Kant's Conception of Virtue
Graduate studies at Western
In Paul Guyer (ed.), Cambridge Companion to Kant and Modern Philosophy. Cambridge University Press (2006)
|Abstract||In this paper, I explicate Kant’s theory of virtue and situate it within the context of theories of virtue before Kant (such as Aristotle, Hobbes, and Hume) and after Kant (such as Schiller and Schopenhauer). I explore Kant’s notions of virtue as a disposition to do one’s duty out of respect for the moral law, as moral strength in non-holy wills, as the moral disposition in conflict, and as moral self-constraint based on inner freedom. I distinguish between Kant’s notions of virtue and of the good will. I discuss Kant’s duties of virtue (and so particular virtues and vices), the relationships between virtue and happiness and virtue and the emotions, and Kant’s criticisms of his predecessors’ views of virtue. I close with a discussion of Kant and contemporary virtue ethics. Although the paper reflects my own interpretation of Kant, it strives less to argue for a particular thesis about Kant on virtue than to illuminate important aspects of Kant’s theory of virtue|
|Keywords||Kantian ethics virtue virtues|
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