Contractualism and the Second-Person Moral Standpoint

Grazer Philosophische Studien 90 (1):149-168 (2014)
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This article explores Darwall’s second-­‐personal account of morality, which draws on Fichte’s practical philosophy, particularly Fichte’s notions of a summons and principle of right. Darwall maintains that Fichte offers a philosophically more appealing account of relations of right than Kant. Likewise, he thinks that his second-­‐personal interpretation of morality gives rise to contractualism. I reject Darwall’s criticism of Kant’s conception of right. Moreover, I try to show that Darwall’s second-­‐personal conception of morality relies on a Kantian form of contractualism. Instead of accepting Darwall’s claim that contractualism depends upon a second-­‐personal account of morality, I will argue that contractualism provides the foundations not only for second-­‐personal moral relations, but also for first-­‐personal moral authority.
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