David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 1 (11):153-157 (2007)
In contemporary discussions on practical ethics, the concepts of autonomy and dignity have frequently been opposed. This tendency has been particularly visible in controversies regarding cloning, abortion, organ sales, and euthanasia. Freedom of research and freedom of choice, as instances of professional and personal autonomy, have been cited in arguments favouring these practices, while the dignity and sanctity of human life have been evoked in arguments against them. In the moral theory of Immanuel Kant, however, the concepts of autonomy and dignity seem to coexist in mutual harmony. Respect for the freely chosen moral law and respect for the absolute value of humanity coincide, and give rise to a unified understanding of our duties toward ourselves and others. My question in this paper is, was Kant on to something here? Can autonomy and dignity, in the sense in which they are used in current debates, be brought together, and can the arguments be settled in a way that would satisfy both (or all) disagreeing parties? My answer to the question is, yes and no. Kant was definitely on to something in that he recognized two competing views in modern moral philosophy, and tried to consolidate them in an attempt to create a universal model of ethics. But in the end, he failed to fuse the two views together on equal terms. Instead, he sacrificed the modern idea of the self-governance of individuals on the altar of the premodern notion of the absolute inner worth of humanity
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Matti Häyry (2012). Protecting Humanity. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 21 (02):211-222.
Similar books and articles
M. Hayry (2005). The Tension Between Self Governance and Absolute Inner Worth in Kant's Moral Philosophy. Journal of Medical Ethics 31 (11):645-647.
Sibylle Rolf (2009). Humanity as an Object of Respect: Immanuel Kant's Anthropological Approach and the Foundation for Morality. Heythrop Journal 53 (4):594-605.
Johannes Giesinger (2012). Kant on Dignity and Education. Educational Theory 62 (6):609-620.
Ernesto V. Garcia (2000). The Social Nature of Kantian Dignity. Social Philosophy Today 16:127-139.
Richard Dean (2006). The Value of Humanity in Kant's Moral Theory. Oxford University Press.
Andrews Reath (2003). Value and Law in Kant's Moral Theory. Ethics 114 (1):127-155.
Oliver Sensen (2009). Kant's Conception of Human Dignity. Kant-Studien 100 (3):309-331.
Sergio Tenenbaum (2012). The Idea of Freedom and Moral Cognition in Groundwork III. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3):555-589.
Garrath Williams (1999). Kant and the Question of Meaning. Philosophical Forum 30 (2):115–131.
Andrews Reath (2006). Agency and Autonomy in Kant's Moral Theory. Oxford University Press.
Added to index2011-12-02
Total downloads5 ( #237,748 of 1,102,037 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #128,871 of 1,102,037 )
How can I increase my downloads?