Agent-centered Morality

An Aristotelian Alternative

to- Kantian Internalism


University of California Press



Preface ix


1. The Internalism Requirement and the Integration Test 27

2. Impartiality, Regulative Norms, and Practical Reason 52

3. The Thin Conception of Integrity and the Integration Test 88

4. An Integrity- Sensitive Conception of Human Agency,

Practical Reason, and Morality 108


5. General Features and Varieties of Respect 135

6. Respect, Egoism, and Self-Assessment 149

7. The Categorical Value of the Goods of Respect 158


8. General Features of Love 179

9. The Normative Thoughts of Parental Love, Part I:

Self-Restricting Normative Beliefs 192

10. The Normative Thoughts of Parental Love, Part II:

Other- Restricting Normative Beliefs 213

11. Peer Love 245

12 The Normative Thoughts of Friendship 259

13. The Normative Thoughts of Neighborly Love, Part 1:

Autonomy and Subservience 286

14. The Normative Thoughts of Neighborly Love, Part II:

Autonomy of Conscience and the Unjust Community 304

15. Loneliness, Intimacy, and the Integration Test 327


AESTHETIC IN PRACTICAL REASON 337 16. Solitary Activities 345

17. Shared Activities 373

18. Normative Thoughts and the Goods of Activity 392

Bibliography 419

Index 427


My project in this book is to argue for what, subject to some important departures, I will call an "Aristotelian" perspective against various "Kantian" views. Though there will be plenty of detailed argument in the text, here I would like to provide some autobiographical thoughts that might help the reader to understand something of the soul of this book. When I was an adolescent in the late 1950s and early 1960s growing up in the cotton mill villages of South Carolina, I somehow came across Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. I can't really remember what possessed me to read the book, but I did; and I have not been the same person since. Anyone familiar with the Deep South at that time and with that book should know why. The experience began a process that continues to this day, a process in search of moral coherence where innocence has been lost. Much later in my life, with much less innocence and a great deal more complexity, I discovered Kant, who for a long time seemed to restore equilibrium. But innocence lost is :never regained and coherence restored is always only partial and often temporary. One of the events (there were several) that crystallized my disaffection with Kant was the discovery of another work of fiction, William Styron's Sophie Choice. This book has left an indelible impression on me, much of which is expressed in my book Dignity and Vulnerability. Reading Styron led me to think more deeply about moral luck, to the current philosophical literature on that topic, and to read Aristotle again. This led me even farther away from Kant and to the views expressed here in Agent-centered Morality. What does not get fully expressed in this book is how my discovery and appreciation of the work of Isaiah Berlin, especially his objective pluralism, require me to reject some central theses of Aristotle. The implications of my analysis clearly show that there are plural and conflicting values that can come into conflict in irreconcilable and tragic ways, ways that I do not believe Aristotle fully appreciated. But I do not here show or attempt to show that there might be persons whose quality of character is both different from and incommensurable with the kind of character I think many of us want most to be like. I do think there are such persons. Nor do, I discuss the Aristotelian doctrine of the unity of the virtues, a doctrine that I believe is incompatible both with the facts regarding the plurality of human valuing and with the facts regarding the neurological possibilities for members of our species. I say all this because I have come to Berlin late but can already tell that reading him at this much later point in my life is like having read To Kill a Mockingbird so many years ago. I just do not yet know how much Berlin's thought will affect my adjustments to a fundamentally Aristotelian way of seeing things. Perhaps in the future I will write a book that will reveal that I can reconcile what I think is right about Berlin's pluralism with what I think is right about Aristotle's ethics. Or perhaps, though far less likely, I will write a book that will reveal yet another transition of a deeper kind that leaves both Kant and Aristotle behind. Though it might seem odd to preface a book ten years in the writing with a cautionary note of this sort, I hope it reflects some honesty and some reassurance to those who find themselves involved in similar struggles to understand and appreciate the complexities of life. Agent-centered Morality is, I believe, a mature book, but it does not represent the end of the process or a final coherence. Under Berlin's influence, I have come to doubt that there is such a thing.

One of the special difficulties involved in writing a book is the task of defining its parameters. This is motivated in part by the simple desire to finish. But if this were the only motivational current at work, the task would be easy. One could just quit with the desire to move on. The agony begins, however, at the confluence of the desire for closure and myriad other concerns. Among them are the desires for rigorous argumentation, thoroughness of analysis, felicitous presentation, and fairness to one's rivals. Any good writer or thinker is deeply committed to all these things, and being committed to all is what makes being a writer so very difficult. Nevertheless, the one feature of a book that is not contingent, if it is to find its way to readers, is that it must come to an end. On the other hand, a book can lack some rigor of argumentation; it can lack completeness of analysis; it can tolerate a good deal of infelicitous expression; and, as we all know, it can be very unfair to its rivals. The various motivational factors involved in the desire to finish are diverse, and some are more pressing than others. Death approaches, your children want and need your affection, papers require grading, the joys and duties of citizenship beckon, and there are fish yet to be caught. So if one is to do these other things and finish the book, one must do the best one can under the circumstances. I have tried to be true to these commitments, especially regarding fairness to my rivals. Doubtless my depiction of the opposition could in some cases be more detailed. But at some point more detail regarding the thoughts of others runs against the current of the desire to state one's own. My apologies, then, where I have not dealt with others as I might were we not all walled in by Space and time.

I am extremely grateful to Ed Dimendberg, the philosophy editor at the University of California Press, for his interest in my work. The production of my previous book, Dignity and Vulnerability, was simply superb. An author could not ask for more professional treatment than I have received from Ed and the people at California. I am especially grateful to Cindy Fulton, production editor, and to Sheila Berg, copy editor, for their excellent work.

Many others have contributed in both direct and indirect ways to the manuscript. Paul Davies, more than anyone else, has been a constant sounding board and reliable critic. Greg Baier, Larry Becker, E. J. "Ted" Bond, Douglas Browning, Keith Butler, Tony Cunningham, Dwight Furrow, Brie Gertler, James Harris, Robert Kane, James Klagge, Mark Katz, Steven Leighton, Noah Lemos, and John Sisko are all due special thanks, as are the referees for the Press. I wish also to thank Marcia Baron and Christine Korsgaard for answering some questions by email regarding their work. To mystudents at the College of William and Mary who have made many valuable contributions to my work, I am enormously grateful, as I am to Debbie Wilson, the department secretary, who has been an utterly reliable resource. I wish also to thank the College of William and Mary for two research leaves to complete this project. And to many others I have failed to !mention, I express my heartfelt gratitude.

During the period in which this book was written, three of the most important events of my life transpired. I married my wife, Patty, and my two daughters, Rachel and Jenny, were born. It is to the three of them that this book is dedicated.

Part 1


I think you're right, Lysis, to say that if we were looking at things the right way, we wouldn't be so far off course. Let's not go in that direction any longer.

