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AspirationThe Agency of Becoming$
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Agnes Callard

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190639488

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190639488.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 14 June 2021

The Problem of Self-Creation

The Problem of Self-Creation

(p.179) Chapter 5 The Problem of Self-Creation

Agnes Callard

Oxford University Press

The new values, acquisition of which constitutes my act of self-creation, must be either continuous or discontinuous with the ones I already have. If they are continuous, I am not changing but rather working out the implications of the person I already was. If they are discontinuous and the new values contradict or come at a tangent to my old values, the change is not a product of my agency. I change, but I do not change myself. This paradox, adapted from the work of Galen Strawson, can be solved if we allow that the direction of value-dependence may be teleological: the aspirant’s values depend on, and are entailed by, those of the person she is trying to be. The aspirant does not fashion, control, or make the self she creates. Instead, she looks up to that self, tries to understand her, endeavors to find a way to her.

Keywords:   Galen Strawson, self-creation, Christine Korsgaard, teleology, source of normativity, G. E. M. Anscombe, self-cultivation, self-endorsement

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