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Publication Detail
Commitment and the Second-Person Standpoint
Abstract
On Chang's voluntarist account of commitments, when we commit to φ, we employ the 'normative powers' of our will to give ourselves a reason to φ that we would otherwise not have had. I argue that Chang's account, by itself, does not have sufficient conceptual resources to reconcile the normative significance of commitments with their alleged fundamentally volitional character. I suggest an alternative, second-personal account of commitment, which avoids this problem. On this account, the volitional act involved in committing is one of holding ourselves accountable, thus putting us under to a pro tanto obligation to ourselves. The second-personal account implies that there is an interesting link between commitment and morality.
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Dept of Philosophy
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