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In this chapter I shall be concerned with stage I of Gewirth's argument, in which he argues that the agent must value her freedom and well-being as necessary goods. Stage I has attracted less criticism over the years than stages II and III, but even so, a good deal has been written about it. I do not claim to have found any brand new objection to Gewirth's argument. The core of my objection occurred to me during my first reading of Reason and Morality, and it obviously occurred to a number of other people as well. 3 But it is clear that there is not yet universal agreement on the merits of Gewirth's argument, and the argument is important enough so that it is worth trying to establish definitively whether or not it succeeds.


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