Socrates-from Plato's Lysis This book is about human agency, practical reason, and morality, in this order. The order is important, because the results of inquiry are often dictated by where it begins. I start then with a brief explanation of why I proceed in the way that I do and where I think it leads. I distinguish my approach from two others, one that begins with morality and proceeds to agency and practical reason and another that begins, as I do, with agency. The latter view has gained much currency among contemporary moral philosophers with the revived interest in the ethics of Immanuel Kant. I refer to a school of thought called Kantian internalism. Among the proponents of this version of Kantianism are Barbara Herman, Marcia Baron, Alan Donagan, Thomas Hill, Jr., Onora O'Neill, Henry Allison, David Cummiskey, and Christine Korsgaard.1 The project of this school is to provide a rational defense of an agent-centered conception of morality that can be

1. See Barbara Herman, The Practice of Moral Judgment (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, -1993); Marcia Baron, Kantian Ethics Almost Without Apology (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1995); Alan Donagan, The Theory of Morality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, -1977); Thomas Hill, Dignity and 'Practical Reason in Kant Moral Theory (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992); Onora ONeill, Constructions of Reason: Explorations of Kant Practical Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), and Towards Justice and Virtue: A Constructive Account of Practical Reason (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, -1996); Henry E. Allison, Kant Theory of Freedom (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990); David Cummiskey, Kantian Consequentialism (New York: Oxford University Press, -1996); and Christine M. Korsgaard, Creating the Kingdom of Ends (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, :1996), and The Sources of Normativity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).

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constructed from Kant's ethics. My primary goal here is to construct an agent-centered conception that is largely Aristotelian in its structure and to argue that it is superior to the alternative of Kantian internalism.


According to a long and venerable philosophical tradition dating back to the Enlightenment, morality is a normative perspective that has three essential features. It is impartial in its evaluations and demands; it universally applies to all human beings who can properly be called agents; and it is one that is rational for all rational human agents to take against alternative perspectives. A major reason that the order that begins with human agency is important is that if we proceed in this way we find that all three Enlightenment claims regarding morality are false, or so I will argue. An even more important reason is that we can discover a better alternative.

The reverse order of the one suggested here is the approach historically associated with one interpretation of the Enlightenment tradition. Because the Enlightenment tradition, on this interpretation, begins with an analysis of the morality of actions and obligations and proceeds to the morality of agents and character, it is act-centered rather than agent-centered. A major puzzle of this approach is that it quickly generates the problem of why we should be moral: Somehow we are first to understand what morality requires of us and then to worry over whether those requirements are rational. But if we are concerned with rationality, why begin with morality at all? Why not begin with an account of practical reason and see if anything resembling morality shows up within the account? The danger of the traditional methodology is that distortions of practical reason will be imposed to save the conception of morality.

This explains, then, why I think that practical reason comes before morality. But why think that a prior conception of agency is necessary for a conception of practical reason? I defend the claim that practical rationality is character- relative in the sense that what is practically rational for an agent turns on the kind of person the agent is. In this regard, we sometimes describe others as courageous, temperate, or long-suffering. When we do, we employ aretaic concepts involving self-control. On other occasions, we describe others as respectful, sympathetic, loving, or devoted. When we do, we employ concepts involving virtues that I call virtues of caring. It is in terms of the latter, the virtues of caring, that I claim practical reason is character-relative. That there is no standpoint outside character that is the

Beginnings / 3 foundation for practical reason I take to be a central Aristotelian point.Thus I begin not with an account of morality in terms of moral agency but with an account of practical reason in terms of human character, in termsof the integrity of human agency. I then provide a conception of morality within that conception of practical reason.

Finally, the claim that practical reason is character-relative (a point to which I will return at the end of this introduction) does not in itself deny the universality of morality, for character might be shared among human beings in a way that establishes a substantial universal form of practical reason and therefore of morality. Very reluctantly, I have come to the conclusion that there is no such form. Nevertheless, there is a conception of morality, I will argue, that is practically rational for a surprisingly large portion of humanity. Things are relative but not as relative as some relativists would have us believe. Constructing this conception of morality is by far the main task of this book.

I argue for a conception of human agency that begins with the concept of human integrity. In the process, I argue that criteria for practical rationality are character- relative. I then argue that normative beliefs, including beliefs about obligation, have rational foundation in terms of their providing solutions to what I call integration problems. Moreover, it is the notion of integrity that provides us with a test for adjudicating philosophical disputes about the nature of rational agency. This test I call the integration test. It will turn out that the dispute between the view presented here and the view of Kantian internalism turns on a dispute about the nature of rational agency. If such a dispute can be rationally adjudicated and one of the views is correct, there must be some test that selects for the better theory. It is the integration test that plays this adjudicating role. Later, we will see what this test is.

A reason for suspecting that integrity is the clue to providing an adequate conception of practical reason involves a central issue of this book: the issue of regulative norms and their relationships within practical reason. Less technically and more generally, the idea is something like the following. People care about a variety of things in a variety of ways. They love their friends, their families, and their communities; they respect, sympathize with, and esteem strangers; they are dedicated to their work and enjoy their play, and they are committed to causes, practices, and principles. All these things factor into practical reason being what it is for at least most human beings. As factors within practical reason, these various concerns take on the status of norms that regulate our thinking about how to live and

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what to do. Some of these norms are "partial" because they involve personal connectedness in a sense that others do not. Loving a child is a good example of a partial norm. Other norms lack this personal element and are best understood as "impartial." Respect and sympathy for strangers are usually good examples. One of the central questions of this book is, How are we are to understand these norms and their interrelationships such that they are the norms of a person as a practical reasoner? A very general answer is that they must be integrated as a roughly coherent set of norms. To be a set of norms that reflect personhood and practical reason they must achieve a certain kind of integrity as a whole. As such, they must constitute a psychology.

Another, more specific answer, of course, is to be found among the various Enlightenment conceptions of practical reason and morality, the most developed of which is the Kantian branch of that tradition. In chapter z, I argue that to achieve the necessary kind of wholeness or integrity and to account for the right psychology, the relationships among these regulative norms cannot be hierarchical in the way required by the Enlightenment tradition. More precisely, I argue that this is true on the assumptions of our considered moral judgments.

Against some of the most recent attempts to defend an Enlightenment view, I argue that human agents must integrate the kinds of concerns they have into a manageably coherent life in order to be agents at all and that there is no way of achieving such integration through a dominant norm that regulates other norms without being regulated in any way by them. That is, the regulative relationships among norms must be symmetrical rather than asymmetrical in order to achieve integration of the sort necessary for at least most humans. If this is true, I argue, then neither impartial respect nor impartial sympathy can do the work required of them by Kantians and utilitarians. Moreover, I argue that no norm can be asymmetrically dominant over other norms within practical reason, no matter whether it is partial or impartial. The reader might think of this as a hypothesis and the remainder of the book as a test of it. On this view, the role any norm plays in an agent's life will be recognized by how it regulates and is regulated by other norms in an agent's psychology in a way that preserves the integrity of that psychology. It is from this perspective that I develop a specific answer to our question that is an alternative to the Enlightenment tradition.

The methodology I find distorting, then, is one that begins with a conception of moral agency according to which an agent is a moral agent only

Beginnings / 5 to the extent to which he or she deliberates on normative criteria that are in principle entirely independent of considerations of the agent's own good or particular personal commitments. Call this an agent-neutral theory, since it employs an asymmetrical regulative norm that is neutral regarding the more personal concerns of an agent's life. To be sure, any agent-neutral theory may either allow or require an agent under appropriate circumstances to pursue his or her own good, but this occurs in only two ways. One involves moral coincidence: The permission to pursue one's own good is the coincidental result of applying moral criteria in a completely agent-neutral way; as moral luck would have it, happiness coincides with duty. The other involves an instrumental necessity to the ends of an agent-neutral conception of morality: The pursuit of one's own good is instrumentally necessary to an overall agent-neutral good; duties to oneself flow from the necessity for moral preparedness in one's duties to others.

