This text explores the views presented by Christine Korsgaard in her book 'The Sources of Normativity' from various angles. Her main argument is inspired by Kant and tries to establish the ‘rational necessity’ that at an agent must be moral. An aim of this thesis is to explicate this idea of rational necessity as well as the relation between Korsgaard’s notions of ‘practical identity’ and ‘moral identity’, key concepts in the argument for morality as a necessity that reveals itself to the reflective agent.
After a summary of the book, the core argument is analysed, along with the key concept of rational necessity, the impact of the argument on reasons and justification, an illustration of the deliberative process, and finally a psychological reading of the concept of practical identity. As various criticisms are then aired, a main contention of this thesis will be that several critics read the concept of rational necessity as descriptive rather than normative for the agent. Korsgaard position is defended against such views, but criticised for failing to show how the sceptical agent is to be motivated by Korsgaard’s ideal considerations.