Imperativity — Repression — Autonomy

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Head, Department of Ethics
Affiliation: RAS Institute of Philosophy
Address: 12/1 Goncharnaya Str., Moscow, 109240, Russian Federation
Occupation: Senior research fellow, Department of History of Contemporary Western Philosophy
Affiliation: RAS Institute of Philosophy
Address: 12/1 Goncharnaya Str., Moscow, 109240, Russian Federation
Journal nameChelovek
EditionVolume 31 Issue №1

A dialog from the series “Anatomy of philosophy: remarks and rejoinders” covers one of the central issues of practical philosophy — imperativity, discussed in the perspective of morality. Imperativity is associated with norms, rules or, generally speaking, claims, with their ability to influence human decisions, actions, and judgments. In general, claims are determined by goals and values of various kinds, while moral claims represent values in their imposition to practical fulfillment. Imperativity is one of the qualities of moral values, which allows them to influence public practice and human behavior. Regarding this, they differ for example from aesthetic values, which in essence are imperatively neutral.   The commanding character of moral values is often perceived by the moral consciousness as a manifestation of their repressiveness, which can be considered as a result of some inner experience of  their compelling nature which seems to be rooted in moral value when in fact, it is rooted the persons pretending to represent moral authority.    This experience has been reflected in various theories of morality. At the same time, moral imperativity is ideal by its means. Morality presupposes personal self-determination in relation to the values claimed to be put in practice. It is individuals’ awareness of values and their free fulfillment that is the pledge of moral dignity of decisions and act is in. This is also a part of inner moral experience. There is some tension between coercion and autonomy of morality, which is manifested both in the nature of moral imperativity and its reflection by moral agents. In the dialog, these features of moral imperativity are analytically distinguished in a brief public discussion and critically reflected in perspective to moral philosophy.


Keywordsmorality, values, principles, claims, moral choice, moral experience
Publication date30.03.2020
Number of characters54905
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