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Kant: Moral Realism and Constructivism
  1. Carla Bagnoli (forthcoming). Constructivism About Practical Knowledge. In , Constructivism in Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
    It is largely agreed that if constructivism contributes anything to meta-ethics it is by proposing that we understand ethical objectivity “in terms of a suitably constructed point of view that all can accept” (Rawls 1980/1999: 307). Constructivists defend this “practical” conception of objectivity in contrast to the realist or “ontological” conception of objectivity, understood as an accurate representation of an independent metaphysical order. Because of their objectivist but not realist commitments, Kantian constructivists place their theory “somewhere in the space between (...)
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  2. Anne Margaret Baxley (2012). The Problem of Obligation, the Finite Rational Will, and Kantian Value Realism. Inquiry 55 (6):567-583.
    Abstract Robert Stern's Understanding Moral Obligation is a remarkable achievement, representing an original reading of Kant's contribution to modern moral philosophy and the legacy he bequeathed to his later-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century successors in the German tradition. On Stern's interpretation, it was not the threat to autonomy posed by value realism, but the threat to autonomy posed by the obligatory nature of morality that led Kant to develop his critical moral theory grounded in the concept of the self-legislating moral agent. Accordingly, (...)
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  3. Thomas M. Besch (2008). Constructing Practical Reason: O'Neill on the Grounds of Kantian Constructivism. Journal of Value Inquiry 42 (1):55-76.
    The paper addresses O'Neill's view that her version of Kant's Categorical Imperative, namely, the requirement of followability (RF), marks the supreme principle of reason; it takes issue with her claim that RF commits us to Kantian constructivism in practical philosophy. The paper distinguishes between two readings of RF: on a weak reading, RF ranges over all (practical) reasoning but does not commit to constructivism, and on a strong version RF commits to constructivism but fails to meet its own test, and (...)
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  4. Charles P. Bigger (1981). Kant's Constructivism. Southern Journal of Philosophy 19 (3):279-291.
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  5. E. Sonny Elizondo (2013). Reason in its Practical Application. Philosophers' Imprint 13 (21):1-17.
    Is practical reason a cognitive faculty? Do practical judgments make claims about a subject matter that are appropriately assessed in terms of their agreement with that subject matter? According to Kantians like Christine Korsgaard, the answer is no. To think otherwise is to conflate the theoretical and the practical, the epistemic and the ethical. I am not convinced. In this paper, I motivate my skepticism through examination of the very figure who inspires Korsgaard's rejection of cognitivism: Kant. For as I (...)
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  6. David Forman (2007). Review of Ermanno Bencivenga, Ethics Vindicated: Kant's Transcendental Legitimation of Moral Discourse. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (6).
  7. Paul Formosa (2013). Is Kant a Moral Constructivist or a Moral Realist? European Journal of Philosophy 21 (2):170-196.
    : The dominant interpretation of Kant as a moral constructivist has recently come under sustained philosophical attack by those defending a moral realist reading of Kant. In light of this, should we read Kant as endorsing moral constructivism or moral realism? In answering this question we encounter disagreement in regard to two key independence claims. First, the independence of the value of persons from the moral law (an independence that is rejected) and second, the independence of the content and authority (...)
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  8. Richard Galvin (2011). Rounding Up the Usual Suspects: Varieties of Kantian Constructivism in Ethics. Philosophical Quarterly 61 (242):16-36.
    Some commentators have attributed constructivism to Kant at the first-order level; others cast him as a meta-ethical constructivist. Among meta-ethical constructivist interpretations I distinguish between ‘atheistic’ and ‘agnostic’ versions regarding the existence of an independent moral order. Even though these two versions are incompatible, each is linked with central Kantian doctrines, revealing a tension within Kant's own view. Moreover, among interpretations that cast Kant as rejecting substantive realism but embracing procedural realism, some (i.e., those that are ‘constructivist’) face charges of (...)
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  9. Heidi Chamberlin Giannini (2013). Korsgaard and the Wille/Willkür Distinction: Radical Constructivism and the Imputability of Immoral Actions. Kant Studies Online:72-101.
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  10. Thomas E. Hill Jr (1989). Kantian Constructivism in Ethics. Ethics 99 (4):752-770.
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  11. Thomas E. Hill (2001). Hypothetical Consent in Kantian Constructivism. Social Philosophy and Policy 18 (02):300-.
