Graduate studies at Western
Southern Journal of Philosophy 37 (1):25-41 (1999)
|Abstract||Kant claims that we have a duty to promote our own moral perfection, but not the moral perfection of others. I examine three types of argument for this asymmetry, as well as the implications of these arguments--and their success or failure--for Kantian theory. The arguments I consider say that (first) to promote others’ perfection is impossible; (second) to try to promote others’ perfection is impermissible; and (third) one cannot be obligated to promote both others’ perfection and one’s own. I argue that none of these arguments establishes Kant’s conclusion. Since the formula of humanity grounds a duty to promote our own perfection out of respect for our rational nature, the absence of an argument denying that we must promote others’ perfection suggests that we must do so (out of respect for their rational nature). Even so, Kant’s theory discourages moral paternalism and takes perfection to be a primarily self-regarding project. Thus, I also show that a Kantian duty to promote the moral perfection of others would be unobjectionable, despite the problems such a duty might initially seem to invite.|
|Keywords||Kantian ethics duties to others perfection self-other asymmetry|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
A. Boyce Gibson (1968). The Challenge of Perfection. Melbourne, Aldersgate Press.
Lara Denis (2000). Kant's Conception of Duties Regarding Animals: Reconstruction and Reconsideration. History of Philosophy Quarterly 17 (4):405-23.
James Scott Johnston (2006). The Education of the Categorical Imperative. Studies in Philosophy and Education 25 (5-6):385-402.
Kate A. Moran (forthcoming). For Community's Sake: A (Self-Respecting) Kantian Account of Forgiveness. Proceedings of the XI International Kant-Kongress.
Martin Gunderson (2007). Seeking Perfection: A Kantian Look at Human Genetic Engineering. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28 (2):87-102.
Robert Maydole (2003). The Modal Perfection Argument for the Existence of a Supreme Being. Philo 6 (2):299-313.
Carla Bagnoli (2006). The Alleged Paradox of Moral Perfection. In Elvio Baccarini (ed.), Rationality in Belief and Action,. Rijeka.
Balbir Singh (1967). The Concept of Perfection in the Teachings of Kant and the Gita. Delhi, M. Banarsidass.
Added to index2009-02-05
Total downloads46 ( #28,168 of 738,393 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #61,269 of 738,393 )
How can I increase my downloads?