David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (1-2):67-85 (2013)
Immanuel Kant's moral thesis is that reason alone must identify moral laws. Examining various interpretations of his ethics, this essay shows that the thesis fails. G. W. F. Hegel criticizes Kant's Formula of Universal Law as an empty formalism. Although Christine Korsgaard's Logical and Practical Contradiction Interpretations, Barbara Herman's contradiction in conception and contradiction in will tests, and Kenneth Westphal's paired use of Kant's universalization test all refute what Allen Wood calls a stronger form of the formalism charge, they are not free from a weaker form of it. Some philosophers try to avoid both forms of the formalism charge in the following ways: First, some underline the roles of Kant's other formulas. Second, some interpret the Formula of Universal Law teleologically. Third, some claim that a maxim must be something all those potentially affected by it can rationally accept. Fourth, Robert Louden introduces the empirical to evaluate a maxim. All those attempts introduce heteronomy into Kant's ethics. Besides, on the third response, from the fact that all those potentially affected accept a maxim, it does not follow that it is morally right. It is impossible to avoid the formalism charge without making his ethics heteronomous. Thus, Kant's ethics is either empty or heteronomous. Either way it fails to identify moral laws by reason alone.
|Keywords||Immanuel Kant Practical Reason Categorical Imperative Moral Laws Formalism Heteronomy Consensus Discourse Ethics Moral Epistemology Metaethics|
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Julian Wuerth (2013). Sense and Sensibility in Kant's Practical Agent: Against the Intellectualism of Korsgaard and Sidgwick. European Journal of Philosophy 21 (1):1-36.
Timothy Rosenkoetter (2011). Kant on Construction, Apriority, and the Moral Relevance of Universalization. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (6):1143 - 1174.
Andrews Reath (2010). Contemporary Kantian Ethics. In John Skorupski (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Ethics. Routledge.
Christine M. Korsgaard, A Reply to Carol Voeller and Rachel Cohon: “The Moral Law as the Source of Normativity” by Carol Voeller "The Roots of Reason" by Rachel Cohon.
Jennifer A. McMahon (2010). The Classical Trinity and Kant's Aesthetic Formalism. Critical Horizons 11 (3):419-441.
Japa Pallikkathayil (2010). Deriving Morality From Politics: Rethinking the Formula of Humanity. Ethics 121 (1):116-147.
Jordan Howard Sobel (1997). Kant's Compass. Erkenntnis 46 (3):365-392.
Noriaki Iwasa (2013). On Three Defenses of Sentimentalism. Prolegomena 12 (1):61-82.
Lara Denis (2007). Abortion and Kant's Formula of Universal Law. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (4):547-580.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads78 ( #19,767 of 1,139,847 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #39,742 of 1,139,847 )
How can I increase my downloads?