • Author

    Christine M. Korsgaard, Harvard University, Massachusetts


    Onora O'Neill


    Onora O'Neill, G. A. Cohen, Raymond Geuss, Thomas Nagel, Bernard Williams, Christine Korsgaard

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.