Increasingly, many contemporary philosophers share the view that human agents are surely not the kinds of agents required by agent-neutral theories of morality. They also share the view that it is a good thing they are not.' Some even have the view that human agents are not moral agents. Lacking in this literature, however, is any developed conception of practical reason and morality that represents an alternative to the Enlightenment tradition. What is needed is an alternative moral psychology that will supply the account of regulative norms that the Enlightenment tradition has failed to provide. Moreover, that account must accommodate what is valid in recent Kantian defenses against contemporary philosophical attacks.

While I share the view that it is a good thing we are not the kinds of agents required by agent-neutral conceptions of morality, I do not reject the moral status of our agency. What allows me to do this is a reversal of methodology, which is Aristotelian in spirit. I begin by asking what human agents are like. Is there an essential connection between the agency of any

2. See Michael Stocker, "The Schizophrenia of Modern Ethical Theories," and Susan Wolf, "Moral Saints," both in The Virtues: Contemporary Essays on Moral Character, ed. Robert B. Kruschwitz and Robert C. Roberts (Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, -1986), 36-45 and -137-52, respectively; Michael Slote, Goods and Virtues (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1983); Lawrence Blum, Friendship, Altruism, and Morality (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1980); John Cottingham, "Ethics and Impartiality," Philosophical Studies 43 (1983): 83 -99, and "Partiality, Favouritism and Morality," Philosophical Quarterly 36 (July 1984): 357-73; Julia Annas, "Personal Love and Kantian Ethics in Effi Briest," Philosophy and Literature 8 (April :E984): 15-3-1; Bernard Williams, Moral Luck (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981).

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particular human and the good of that human? Only after coming to a somewhat affirmative and informative answer to this question do I proceed. I then ask if there is any importance in retaining a moral/nonmoral distinction regarding human agents. I believe that there is.

If I am right about this, then all morality must be agent-centered in one very important sense: There can be no acceptable theory of moral obligation that is entirely agent-neutral. Moral obligation cannot be entirely independent of what is good for the agent who has the obligations of morality. Nor can it be completely without connection to the agent's particular personal commitments.

The connection for which I argue is this: To be an ongoing agent is not to be the agent of a principle that comes into play willy-nilly as dictated by events external to the agent's reasons for living; rather, it is to be an agent whose actions have their coherence and meaning within the agent's way of life with its own constitutive good. Being an ongoing agent, therefore, essentially involves finding life worthwhile and having reasons for living. It also involves having reasons for living one way rather than another. No way of life, then, is morally obligatory that is entirely independent of a human agent's own good. If this is true, then no individual act that is destructive to the most fundamental goods of that life can be morally obligatory for an agent.

My methodology, therefore, commits me first to come to terms with the connection between the concept of human agency and the concept of a particular human agent's own good. Only then does it allow me to proceed to questions of obligation. Moreover, it commits me to giving an account of an agent's sense of obligation in terms of how an agent's reasons for action emerge in the context of those things in virtue of which the agent finds life meaningful.


If we are to think of morality as a function of practical reason and understand practical reason in terms of the integrative functions of human consciousness, we need a general account of an integrative function. For this we need a general account of integrity. I call this general account the thin conception of integrity.

The thin conception of integrity focuses on the person to whom we are willing to attribute at least four features. Here I will simply state these features, leaving developed discussion and argument for them for the remain-

Beginnings / 7 der of part I, beginning especially in chapter 3. The first of these features is a sense of self that is sufficiently unified to allow us to say that the person has at least one and no more than one basic "self." The second is a level of self-knowledge inconsistent with a life of pervasive self-deception (or insanity) regarding that person's basic sense of self. The third is the strength of character to meet significant challenges to that which makes this sense of self possible. And the fourth is a sense of self as intrinsically important to some degree as a separate and numerically distinct person. A human lacks integrity in this sense, then, by lacking sufficient unity of self to be at least one and no more than one person, by being unable to live with a level of self-knowledge that reveals who and what the person basically is, by lacking the capacity to meet challenges natural to a human environment, and/or by being unable to assign any intrinsic importance to the fact that he or she is a separate and numerically distinct person.

I say much more about the concept of integrity and motivate its elements in chapter 3, but it seems important for purposes of clarity to comment briefly here on the first two elements. To say that a person of integrity has at least one and no more than one basic "self " is not to endorse any strongly Cartesian views on the unity of consciousness. It may very well be true that the best explanation of certain forms of irrationality is in the notion of 01partitioned" systems of consciousness.' Self-deception is a possible example. But if partitioning is the best explanation for such phenomena, certain conditions must hold. Foremost is that each of these systems must achieve a certain level of integration or unity within its own domain to constitute a personality system. This system then must be segregated in Significant ways from other personality systems that somehow functionally relate to the same human organism. Each such system must have an identity of its own. If these identifiable personality systems are sufficiently conflicting and separate, no overall unity of personality is possible for the human to which they functionally relate. If this is true, then the human lacks the substantial unity of personality required for personal integrity. Similar comments apply if the personality system that represents a particular human's "true self" is partitioned from explicit consciousness. Such a person lacks integrity despite having a very unified personality on any particular occasion.

3. See Donald Davidson, "Deception and Division," and David Pears, "The Goals and Strategies of Self- Deception," both in The Multiple Self, ed. Jon Elster (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 79-92and 59-78, respectively; and David Pears, Motivated Irrationality (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984).

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It is important, then, to keep in mind two points regarding the first two elements of integrity. First, there must be some overall substantial unity or integration of personality for a human to be a person with integrity. This is in contrast to being a human with several partitioned personality systems with their own self-contained integration. Second, the human who suffers from serious cases of fragmented personality is not a person to whom integrity is attributable, and the same is true of the human whosesense of unity of personality is partitioned from conscious recognition.

From these observations, we can now say in general what an integrative function is. The general conception of an integrative function as it applies to practical reason is that it is a function of one's psychology that makes the basic elements of integrity in the thin sense possible. Later, it will become clear that one major difference between the view advocated here and Kantian internalism is the account of what makes such a function in the general sense possible.

Any specific, as opposed to general, conception of an integrative function would require a substantive conception of integrity. If there are different substantive conceptions of integrity that realize the basic elements of the thin conception and they yield integrative functions significantly different in their configurations, practical relativism is the resUlt.4The conception of morality defended here is a function of one specific conception of integrity. I call it the thick conception of integrity.

The thick conception of integrity includes the features of the thin conception but adds others as well. More accurately, the thick conception is only one version of how the thin conception might have substance rather than mere form. This is to say that there might be many different thick conceptions that realize the thin conception other than the one I consider; hence the possibility of relativism.

The agent I have in mind is one who has self-respect and self-esteem, as well as impartial respect, sympathy, and esteem for others. These attitudes regarding others, then, express the relevant impartial norms of the agent of integrity in the thick sense. But in addition to these concerns, this agent also has a number of other concerns that express his or her partial norms.

4. I must hedge here. I am now only beginning to take seriously Isaiah Berlin's claim that moral pluralism is neither relativistic nor universalistic. So while I will continue to use the term "relativism," it should be understood here simply as the denial of universalism, leaving open the possibility that there are at least two ways of denying universalism, by appeal to relativism proper or to moral pluralism. For Berlin's discussion, see his book, The Crooked Timber of Humanity (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), esp. 1-20.

