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International Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 56, Issue 2, June 2016

Jasper van Buuren
Pages 171-186

The Difference between Moral Sources and Hypergoods

In Sources of the Self Charles Taylor makes clear that both hypergoods and moral sources are essential to the moral life. Although hypergoods and moral sources are not the same thing, Taylor’s descriptions of these concepts are quite similar, and so their distinction requires interpretation. I propose that we interpret the difference on the basis of another distinction that is central to Taylor’s thinking: that between immanence and transcendence. Whereas a moral source transcends us, a hypergood is the value of our immanent way of relating to that moral source. This interpretation requires that we first differentiate between a narrow and a wide sense of “moral source.”

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