Existentialist Voluntarism as a Source of Normativity

  • A J Cohen


I defend a neo-Kantian view wherein we are capable of being completely autonomous and impartial and argue that this ability can ground normativity. As this view includes an existentialist conception of the self, I defend radical choice, a primary component of that conception, against arguments many take to be definitive. I call the ability to use radical choice ‘existentialist voluntarism' and bring it into a current debate in normative philosophy, arguing that it allows that we can be distanced from all ends at once so as to be completely impartial. Finally, I indicate how this can be the source of normativity as it provides a purely impartial reason for being rational.

Philosophical Papers Vol. 37 (1) 2008: pp. 89-129

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eISSN: 0556-8641