The formation of Kant's casuistry and method problems of applied ethics

Kant-Studien 100 (3):332-345 (2009)
Abstract
This paper examines the methodological problem of casuistry by reference to Immanuel Kant's position on it. He addressed “Casuistical Questions” in his last work on ethics, Metaphysik der Sitten , in order to defend his position against attacks from scholars defending an Aristotelian (and also Ciceronian) eudemonistic viewpoint. It is argued that Kantian casuistry has much in common with the Aristotelian idea of emphasizing the moral objectives and sensibility of an agent in concrete circumstances. Nevertheless, Kant did not entirely adopt the case-oriented ethical perspective because he saw the moral duty as the „wide“ one. Moral duties are wide in the sense that they demand continuous self-examination: asking whether there might be a better way to limit one's maxim by another. According to Kant, although casuistry as a case study could give moral law or duties more practicability through the training of moral judgment, the moral agent cannot use with individual cases in order to modify or devise new moral rules or duties.
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