  12. Alison Hills (2008). Kantian Value Realism. Ratio 21 (2):182–200.
    Why should we be interested in Kant's ethical theory? One reason is that we find his views about our moral responsibilities appealing. Anyone who thinks that we should treat other people with respect, that we should not use them as a mere means in ways to which they could not possibly consent, will be attracted by a Kantian style of ethical theory. But according to recent supporters of Kant, the most distinctive and important feature of his ethical theory is not (...)
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  13. Alison Hills (2005). Rational Nature as the Source of Value. Kantian Review 10 (1):60-81.
  14. Robert Hopkins (2001). Kant, Quasi-Realism, and the Autonomy of Aesthetic Judgement. European Journal of Philosophy 9 (2):166–189.
    Aesthetic judgements are autonomous, as many other judgements are not: for the latter, but not the former, it is sometimes justifiable to change one's mind simply because several others share a different opinion. Why is this? One answer is that claims about beauty are not assertions at all, but expressions of aesthetic response. However, to cover more than just some of the explananda, this expressivism needs combining with some analogue of cognitive command, i.e. the idea that disagreements over beuaty can (...)
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  15. Patrick Kain (2006). Constructivism, Intrinsic Normativity, and the Motivational Analysis Argument. In Heiner Klemme, Manfred Kuehn & Dieter Schönecker (eds.), Moralische Motivation. Kant und die Alternativen. (Kant-Forschungen 16). Meiner Verlag.
    This essay addresses the relationship between Kant's theory of moral motivation and theories of normativity. Constructivist or "ideal agent" theories of normativity claim that what makes a principle normative is that rational agents endorse or possess a motive of a certain kind to comply with it, or that they endorse or possess such a motive to comply with it insofar as they are rational. Korsgaard has argued that Kant's "motivational analysis" of the concept of obligation in Grundlegung I provides an (...)
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  16. Patrick Kain (2006). Realism and Anti-Realism in Kant's Second Critique. Philosophy Compass 1 (5):449–465.
    This critical survey of recent work on Kant's doctrine of the fact of reason and his doctrine of the practical postulates (of freedom, God, and immortality) assesses the implications of these doctrines for the debate about realism and antirealism in Kant's moral philosophy. Section 1 briefly surveys some salient considerations from the first Critique and Groundwork. In section 2, I argue that recent work on the role, content, "factual" nature, and epistemic status of the fact of reason does not support (...)
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  17. Patrick Kain (2004). Self-Legislation in Kant's Moral Philosophy. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 86 (3):257-306.
    Kant famously insisted that “the idea of the will of every rational being as a universally legislative will” is the supreme principle of morality. Recent interpreters have taken this emphasis on the self-legislation of the moral law as evidence that Kant endorsed a distinctively constructivist conception of morality according to which the moral law is a positive law, created by us. But a closer historical examination suggests otherwise. Kant developed his conception of legislation in the context of his opposition to (...)
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  18. Alexander Kaufman (2012). Rawls and Kantian Constructivism. Kantian Review 17 (2):227-256.
    John Rawls's account of Kantian constructivism is perhaps his most striking contribution to ethics. In this paper, I examine the relation between Rawls's constructivism and its foundation in Kantian intuitions. In particular, I focus on the progressive influence on Rawls's approach of the Kantian intuition that the substance of morality is best understood as constructed by free and equal people under fair conditions. Rawls's focus on this Kantian intuition, I argue, motivates the focus on social contract that grounds both his (...)
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  19. Christine M. Korsgaard (2003). Realism and Constructivism in Twentieth-Century Moral Philosophy. Journal of Philosophical Research 28 (Supplement):99-122.
    In this paper I trace the development of one of the central debates of late twentieth-century moral philosophy—the debate between realism and what Rawls called “constructivism.” Realism, I argue, is a reactive position that arises in response to almost every attempt to give a substantive explanation of morality. It results from the realist’s belief that such explanations inevitably reduce moral phenomena to natural phenomena. I trace this belief, and the essence of realism, to a view about the nature of concepts—that (...)
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  20. Larry Krasnoff (1999). How Kantian is Constructivism? Kant-Studien 90 (4):385-409.
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  21. Catriona Mckinnon (1997). Review: O'Neill, Towards Justice and Virtue: A Constructive Account of Practical Reasoning. [REVIEW] Kantian Review 1:171-176.