Beginnings / 9 Some of these involve personal love for others, including being a loving parent, a loving friend, and a loving neighbor. Finally, this agent leads a life containing a great deal of intrinsically meaningful activity, much of which is aesthetic in value and is dedicated to excellence, that is, to doing what he or she does well, where these concerns are among his or her partial norms. So described, it is important to note that there is nothing about this agent that Kantians should find objectionable. In fact, Kant is plausibly interpreted as claiming that we have duties to cultivate personal capacities in regard to all the features of the thick conception of integrity. The issue is whether he and his advocates can account for this in an acceptable way. More generally, the question is, How can an agent who has these concerns, partial and impartial, integrate them in a way that makes the basic elements of integrity in the thin sense possible? Most of this book is given to answering this question.

I argue for a specific conception of the integrative function of practical reason as it applies to the agent of integrity in the thick sense and consider alternative conceptions. In this regard, it is important to distinguish three major competitors, one of which is associated with Aristotle and two of which are associated primarily with Kant.

The first I call simply the Aristotelian conception of the integrative function as it applies to the thick conception of integrity, with the understanding that the conception is Aristotelian in spirit and not in historical detail. The conception defended here is clearly revisionary in regard to its Aristotelian origins, as is much of Kantian internalism in regard to its Kantian origins. It reflects an inclusive-ends view of eudaimonia (the good for a human) and includes the following two claims:

a. The rational grounds for practical judgments are those multiple goods in terms of which the agent finds life meaningful from his or her own point of view. (This does not mean that practical reason aims at eudaimonia, but at the goods that make up the life of eudaimonia for the particular agent.) 5
5. Eudaimonism, like Kantianism, is very easy to caricature. It is also subject to different contending forms. If we think of hedonistic eudaimonism as the paradigm, we are bound both to be misled and to overlook the most promising forms. Most important, we are likely to misunderstand the best eudaimonistic account of practical reason. Korsgaard has attempted to show that Aristotle and Kant have very similar views on the role of reason and reflectiveness in practical reason. The eudaimonistic account offered here is meant to be plausibly Aristotelian in both form and content and different in significant ways from Kant. For Korsgaard's account, see Christine M. Korsgaard, "From Duty and for the Sake of the Noble," in Aris-

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b. None of the regulative norms of such a conception are asymmetrical in their regulative functions. Several comments on (a) are in order. First, although scholars debate whether Aristotle endorsed an inclusive-ends conception of eudaimonia or a dominant-end conception (which emphasizes the highest value of contemplation),6 I do not pursue this issue here: first because this is not a scholarly book on Aristotle and second because the implications of my argument clearly rule out the dominant-end conception .7 Hereafter, then, when I refer to the Aristotelian conception I am referring to the inclusive-ends view.

Second, some clarification is necessary of how considerations of eudaimonia enter into the deliberations of a practically rational agent. On what is to my mind a rather crass view, Aristotle's agent simply asks what is conducive to his or her happiness, and means-ends reasoning ensues. Interpreted narrowly, a passage from book -i of the Nicomachean Ethics might seem to support this. There Aristotle says:


totle, Kant, and the Stoics: Rethinking Happiness and Duty, ed. Stephen Engstrom and Jennifer Whiting (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 203 -36.

6. W. F. R. Hardie was the first to make the distinction between the inclusive ends and the dominant end interpretations of Aristotle, in W. F. R. Hardie, "The Final Good in Aristotle's Ethics," in Aristotle: A Collection of Critical Essays, ed. J. M. E. Moravcsik (Garden City: N.Y.: Anchor Books, 1967), z97-3Z2. Leading defenders of the dominant end view are David Keyt, "Intellectualism in Aristotle," in Essays in Ancient Greek Philosophy, ed. John P. Anton and Anthony Preus (Albany: State University of New York Press, iq8i), 364 - 87; and Richard Kraut, Aristotle on the Human good (Princeton: Princeton University Press,:i.989). Advocates of the inclusive ends interpretation are J. L. Ackrill, "Aristotle on Eudaimonia," in Essays on Aristotle Ethics, ed. Amelie Oksenberg Rorty (Berkeley: University of Cahiornia Press, :1980), -15-34; Sarah Broadie, Ethics with Aristotle (London: Oxford University Press, igg-i); and Anthony Kenny, The Aristotelian Ethics (London: Oxford University Press, 1978) and Aristotle on the Perfect Life (London: Oxford University Press, :1992).

7. The Aristotelian conception interpreted as involving a dominant end would include the following two claims:

a. The grounds for practical judgments are those multiple goods in terms of which the agent finds life meaningful from his or her point of view, and among these goods is one that functions as a dominant end. (Again, this does not mean that practical reason aims at eudaimonia, but at the goods that make up the life of eudaimonia for the particular agent.)

b. Though the norms grounded in subdominant ends might be symmetrical in their regulative functions vis-a-vis each other, the norms grounded in the dominant end are asymmetrical in their regulative functions vis-a-vis the norms of the subdominant ends.


Beginnings / 11 For our present purposes, we may draw the conclusion from the preceding argument that happiness is one of the goods that are worthy of honor and are final. This again seems to be due to the fact that it is a starting point or fundamental principle, since for its sake all of us do everything else. (NE -i-io-6:35-lio2a:4)" However, I think if we consider book -i more carefully, we need not get the crass view.

One of the primary functions of book i, I believe, is to get clear on the sense of good relevant to ethical inquiry. When we find clarity on this issue, we get a much more plausible view of how eudaimonia enters into an agent's practical deliberations, and this is important to how I am interpreting the Aristotelian scheme.

The first thing Aristotle wants to establish is that the sense of good relevant to the study of ethics is one that must be relevant to practical reason. Consider in this regard the following passage that begins at Nicornachean Ethics, -iog6b:53. He says:

Perhaps one may think that the recognition of an absolute good will be advantageous for the purpose of attaining and realizing in action the goods which can be attained and realized. By treating the absolute good as a pattern, [they might argue,] we shall gain a better knowledge of what things are good for us, and once we know that, we can achieve them. This argument has, no doubt, some plausibility; however, it does not tally with the procedure for the sciences. For while all the sciences aim at some good and seek to fulfill it, they leave the knowledge of the absolute good out of consideration. Yet if this knowledge were such a great help, it would make no sense that all the craftsmen are ignorant of it and do not even attempt to seek it. One might also wonder what benefit a weaver or a carpenter might derive in the practice of his own art from a knowledge of the absolute Good, or in what way a physician who has contemplated the Form of the Good will become more of a physician or a general more of a general. For actually, a physician does not even examine health in this fashion, he examines the health of man, or perhaps better, the health of a particular man, for he practices his medicine on particular cases. The central point here is that even if there is a good in the absolute sense in which Plato asserted, its relevance to ethics is questionable in the same

8. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, trans. Martin Ostwald (Indianapolis: Library of Liberal Arts, Bobbs-Merrill, -ig6z). Hereafter, all quotes from the Nicomachean Ethics are from the Ostwald translation.

