Practical Identity : The Authority Of Reflection

1349 Words6 Pages
Christine Korsgaard explores the concept of practical identity and its role in autonomous decision-making in “The Authority of Reflection” in her book, The Sources of Normativity. Practical identity can be distinguished based on the contingency of one’s actions. In addition to practical identity, there is also moral identity which Korsgaard believes is not a contingent part of one’s practical identity. Reflecting on not only one’s nature but others as well are used to determine the one 's moral identity. I disagree with Korsgaard that moral identity is not contingent because although all human beings have morals, these morals may differ depending on one’s experiences and encounters. Identity is the idea or perception of who we are in the…show more content…
These reasons of why John wants to help others express his identity as a physician. In addition to expression, choices are also affected by John 's practical identity. For example, John chooses to perform surgery instead of dancing during his regular routine because he identifies himself as a surgeon, not a dancer. He also has obligations to not act out any motives that are against his practical identity. In a hypothetical situation, John must treat a patient who is a serial killer that murdered ten people including his wife. He may have a strong desire not to help the patient, but his practical identity as a doctor means that he must do so because he took the oath that his duty of a being a doctor will not be influenced by any external means of the patient. Overall, these actions are results of his conceptions what his role is in the world. On top of evaluating different parts of John’s practical identity, we can also proclaim various aspects of his identity as contingent or not contingent. One’s practical identity is contingent when it is dependent on external factors or events from that birth, culture, social roles, and social norms. Since it is dependent on external forces, Korsgaard (1996) argues that “you may stop caring whether you live up to the demands of a particular role” (p. 120) because circumstances may

More about Practical Identity : The Authority Of Reflection

Open Document