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Commitment and the Second-Person Standpoint

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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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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2019

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  • The journal Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung, appearing since 1946, is among the most important academic German language journals. It is open to all topics, approaches, and positions of philosophical thought. Given the increasing differentiation and specialization of the field, it thus constitutes a forum offering its various disciplines the opportunity for mutual recognition and exchange. The articles published in it are subject to an anonymous peer review in which internationally renowned scholars of all areas of contemporary philosophical research participate.

    Die seit 1946 erscheinende Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung gehört zu den wichtigsten deutschsprachigen Fachzeitschriften und steht allen Themen, Richtungen und Positionen der philosophischen Forschung offen. Angesichts der zunehmenden Ausdifferenzierung und Spezialisierung des Faches bietet sie damit auch ein Forum, in dem die verschiedenen Teildisziplinen sich gegenseitig wahrnehmen und in ein gemeinsames Gespräch kommen können. Die in ihr publizierten Abhandlungen durchlaufen ein anonymes Begutachtungsverfahren, an dem international anerkannte Forscher aus allen Spezialgebieten der gegenwärtigen philosophischen Forschung beteiligt sind.
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