David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethics 114 (1):127-155 (2003)
Paul Guyer’s Kant on Freedom, Law, and Happiness is a collection of essays written over a period of ten years on the roles of freedom, reason, law, and happiness in Kant’s practical philosophy. The centrality of these concepts has always been acknowledged, but Guyer proposes a different way to understand their interconnections. Kant extols respect for moral law and conformity to moral principle for its own sake while at the same time celebrating the value of human freedom and autonomy. Guyer sees tensions between these two poles of Kant’s practical philosophy—obedience to law and the value of freedom. He argues: “A profound paradox can be avoided only if it can be shown that Kant intended obedience to universal law to be mandatory solely as the necessary condition for the realization of human freedom and through that freedom a systematic and unselﬁsh distribution of happiness among all persons” and that “the sheer fact of adherence to universal law is not an end in itself but is rather the means to the realization of the human potential for autonomy or freedom in both choice and action” (p. 1). One guiding theme of Guyer’s book is that Kant’s practical philosophy is based on the fundamental, and hence indemonstrable, intrinsic value of freedom, which Guyer understands as a value that is prior to the moral law, providing both an end to be realized through conformity to universal law and the basis of the authority of moral principles. Conformity to universal law has no intrinsic value in itself; it is the means to the preservation, enhancement, and full realization of human freedom, and is required because of its instrumental connection to the prior value of freedom. As he says, “freedom of choice and its natural expression in action are what human beings value most, and the fundamental principle of morality and the rules for both po-
|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
Oliver Sensen (2011). Kant's Conception of Inner Value. European Journal of Philosophy 19 (2):262-280.
Similar books and articles
Bernard Carnois (1987). The Coherence of Kant's Doctrine of Freedom. University of Chicago Press.
Henry E. Allison (2007). Comments on Guyer. Inquiry 50 (5):480 – 488.
Sergio Tenenbaum (2012). The Idea of Freedom and Moral Cognition in Groundwork III. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3):555-589.
Neil MacCormick (2008). Practical Reason in Law and Morality. Oxford University Press.
R. Sebastian (2007). Comments on Guyer. Inquiry 50 (5):489 – 496.
Carol W. Voeller (2001). The Metaphysics of the Moral Law: Kant's Deduction of Freedom. Garland Pub..
Henry E. Allison (1990). Kant's Theory of Freedom. Cambridge University Press.
Paul Guyer (2006). Kant. Routledge.
Paul Guyer (2000). Kant on Freedom, Law, and Happiness. Cambridge University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads19 ( #98,712 of 1,413,322 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #51,540 of 1,413,322 )
How can I increase my downloads?