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way that its relevance is questionable to the weaver, the carpenter, the general, and the physician. Why? Because the crafts and ethics are concerned with how to live and act, rather than with what is true in the Platonic sense. Thus the relevant sense of good must be one that guides or is capable of guiding practical reason. This is to say, in Barbara Herman's terms, that the sense of good relevant to the study of ethics is the one that applies to things that appear within our deliberative field, that present themselves to us as things to be pursued, cherished, nurtured, maintained, respected, loved, and so on.9 Being clear on this, however, only tells us something about what we are looking for in the relevant sense of good. We need to know much more.

The comments on the physician are especially important. Aristotle seems to express some ambivalence about whether the sense of good should be relativized to the individual, as in the physician's case, or should be taken as good for "man" in the sense of the good for humanity. Actually, I do not believe that it is either of these, for there is another possibility. Consider the difference between the good for humanity, the good for this particular human, and the good for this particular kind of human, for example, the ideal Athenian. Taking the latter as a guide to interpretation, we can read Aristotle as rejecting as too broad (and thin) the conception of humanity as the proper subject of inquiry and as too narrow the study of some particular human. The question is how to specify the subject matter in a way that is neither too broad and thin for substance nor too narrow and particular for purposes of generalization. 10

I take it that the ideal Athenian, for us, fails on the latter grounds. Still, we can take the reference to the ideal Athenian in another way. We can take it to mean that any study of ethics that yields any substantive results will always be relative to a way of life and to the character of those for whom that way of life is in some sense a natural expression of who they are at the core. In this sense, the person with integrity on the thick conception is the subject of the current study, rather than the ideal Athenian. And by taking the thick conception as the subject, we both leave behind some objectionable features of Aristotle's view and remedy some deficiencies. The views

9. Herman, The Practice of Moral Judgment, 152, 166, 168, 172, 179, -180, 18-1, 182-83,19:1, 193-94,:E96-202.

10. Aristotle shows some sensitivity to this concern at NE:1097B-6. There he says, "We do not mean a man who lives in isolation, but a man who also lives with parents, children, a wife, and friends and fellow citizens generally, since man is by nature a social and political being. But some limit must be set to these relationships, for if they are extended to include ancestors, descendants, and friends of friends, they will go on to infinity."

Beginnings / 13 on slavery and gender are left behind, and added are the concerns of respect and sympathy for those who are not in any important sense closely connected to us. The Aristotelianism I defend here, therefore, is clearly a revised version. Unlike neo-Kantians, I am more inclined to revise Aristotle to accommodate impartial norms than I am to think that Kant can be understood or revised in a way to accommodate partial norms. The project of Kantian internalism is not, as I understand it, to be perfectly true to Kant's own project but to construct from some understanding of the categorical imperative a conception of the personal life that is rich and robust but also appropriately demanding in terms of impartial respect for self and others as rational agents."

Similarly, the current project of Aristotelian internalism is not to be perfectly true to Aristotle. Aristotle was wrong about all sorts of things, as was Kant. So I will not be defending Aristotle as a disciple of some sort, devoted to showing that the master had things right. Rather, I will be constructing a conception of what it is to be a person of integrity in the thick sense that runs in the opposite direction of the Kantian analysis. Rather than fit the analysis of partial norms within the context of the categorical imperative with its perfect and imperfect duties, I argue that it is best to fit the concerns for those who are not closely related to us within a conception of our own good in the sense that their well-being is central to the meaningfulness of our own lives when we are persons of integrity in the thick sense. Much more will be said as I proceed.

The relevant sense of good, then, is one that can guide practical reason and is relative to a character of a certain sort and to the way of life expressive of that character. But we need to know more about how this sense of good enters into the deliberations of the agent in the form of eudaimonia. Here we must see how the criteria of finality and self-sufficiency function and in what sense the Aristotelian agent (as constructed here) aims at eudaimonia. I think the best way of understanding Aristotle is that practical reason aims at eudaimonia only in the sense that practical reason is guided by a sense of good that raises the issues of finality and self-sufficiency in its evaluation of how to act and to live. About finality, Aristotle says:

What is never chosen as a means to something else we call more final than that which is chosen both as an end in itself and as a means to something else. What is always chosen as an end in itself and never
11. The most developed account of this sort is by Nancy Sherman in her book, Making a Necessity of Virtue: Aristotle and Kant on Virtue (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997).

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as a means to something else is called final in an unqualified sense. (NE -1097a: 30 -35) And about self-sufficiency, he says: For the present we define as "self-sufficient" that which taken by itself makes life something desirable and deficient in nothing. (NE -1097b - 15) I construct Aristotle's scheme to mean that one aims at eudaimonia inthe sense that one evaluates actions and their place in life in terms of the criteria of finality and self-sufficiency and that this is not to aim at some mental state (or any other state) called "happiness." 12 On this construction, finality and self-sufficiency are criteria to be employed in practical reasoning itself, they are not simply criteria employed in philosophical debate about the ultimate goal of life. Whether Aristotle actually meant the criteria to be employed in this way is a matter of unimportance to my project.

What does all this come to in regard to the agent of integrity in the thick sense? In terms of finality, it means that the agent experiences life in a way that many things appear within his or her deliberative field as good. That is, they are goods that are relevant to practical reason, things to be pursued, cherished, nurtured, maintained, respected, and loved, and they are, as such, valued as ends. However, they are final only as they appear as ordered within a life as a whole, for it is only from the viewpoint of life as a whole that the issue of finality can arise. In this regard, to aim at eudaimonia is nothing more than to attempt to see the various goods of life as ordered in a way that the choice of the life in which they appear is chosen for itself and for no further end. To the extent to which a life with its goods is ordered in a way that meets the criterion of finality it is practically rational. Why? Because it is to that extent guided by the relevant sense of good. The other criterion is self-sufficiency, which operates a bit differently than finality. Whereas finality requires that the goods be ordered in a way that makes them the proper object of final choice, self-sufficiency requires that all the goods get into the ordering, if at all possible. Nothing of importance can avoidably be left out. In this regard, to aim at eudaimonia is nothing

12. Aristotle seems to mean one thing by self-sufficiency in book 1 of the Nicomachean Ethics and another thing in book 10. In book 10, he emphasizes the notion of independence rather than the notion of completeness when he provides the divinity argument for the highest value of contemplation. The idea is that the gods, who spend their time in contemplation, are invulnerable to supporting conditions for their way of life in a way that other creatures are not. Since appeals to divinity will play no positive role in my argument or the Aristotelianism I construct, I will not employ this notion of self-sufficiency.

Beginnings / -15 more than the reflective concern that every good thing or as many kinds of the most important good things as possible get a place in life. Again, it is not to aim at some state called "happiness." To aim at eudaimonia, then, is simply to employ as reflective criteria the criteria of finality and self-sufficiency in the evaluation of how to live and to act, given that we value some things as ends.

As I employ these concepts, however, I want to make four clarifications: one having to do with the concept of eudaimonism itself; one, with the criterion of finality; one, with the concept of evaluating from the perspective of a life as a whole; and one, with self-sufficiency.

