Dissertation, University of Toronto (2010)
|Abstract||In his early writings, Kant says that the solution to the puzzle of how morality can serve as a motivating force in human life is nothing less than the “philosophers’ stone.” In this dissertation I show that for years Kant searched for the philosophers’ stone in the concept of “respect” (Achtung), which he understood as the complex effect practical reason has on feeling. I sketch the history of that search in Chapters 1-2. In Chapter 3 I show that Kant’s analysis in Groundwork I is incomplete because it does not explain how respect functions as a feeling in motivating choice. In Chapter 4 I argue that Kant’s subsequent attempt to sidestep this explanation in Groundwork III is unsuccessful, and that his position remains open to a skeptical threat. The argument in the second Critique, which I reconstruct in Chapters 5-6, overcomes this threat, and in doing so explains how the feeling of respect is both painful and pleasurable. In the course of defending these claims, I provide an alternative reading of the shift in Kant’s ethical project from the Groundwork of 1785 to the second Critique of 1788 Against a common view in the literature, I argue that the shift does not concern the direction of Kant’s deduction (from freedom to morality, or morality to freedom); rather, it concerns his view of human sensibility and the resources he thinks we have to make our practical self-understanding intelligible. In the second Critique, I argue, Kant develops a novel approach to moral feeling from the perspective of the human agent; and this in turn clears room in his ethics for a new kind of a priori knowledge—namely, knowledge of what the activity of practical reason must feel like. By way of conclusion, I offer a few reasons for why the form of Kant’s argument in the second Critique is still relevant today, as it shows why we can only address moral skepticism from a first-personal perspective.|
|Keywords||Kant Ethics Moral Sensibility Motivational Skepticism|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Sergio Tenenbaum (2011). The Idea of Freedom and Moral Cognition in Groundwork III. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3):555-589.
Sergio Tenenbaum (2012). Idea of Freedom and Moral Cognition in Groundwork III. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3):555-589.
Melissa Zinkin (2006). Respect for the Law and the Use of Dynamical Terms in Kant's Theory of Moral Motivation. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 88 (1):31-53.
Melissa Zinkin (2012). Kant and the Pleasure of “Mere Reflection”. Inquiry 55 (5):433-453.
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.
Paul Guyer (2007). Naturalistic and Transcendental Moments in Kant's Moral Philosophy. Inquiry 50 (5):444 – 464.
Henry E. Allison (1990). Kant's Theory of Freedom. Cambridge University Press.
Carol W. Voeller (2001). The Metaphysics of the Moral Law: Kant's Deduction of Freedom. Garland Pub..
Kenneth R. Westphal (1997). Noumenal Causality Reconsidered: Affection, Agency, and Meaning in Kant. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 27 (2):209 - 245.
Markos Valaris (2008). Inner Sense, Self-Affection, and Temporal Consciousness in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Philosophers' Imprint 8 (4):1-18.
Jens Timmermann (ed.) (2009). Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals: A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press.
Rachel Zuckert (2007). Kant's Rationalist Aesthetics. Kant-Studien 98 (4):443-463.
Sally S. Sedgwick (2008). Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press.
Timothy Rosenkoetter (2011). Kant on Construction, Apriority, and the Moral Relevance of Universalization. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (6):1143 - 1174.
Added to index2011-04-25
Total downloads32 ( #37,982 of 549,533 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #37,418 of 549,533 )
How can I increase my downloads?