Deriving morality from politics: Rethinking the formula of humanity

Ethics 121 (1):116-147 (2010)
Kant's Formula of Humanity famously forbids treating others merely as a means. It is unclear, however, what exactly treating someone merely as a means comes to. This essay argues against an interpretation of this idea advanced by Christine Korsgaard and Onora O'Neill. The essay then develops a new interpretation that suggests an important connection between the Formula of Humanity and Kant's political philosophy: the content of many of our moral duties depends on the results of political philosophy and, indeed, on the results of actual political decision making.
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