Beginning with eudaimonism, I want to distinguish between what I call subjective eudaimonism, on the one hand, and objective eudaimonism, on the other. The distinction between the two can best be made out in terms of Aristotle's definition of eudaimonia, that is, activity of the soul in accordance with virtue, and how he understands the status of external goods in the life well lived. According to what I call the subjectivist interpretation, external goods are not a part of one's well-being but are the equipment one needs for living the life of virtue. Perhaps the best expression of this view is found in Richard Kraut's book, Aristotle on the Human Good. His interpretation of Aristotle is that external goods are not a part of one's wellbeing but are the equipment for acting virtuously. In some cases, this makes sense. Wealth is the mere equipment whereby the generous person can act magnanimously. But what about the people who benefit from such generosity? Are they merely equipment needed for virtuous activity? Kraut's answer is that they are not, but insofar as they are valued for themselves, they do not reflect on the well-being of the generous person. Rather, concern for them reflects an altruistic attitude toward others. A similar analysis is given of the virtues of friendship and justice. On this view, that things go badly for other people is not something that makes life go badly for the agent, except insofar as things going badly for others lessens the occasions for one's virtuous activities. Thus to say that eudaimonia is activity of the soul in accordance with virtue is to assert that there is an identity relationship between eudaimonia and some exercise of the self. Since external goods are not parts of the self or its activities, they are not components of eudaimonia, the life well lived.

According to the objectivist construction of eudaimonia that I want to defend, some external goods, most notably friends, family, fellow citizens, and others, are intrinsic constituents of eudaimonia itself for creatures like us. On this understanding, the definition of eudaimonia is best understood as activity of a psychology (soul) in accordance with virtue and the goods

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to which that virtue is attached. The virtue of justice attaches us to persons worthy of respect, the virtue of sympathy, to persons in need; and the virtues of friendship and parental love, to our friends and children. Our character, on this Aristotelian construction, attaches us to items in the world and to the intrinsic well-being of those items. If this is true, then when things go badly for those items, things go badly for us. When asked how his life is going, the virtuous personís answer will often be couched in terms solely related to the well-being of others. Contrast in this regard these responses: Things are going badly because I have a headache, I have nothing virtuous to do, my child is ill, my friend's home was destroyed in a fire, workers are being cheated out of their pay, people are starving in Africa. Notice that many of the responses on the list do not mention the self but others, but they are mentioned in the context of why life is not what it could be. Also contrast these positive responses to the same question: Things are going really well because I feel great, my child just had her first recital, my friends and I played bridge last night, the workers strike has been settled in a way that is fair to all sides, and the drought has ended in Africa. These responses, both negative and positive, are intrinsic to what it is to thrive as a social being. Now, when eudaimonia is understood in this way, the self does not dominate the understanding of how well life is going in the way that it does on Krauts understanding of Aristotle. And it should be noted that eudaimonia on this view involves vulnerability because of the way in which one's character attaches one's well-being to items in the world that are external goods. When Aristotle says that we do not deliberate about external goods, part of what that means on this interpretation is that social beings bring certain values to the task of practical reason and with these values in place, they ask, How am I to live in a way that best accommodates these goods?"

The criteria of finality and self-sufficiency are brought to the task of answering this question understood on the objectivist reading of eudaimonia. Regarding finality, it is important to keep in mind that it can come in degrees. Among alternative ways of life open to an agent, none of them might satisfy the criterion perfectly. In such cases, we can speak of the way of life that is most final, the one that is most chosen for itself as an end and not as a means to anything else. This clarification accommodates the fact that

13. Aristotle is usually taken to be a perfectionist, but the Aristotelianism I construct here is pluralistic in that there are goods other than perfection. For a contrasting, perfectionist construction of Aristotle, see Thomas Hurka, Perfectionism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993).

Beginnings / 17 none of us has among his or her alternatives the perfect way of life. Also, I will understand the criterion of finality as having two aspects: the first applies to a life as a whole, that it be chosen for itself and for no further end; the second applies to the goods within the life that is chosen for itself. This second aspect of finality requires that if something appears within one's deliberativefield as good as an end, then it is rational, if at all possible, to order one's priorities within a way of life to accommodate that good as the kind of end it is taken to be within that deliberative field. The second aspect of the finality criterion is not met, then, if one's priorities do not properly recognize a good for the kind of good it is within one's deliberative field. This can occur in a variety of ways: by misconstruing the value of a good as not good at all, by misconstruing the value of a good that is an end as a means only, or by misconstruing the kind of end a good is. This aspect of the finality requirement is such that a failure to meet it means a failure to meet the self-sufficiency requirement as well. The difference between the second aspect of finality and self-sufficiency is that in the former case the value of some good is misconstrued; whereas in the latter a good is missing, either because its value has been misconstrued or because it simply is not there. To take a friend for granted is one thing; not to have a friend is another. But in neither case is there a life that is chosen for itself and self-sufficient.

Regarding the evaluation from the perspective of a life as a whole, it needs to be recognized that we do not have the kind of access to our lives that allows us in any literal way to evaluate from this perspective. We have only a relatively vague notion of what our lives will turn out to be as a whole. This is why we should understand this perspective as simply requiring us to place our choices, at least the most fundamental ones, within the context of how our priorities fit within a way of life, and we do have some idea of what this is. The contrast is a decision model the rationality of which is defined independently of a concern for how things fit within a way of life at all.

Finally, there are two concepts of self-sufficiency that should not be confused. The first, which is the one employed here, is the idea that all the goods for a meaningful life are included. The second is that the kind of life that includes all the goods in the first sense is free of the contingencies of moral luck. Both the Stoics and Aristotle thought it rational to pursue a life that was self-sufficient in the first sense, but they differed on whether the life of eudaimonia was self-sufficient in the latter sense. 14 Because he thought ex-

14. There is a dispute about this among Aristotelians. Kraut takes Aristotle to put a great deal of emphasis on invulnerability on his intellectualist interpretation

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ternals were intrinsic goods of the best life, Aristotle thought thatwe need a modicum of good luck for good living. Because they identified the best life with untroubledness (ataraxia), the Stoics rejected the value of externals and identified the best life with the life of virtue and hence immune to the forces of luck. For the Stoics, the goods of virtue are all under our control, immune to luck, and are all the goods there are in a life well lived. As will become clear, I side with Aristotle. it is only in understanding the fact that many of us are creatures with a character full of caring about externals that practical reason is made what it is for us.

To sum up, then: The Aristotelian conception first involves the appearance of things that are good (in the relevant sense) within an agent's deliberative field. The agent then considers different sets of priorities as candidates for accommodating those goods. Each set of priorities is considered as the basis for the imaginative projection of a way of life and how the things thought of as good by the agent appear within that way of life. Finally, the criteria of finality and self-sufficiency are employed to evaluate which set of priorities is rational. To the extent to which a set of priorities meets the criteria of finality and self-sufficiency it solves the integration problems of the agent. All this assumes that it is the appearance of things that are meaningful within the agent's deliberative field that generates the need for an

tegrative function in the first place. It makes no assumption about happiness as the goal of one's deliberations.

In contrast with the Aristotelian conception of the integrative function of practical reason are two impartial conceptions. The first I call externalist impartialism, which includes the following two claims:

a. There is a dominant impartial norm that is asymmetrically regulative of any other norms within consciousness, though there are other subdominant norms that are symmetrical in their regulative functions vis-vis each other.

b. The rational grounds for the dominant, asymmetrical norm are independent of those goods that make life meaningful from an agent's own point of view.

