Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (1):1-28 (2001)
|Abstract||Many philosophers have portrayed Kant as having little of interest or merit to say about personal relationships--especially marriage. I argue that we can glean a compelling ideal of marriage from Kant’s ethical theory if we draw on Kant’s ideal of friendship (and on the formula of humanity, on which that ideal is based). Indeed, Kant himself often compares marriage and friendship, though he says that it is friendship rather than marriage that contains the maximum of reciprocal love balanced with respect. I suggest that we cannot forge this Kantian ideal of marriage, however, without challenging Kant on a number of points. I argue that we must disregard a variety of Kant’s views about women and men, soften Kant’s insistence on both equality and distance between friends, and place more importance on the emotion of love in both friendship and marriage.|
|Keywords||Kantian ethics friendship sex marriage women|
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