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  22. Onora O'Neill (1989). Constructions of Reason: Explorations of Kant's Practical Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
    Two centuries after they were published, Kant's ethical writings are as much admired and imitated as they have ever been, yet serious and long-standing accusations of internal incoherence remain unresolved. Onora O'Neill traces the alleged incoherences to attempts to assimilate Kant's ethical writings to modern conceptions of rationality, action and rights. When the temptation to assimilate is resisted, a strikingly different and more cohesive account of reason and morality emerges. Kant offers a "constructivist" vindication of reason and a moral vision (...)
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  23. Frederick Rauscher (2002). Kant's Moral Anti-Realism. Journal of the History of Philosophy 40 (4):477-499.
    I defend the claim that Kant is a moral antirealist, or (as he would state it) moral idealist. I first define moral realism and moral idealism, concluding that moral idealism requires that every moral property depend upon the minds of moral agents. Kant's metaethical theory is idealist regarding the nature of value, since it depends upon the voluntary choices of moral agents in pursuing particular ends, the nature of right, since the categorical imperative stems from moral agents' own reason, and (...)
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  24. Timothy Rosenkoetter (2011). Kant on Construction, Apriority, and the Moral Relevance of Universalization. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (6):1143 - 1174.
    This paper introduces a referential reading of Kant?s practical project, according to which maxims are made morally permissible by their correspondence to objects, though not the ontic objects of Kant?s theoretical project but deontic objects (what ought to be). It illustrates this model by showing how the content of the Formula of Universal Law might be determined by what our capacity of practical reason can stand in a referential relation to, rather than by facts about what kind of beings we (...)
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  25. Sergio Tenenbaum (2011). Review of Christine Korsgaard's "Self-Constitution&Quot;. [REVIEW] Ethics 121 (2):449-455.
  26. Jonathan Webber (2012). A Law Unto Oneself. Philosophical Quarterly 62 (246):170-189.
    We should understand the concept of self-legislation that is central to Kant's moral philosophy not in terms of the enactment of statute, but in terms of the way in which judges make law, by setting down and refining precedent through particular judgements. This paper presents a descriptive model of agency based on self-legislation so understood, and argues that we can read Kant's normative ethics as based on this view of agency. It is intended to contribute to contemporary debates in moral (...)
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  27. Victoria S. Wike (1983). Metaphysical Foundations of Morality in Kant. Journal of Value Inquiry 17 (3):225-233.
  28. Eric Entrican Wilson (2013). Review: Stern, Understanding Moral Obligation: Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard. [REVIEW] Kantian Review 18 (3):492-496.
Kant: Freedom
  1. Henry E. Allison (2012). Essays on Kant. Oxford University Press.
    This volume presents seventeen essays by one of the world's leading scholars on Kant. Henry E. Allison explores the nature of transcendental idealism, freedom of the will, and the concept of the purposiveness of nature. He places Kant's views in their historical context and explores their contemporary relevance to present day philosophers.
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  2. Henry E. Allison (2007). Comments on Guyer. Inquiry 50 (5):480 – 488.
    Guyer argues for four major theses. First, in his early, pre-critical discussions of morality, Kant advocated a version of rational egoism, in which freedom, understood naturalistically as a freedom from domination by both one's own inclinations and from other people, rather than happiness, is the fundamental value. From this point of view, the function of the moral law is to prescribe rules best suited to the preservation and maximization of such freedom, just as on the traditional eudaemonistic account it is (...)
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  3. Henry E. Allison (2006). Kant on Freedom of the Will. In Paul Guyer (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Kant and Modern Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. 381--415.
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  4. Henry E. Allison (1997). We Can Act Only Under the Idea of Freedom. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 71 (2):39 - 50.
  5. Henry E. Allison (1996). Idealism and Freedom: Essays on Kant's Theoretical and Practical Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
    Henry Allison is one of the foremost interpreters of the philosophy of Kant. This new volume collects all his recent essays on Kant's theoretical and practical philosophy. All the essays postdate Allison's two major books on Kant (Kant's Transcendental Idealism, 1983, and Kant's Theory of Freedom, 1990), and together they constitute an attempt to respond to critics and to clarify, develop and apply some of the central theses of those books. Two are published here for the first time. Special features (...)
