David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
History of Philosophy Quarterly 27 (1) (2010)
Morality, as Immanuel Kant understands it, depends on the capacity of a person to be the agent and owner of his own actions, not merely a conduit for social and psychological forces and influences over which he has little or no control. As a result, Kant’s moral philosophy focuses primarily on the topic of individual freedom and the necessary preconditions of the possibility of that freedom. In the Groundwork and second Critique, Kant’s discussion of the connection between morality and freedom centers on autonomy of the will. He identifies autonomy as the supreme principle of morality and defines it as “choos[ing] only in such a way that the maxims of your choice are also included as universal law in the same volition” (Gr 4:440). In this paper I argue that according to Kant the possibility of autonomous action requires that certain preconditions be met. Satisfying these preconditions requires an individual to be a member of civil society (status civilis), and, specifically, a civil society maintained by a strong, sovereign power. This connection between freedom and civil society exists on two levels. First, one precondition of autonomy (i.e., internal freedom) is liberty (i.e., external freedom), and an individual can secure his liberty only once he is a member of civil society. Second, an individual is free only when others recognize him as a being with the capacity for autonomous action, and joining civil society is the process by which this recognition takes place.
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Lorenzo Fioramonti (2005). Civil Societies and Democratization: Assumptions, Dilemmas and the South African Experience. Theoria 44 (107):65-88.
Sungmoon Kim (2010). Beyond Liberal Civil Society: Confucian Familism and Relational Strangership. Philosophy East and West 60 (4):476-498.
Helga Varden (2008). Kant's Non-Voluntarist Conception of Political Obligations: Why Justice is Impossible in the State of Nature. Kantian Review 13 (2):1-45.
Chiara Cordelli (2013). How Privatization Threatens the Private. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 16 (1):65-87.
Onora O'Neill (2003). The Inaugural Address: Autonomy: The Emperor's New Clothes. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 77:1 - 21.
Sholomo Avineri (1986). The Paradox of Civil Society in the Structure of Hegel's Views of Sittlichkeit. Philosophy and Theology 1 (2):157-172.
Gerald Doppelt (1993). The Moral Limits of Feinberg's Liberalism. Inquiry 36 (3):255 – 286.
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.
Gideon Baker (2001). Civil Society Theory and Republican Democracy. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 4 (2):59-84.
Chris W. Surprenant (2007). Cultivating Virtue: Moral Progress and the Kantian State. Kantian Review 12 (1):90-112.
Added to index2010-06-11
Total downloads59 ( #26,602 of 1,102,742 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #120,386 of 1,102,742 )
How can I increase my downloads?