19
Mar
09

Rationality and the structure of the self

A few years ago, while doing some research on Rawls, I came across a book entitled Reclaiming the History of Ethics. Essays for John Rawls (Cambridge University Press, 1997).

Among the interesting essays in the book, I found one extremely interesting by an author of whom I had not heard before: Adrian M. S. Piper. The article was entitled “Kant and the Objectivity of the Moral Law” and clearly displayed an approach to Kant’s texts that I could not easily find elsewhere.  The starting point was a serious consideration of the systematic character of Kant’s philosophy. The method was that of drawing on all relevant elements of the Kantian corpus.30humeanphilosophers

There was not much information about the author in that book. All contributors to the volume had been former students of Rawls. So I knew at least that. It was also mentioned that Adrian M. S. Piper is Professor of Philosophy at Wellesley College. Moreover, by reading the article, one could learn that it was part of an unpublished manuscript, “Rationality and the Structure of the Self, Volume II: Kant’s Metaethics”.

I then heard that the manuscript was a very ambitious project, on which the author had already worked for over 20 years. I became apprehensive that perhaps it would not be completed very soon…

Last year, the book was finally published under the title Rationality and the Structure of the Self. A Two-volume Study in Kantian Metaethics (2008). Moreover, the book is free to  download!

The author’s life is not that of the standard academic philosopher. You can read more about her here and access her website by clicking here.

The picture refers to the philosophical aim of the first volume of the book. As the author describes it,  “Volume I: The Humean Conception is very critical of a model of the self that virtually everyone (not only in philosophy but also in the social sciences) takes for granted”.

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