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  6. Henry E. Allison (1996). Review of Kant's Compatibilism. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 105 (1).
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  7. Henry E. Allison (1996). Review: Hudson, Kant's Compatibilism. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 105 (1):125-127.
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  8. Henry E. Allison (1993). Kant on Freedom: A Reply to My Critics. Inquiry 36 (4):443 – 464.
    The first two sections of this paper are devoted respectively to the criticisms of my views raised by Stephen Engstrom and Andrews Reath at a symposium on Kant's Theory of Freedom held in Washington D.C. on 28 December 1992 under the auspices of the North American Kant Society. The third section contains my response to the remarks of Marcia Baron at a second symposium in Chicago on 24 April 1993 at the APA Western Division meetings. The fourth section deals with (...)
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  9. Henry E. Allison (1990). Kant's Theory of Freedom. Cambridge University Press.
    In his new book the eminent Kant scholar Henry Allison provides an innovative and comprehensive interpretation of Kant's concept of freedom. The author analyzes the concept and discusses the role it plays in Kant's moral philosophy and psychology. He also considers in full detail the critical literature on the subject from Kant's own time to the present day. In the first part Professor Allison argues that at the center of the Critique of Pure Reason there is the foundation for a (...)
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  10. Henry E. Allison (1989). Kant's Refutation of Materialism. The Monist 72 (2):190-208.
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  11. Henry E. Allison (1986). Morality and Freedom: Kant's Reciprocity Thesis. Philosophical Review 95 (3):393-425.
  12. Henry E. Allison (1986). The Concept of Freedom in Kant's “Semi-Critical” Ethics. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 68 (1):96-115.
  13. Karl Ameriks (2003). On Being Neither Post- nor Anti-Kantian: A Reply to Breazeale and Larmore Concerning the Fate of Autonomy. Inquiry 46 (2):272 – 292.
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  14. Karl Ameriks (2000). Kant and the Fate of Autonomy: Problems in the Appropriation of the Critical Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
    It has been argued that Kant's all-consuming efforts to place autonomy at the center of philosophy have had, in the long-run, the unintended effect of leading to the widespread discrediting of philosophy and of undermining the notion of autonomy itself. The result of this 'Copernican revolution' has seemed to many commentators the de-centring, if not the self-destruction, of the autonomous self. In this major reinterpretation of Kant and the post-Kantian response to his critical philosophy, Karl Ameriks argues that such a (...)
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  15. Karl Ameriks (1999). Idealism and Freedom. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (3):825-829.
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  16. Karl Ameriks (1994). Review: Guyer, Kant and the Experience of Freedom: Essays on Aesthetics and Morality. [REVIEW] Ethics 105 (1):207-.
  17. Karl Ameriks (1992). Review: Allison, Kant's Theory of Freedom. [REVIEW] Ethics 102 (3):655-.
  18. Karl Ameriks (1992). Kant and Hegel on Freedom: Two New Interpretations. Inquiry 35 (2):219 – 232.
    Can Kant's theory of freedom be defended in contemporary "incompatibilist" terms, as Henry Allison believes, or is it vulnerable to Hegelian criticisms of the "compatibilist" sort that Allen Wood presents? I argue that the answer to both of these questions is negative, and that there is a third option, namely that Kant's real theory of freedom is not as well off as Allison contends, nor as weak as Wood claims. Allison tries to save Kant's theory of freedom from both what (...)
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  19. Karl Ameriks (1991). Freedom and the End of Reason: On the Moral Foundation of Kant's Critical Philosophy (Review). Journal of the History of Philosophy 29 (4):684-685.
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  20. Karl Ameriks (1984). Review: Kant Über Freiheit Als Autonomie. [REVIEW] Review of Metaphysics 38 (1):136-139.
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  21. Karl Ameriks (1981). Kant's Deduction of Freedom and Morality. Journal of the History of Philosophy 19 (1):53-79.
  22. Ralf M. Bader (2009). Kant and the Categories of Freedom. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 17 (4):799-820.
    This paper provides an account of Kant's categories of freedom, explaining how they fit together and what role they are supposed to play. My interpretation places particular emphasis on the structural features that the table of the categories of freedom shares with the table of judgements and the table of categories laid out by Kant in the Critique of Pure Reason. In this way we can identify two interpretative constraints, namely (i) that the categories falling under each heading must form (...)
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