On this conception of impartialism, the demands of practical reason are pure in the sense that they are in no way dependent on the psychological
and takes himself to be disagreeing with Martha Nussbaum. See Kraut, Aristotle on the Human Good, and Martha Nussbaum, The Fragility of Goodness (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986). For a philosophical defense of the notion of vulnerability as it applies to human dignity, see my Dignity and Vulnerability: ' Strength and Quality of Character (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1.997).
________________________________________________________________________________________________ Beginnings / 1.9 attachments of the agent. Shelly Kagan endorses a view of this sort.'s But also there is a plausible interpretation of Kant that takes this line, for there are passages from Kant, as I note later, that suggest we have the duty not to commit suicide, even if we do not find life meaningful at all. On any view of practical reason, whether Kantian or non-Kantian, that takes this form, there is a radical distinction between the demands of practical reason and a particular agent's own good. The Kantian version of extemalist impartialism I call traditional Kantianism.

The second conception of impartialism I call internalist impartialism, and it includes the following two claims:

a. There is a dominant impartial norm that is asymmetrically regulative of any other norms within consciousness, though there are other subdominant norms that are symmetrical in their regulative functions vis-a-vis each other.

b. The rational grounds for the agent's norms, including the dominant, asymmetrical norm, are the goods that make life meaningful from an agent's own point of view.

In contrast to traditional Kantianism, Barbara Herman, Marcia Baron, Christine Korsgaard, Henry Allison, Nancy Sherman, and David Cummiskey (all of whom I discuss later) defend versions of internalist impartialism. It is important to note that internalist Kantianism is a conception of practical reason that bridges some of the gap between the Aristotelian conception and traditional Kantianism. On this view, impartial respect for persons and their rational nature is still a dominant impartial norm, but it functions within consciousness as a dominant good apart from which no rational agent would find life meaningful from his or her own point of view with the basic elements of integrity in the thin sense intact. Later, I point out advantages of internalist Kantianism over the traditional variety. But it is the central thesis of the book that the thick conception of integrity requires the Aristotelian (inclusive-ends) conception of an integrative function of consciousness. The negative (as opposed to the positive) thesis of the book can be stated as follows: Against traditional Kantianism, I argue that all norms have their foundation in the goods that make life meaningful from the agent's own point of view. The argument for this occurs primarily in part 2, where I show that the goods of respect, as Kantian internalists insist, must be given an internalist account. If traditional, externalist Kantianism cannot account for the role of respect in our lives, it stands no chance of ac-
_________________________ 15. See Shelly Kagan, TheLimits of Morality (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989).
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counting for other goods. The remainder of the book is given to an argument against internalist Kantianism, where I argue that no conception of practical reason that employs an asymmetrical regulative norm can solve the integration problems of the agent of integrity in thethick sense.


The basic contrast of this book, then, is between two conceptions of practical reason. As best I can, I want here to provide a brief sketch of the contrast. Herman has argued that one requirement of an adequate conception of morality is that the rightness of an action must be the nonaccidental result of its motive. This she (rightly) takes to be one of Kant's most fundamental points. If we combine this requirement with the claim that morality is based on practical reason, then the rightness of an action is both (i) the nonaccidental result of its motive and (ii) practically rational, all things considered. All Kantians, I think, would agree. Moreover, on the interpretation given here, the Aristotelian would as well. The difference between the Kantian and the Aristotelian conceptions of practical reason is in how they account for these two requirements and in what Korsgaard has called reflective endorsement. 16

Consider first the Kantian account. Here some comments by Herman are helpful. She makes an illuminating distinction between the end or object of an action and the motive for an action. The end or object of an action, she says, "is that state of affairs the agent intends his action to bring about." 17 About motives, she says, "The motive of an action, what moves the agent to act for a certain object, is the way he takes the object of his action to be good, and hence reason-giving." 1,1 Now consider how this distinction might shed light on how the rightness of an action could be the nonaccidental result of its motive and rational, all things considered.

Imagine a case in which three people-A, B, and C-all do the right thing from different motives -A from narrow self-interest, B from natural sympathy, and C from the Kantian sense of duty. Let us assume that the right thing to do in the context is to render aid to someone in distress. A takes the object of his action to be good as a means of promoting his own narrowly self-interested goals, and it is in this sense that he sees the object as giving him a reason for action. Perhaps the person in distress is someone

16. See Korsgaard, The Sources of NormativitY, 49-89.

17. Herman, The Practice of Moral Judgment, 25.

18. Ibid.

Beginnings / 21 likely to benefit him in some way. Though his action is right, its rightness is not the nonaccidental result of his motive. B takes the object of his action to be good simply because it relieves the distress of someone in need, and it is in this sense that it gives him a reason for action. There is no further motive of self-interest. However, the rightness of Bs action is not the nonaccidental result of its motive. This is because B takes the fact that his action relieves the distress of someone in need as a sufficient condition for its goodness. But surely this is not a sufficient justification. For in some circumstances relieving the distress of someone might be wrong becau'se of other considerations. If this is true, then Bs action, while right, is not the result of full rationality, that is, rational, all things considered. It is this failure that shows that Bs action is not the nonaccidental result of its motive. C, on the other hand, takes the object of his action as good because he believes that relieving distress in the circumstances is the right thing to do. This is because he believes that doing so is required by the categorical imperative, that is, rational, all things considered from an impartial point of view. Unlike A and B, the rightness of Cs action, Herman claims, is both the nonaccidentai result of his motive and rational, all things considered.

No doubt, the Kantian view is a very powerful one, one not to be taken lightly or dismissed with caricature. How does the Aristotelian view, as I construe it here, differ? The major differences are these. First, full rationality, on the Aristotelian view, is not achieved by an impartial decision procedure, and second, there are no norms, on the Aristotelian view, that are asymmetrical in their regulative functions. On the Kantian view, the dominant norm of practical reason is the concern that one's deliberations take a certain form, namely, the impartial employment of the CI procedure (categorical imperative decision procedure). It is the fact that deliberations take this form that guarantees that the rightness of an act is the nonaccidental result of its motive. But on the Aristotelian view there is no such procedure. Rather, norms are the various ways an agent has of caring about himself or herself and others and other things in the natural and social environment. Hence, on this view, norms are at once both psychological and ethical. How, then, does the Aristotelian view guarantee that the rightness of action is the nonaccidental result of its motive? Here the concept of integrity plays a crucial role. The most general answer is that the character of an agent of integrity is such that any form of caring is influenced and balanced by the need to make a place for the other forms of caring indicative of the agent's character. Different things appear as good within the agent's deliberative field because the agent cares about a variety of things in a variety of ways. Practical reason, then, is not the capacity to employ an impartial decision pro-

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cedure. Rather, it is a complex capacity that assists a psychology in its movement toward the equilibrium of integrity. This involves not only means-end reasoning but other things as well. Among them is the capacity for meriological analysis (the ability to relate parts to wholes) and the exercise of imagination. In order to gain an intuitive understanding of this, consider the agent of integrity in the thick sense.

