, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 235-236
Date: 31 Jul 2009

Christine M. Korsgaard, The Constitution of Agency

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Why be moral? Why be rational? What is it to be an agent, a self? Christine Korsgaard presents answers to these questions, answers that inextricably link the reply to one question to the replies to the others. In her view, rationality is the activity that constitutes agency. Insofar as an agent lives a rational life, she is guided by a central moral principle, the categorical imperative. The exploration of this view of the relation between morality, rationality, and agency is a central focus of the essays collected in this book.

This volume collects ten essays. Nine of the essays were published between 1996 and 2008. One essay, “Aristotle on Function and Virtue,” is published here for the first time, as an accompaniment to another essay on Aristotle. Korsgaard has written a helpful introduction to the book that summarizes both the collected essays as well as the current state of her philosophical project. As readers of Korsgaard’s work might expect, in these essays she presents her own