The agent of integrity in the thick sense is one who cares in a variety of ways, including those of self-interest, natural sympathy, and impartial respect for others. It is the fact that such an agent is both sympathetic and respectful that he is not narrowly self- interested. Hence, A (above) reasons badly because his sense of self-interest is not regulated by other concerns. The Aristotelian self-interested agent could not see rendering aid as good simply because it serves some narrow self-interest. Why? Because his character is such that he cares about things other than himself, and his practical reason is guided by a sense of good that employs the criterion of selfsufficiency. Remember that self-sufficiency is the concern that all goods that appear within an agent's deliberative field be included within a way of life. Moreover, this concern is at once both psychological and ethical. Thus, his concerns, guided by the criterion of self-sufficiency, do not allow him to reason egoistically, because the objects of his actions are not seen by him to be good in a way that allows for such practical reasoning. Not only is it false that actions that render aid have only instrumental value for him; they are intrinsically valued as parts of the life most worth living. This consideration reflects the criterion of finality. The Aristotelian agent's practical reasoning, then, is one in which he is moved by the imaginative projection of a life of a certain sort. Why is it that he is moved by such a thought? Because of his character, the kind of person he is, one who is caring in a variety of ways and whose evaluations are guided by a certain sense of good. Thus he does not act for the goal of eudaimonia in the sense of pursuing happiness but for those goods envisioned within a way of life in which they are most meaningfully secured and balanced. It is his character that makes the vision both intrinsically alluring and rational. It is not the thought that these goods are means to the life most worth living.

Now consider the Aristotelian conception of a naturally sympathetic agent. The Aristotelian agent would not see the case of relieving distress as good simply because it serves some narrow self-interest. Nor would the Aristotelian sympathetic agent see rendering aid as good simply because It relieves distress. He would be concerned that it also be consistent with all the other things with which he is concerned. That is, he would see it as good

Beginnings / 23 because it relieves distress and it is consistent with the respect, love, and other concerns he has. Again, this concern reflects practical reason guided by a certain conception of good. But the concern would not be a concern that the agent's deliberations take a certain form, as on the Kantian view.19 Rather, it would be entirely because of the substance of what the agent is concerned about, guided by the criteria of finality and self-sufficiency. In both the case of self-interest and the case of natural sympathy, the rightness of the Aristotelian's action would be the nonaccidental result of its motive. This is because the Aristotelian's normative conception of self-interest and sympathy are regulated by the other norms of the agent's psychology. By this I mean that what such an agent sees as in his or her interest or as sympathetic is shaped by other considerations. Thus, on the Aristotelian view as understood here, it is substance, not form, that regulates substance. Moreover, the norms of this psychology are such that they are all symmetrical in their regulative functions -impartial respect notwithstanding.

The contrast between the Kantian and Aristotelian views should now stand out in greater relief in the way that they account for both the requirement that an act be the nonaccidental result of its motive and the requirement that a right act is rational, all things considered. On the Kantian view, agents reason from an impartial perspective and the CI procedure, and the capacity for such reasoning governs their natural inclinations, which might otherwise lead them to do the wrong thing. This perspective employs an asymmetrical regulative norm and informs agents of how their characters are to be formed. On the Aristotelian view, the reasoning of an agent is shaped by the fact that an agent has a certain core character, one that cares in a variety of ways about himself or herself and other things in the natural and social environment and is guided by a certain sense of good. This is what it means to assert that practical reason is character- relative. It is the imaginative projection of a life shaped by a set of priorities that ultimately determines how the agent sees the object of his or her action as good and reason-giving, and it is the fit between vision and character that ultimately constitutes full rationality. If we apply these thoughts to the agent of in-

19. Later I will consider a distinction between procedural constructions of Kant and nonprocedtiral, or substantive, constructions. I take Sherman to suggest a nonprocedural understanding of the categorical imperative, whereas Korsgaard endorses a procedural view. Allen Wood also defends a procedural understanding in "The Final Form of Kant's Practical Philosophy," Kant "Metaphysics of Morals," Spindel Conference -1997, Southern Journal of Philosophy 36, supplement (1998): -i-zo.

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tegrity in the thick sense, we will get, or so I argue, a better accountof the rightness of actions. Nothing about such projection, however, requires an impartial decision procedure, and I take it as a requirement of the Aristotelian view to show how this is possible.

I also argue that the Aristotelian view gives us a better account of reflective endorsement than does the Kantian account recently defended by Korsgaard in her Tanner Lectures, There she says:

"Reason" means reflective success. So if I decide that my desire is a reason to act, I must decide that on reflection I endorse that desire. And here we run into the problem. For how do I decide that? Is the claim that I look at the desire, and see that it is intrinsically normative, or that its object is? ... Does the desire or its object inherit its normativity from something else? Then we must ask what makes that other thing normative, what makes it the source of a reason. And now of course the usual regress threatens. What brings such a course of reflection to a successful end?20 The Kantian solution to the regress problem entails a view of what full practical rationality is in terms of a conception of what, on its view, is the widest possible reflective endorsement. Complete reflective endorsement is reached on this view by the employment of the CI procedure. This means that the widest possible reflective endorsement is from the impartial point of view of respect for self and others. On the Aristotelian view, the widest reflective endorsement is from the point of view of a life as a whole and how that life accommodates all the goods found by the agent to be intrinsically important (finality and self-sufficiency). This means that one cannot accept the results of the CI procedure until one can see how those results factor into a life as a whole, a way of life. It also means that should those results fail to integrate within a way of life the goods that appear as ends within the agent's own deliberative field, then acting from the point of view of the CI procedure is neither fully reflective nor fully rational. I say more about this notion of reflective endorsement in the following chapters.


Part 1 is concerned with the thin conception of integrity and the general conception of practical reason appropriate to it. Chapter 1 is concerned with methodology, especially as it bears on the dispute between the Aristotelian conception of practical reason and Kantian internalism. There I consider

20. Korsgaard, The Sources of Normativity, 97.
Beginnings / 25 views by Henry Allison, Barbara Herman, Christine Korsgaard, and John Rawls. My goal is to show that contrary to Allison and Korsgaard, the deepest division between the Aristotelian alternative and Kantian internalism is not that of differing conceptions of rational agency (though these differences are certainly there). Rather, the deepest differences are methodological. I argue that how we understand the internalism requirement regarding practical reason turns on our beliefs about rational inquiry. This in turn leads to a different general conception of rational agency. Chapter z provides a sustained argument that an adequate conception of practical reason for agents like us, or at least most of us, must consist of norms that are symmetrical in their regulative functions if it is to capture our considered moral judgments. Chapters 3 and 4 provide the general conceptions of integrity and practical reason that accommodate these functions. Parts z through 4, the bulk of the book, are given to a substantive account of integrity (the thick conception) and practical reason that I claim applies to a large portion of humanity. Part z gives a preliminary analysis of the role of impartial respect within the psychology of the agent of integrity in the thick sense and is designed to put traditional Kantianism aside and to prepare the way for the debate between Aristotelian and Kantian internalism. Part 3 addresses various partial norms involving different forms of personal love. The issue at each point is how to understand the regulative functions among the agent's norms in a way that solves the integration problems of an agent who is not only impartially respectful of others but also personally loving in a variety of ways. Finally, part 4 addresses further integration problems involving intrinsically valued activities and our concern with excellence. There I consider the role of the aesthetic dimensions of life in practical reason. In each of the parts devoted to the various goods, the analysis is intended to show two things: first, the ways in which these goods function as the grounds for both practical reason and the meaning of the agent's life from his or her point of view; and second, that the integration of these goods is achieved without norms that are asymmetrical in their regulative functions. This is to say that the analysis in parts 3 and 4 is intended to show that a thorough implementation of the integration test will reveal that the Aristotelian conception of practical reason is true regarding a large portion of humanity and that Kantian internalism is false.

I turn now to a discussion of the internalism requirement and a defense of the methodological significance of the integration test for rational inquiry concerning the nature of practical reason.