Kant: Ethics

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Edited by Owen Ware (University of Toronto, St. George Campus, University of Toronto at Mississauga)
About this topic
Summary There are three fundamental questions guiding Kant's ethics: (1) What is the supreme principle of morality? (2) What makes this principle binding? and (3) What duties arise from it? In answering the first question, Kant seeks to derive a principle of morality from the universal form we are capable of giving our maxims, whereby we exercise our power of self-legislation or what Kant calls ‘autonomy’. In answering the second question, Kant seeks to justify the principle of autonomy as a presupposition of rational agency and as a ‘fact’ illustrated in common moral thought, judgment, and feeling. In answering the third question, Kant offers a system of duties, both self-regarding and other-regarding. While commentators disagree over its ultimate success, Kant’s ethics presents us with one of the most systematic accounts of morality, autonomy, and agency in the history of moral thought, and it continues to have a lasting influence on contemporary ethics.
Key works The Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals (Kant 2011) is Kant’s first book devoted to ethics, although he worked on similar issues much earlier. Other key works include the Critique of Practical Reason (Kant 1997) and the Metaphysics of Morals (Kant 1996). Kant’s Religion Within the Boundaries of Mere Reason (Kant 1996), while guided by historical and theological questions, also contains insights relevant for his ethics.
Introductions For comprehensive studies, see Allison 1990Korsgaard 1996, Wood 1999Guyer 2000Reath 2006, and the collection of essays in Hill Jr 2009. For contemporary versions of Kantian ethics, see Herman 2007Korsgaard 2009, and Hill 2012.
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  1. JOAD, C. E. M. -Guide to the Philosophy of Morals and Politics. [REVIEW]H. B. Acton - 1939 - Mind 48:249.
  2. Iller's Kant's Doctrine of Freedom. [REVIEW]George P. Adams - 1915 - Journal of Philosophy 12 (22):613.
  3. My Station and its Duties: Ideals and the Social Embeddedness of Virtue.Julia Adams - 2002 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 102 (2):109–123.
  4. Religie En Ethiek Bij Kant.Hendrik Adriaanse - 2003 - de Uil Van Minerva 19:3-18.
  5. A Splitting “Mind-Ache”: AN ANSCOMBEAN CHALLENGE TO KANTIAN SELF-LEGISLATION.Reshef Agam-Segal - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Research 38:43-68.
    I problematize the notion of self-legislation. I follow in Elizabeth Anscombe’s footsteps and suggest that on a plausible reading of Kant, he does not so much misidentify the sources of moral normativity, as fail to identify any such sources in the first place: The set of terms with which the Kantian is attempting to do so is confused. Interpreters today take Kant’s legal language to be merely metaphorical. The language of ‘self-legislation,’ in particular, is replaced by such interpreters with a (...)
  6. Kant’s Non-Aristotelian Conception of Morality.Reshef Agam-Segal - 2012 - Southwest Philosophy Review 28 (1):121-133.
    I make a case for a non-Aristotelian reading of Kant’s moral philosophy. In particular, I distinguish between two activities called “self-legislation”: Aristotelian and Kantian. Aristotelian self-legislation is the activity of determining the organizing principle of our own practical life. Every action of ours takes part in this project, which is thus part of the principle of every action. In contrast, not all actions are acts of Kantian self-legislation. To legislate for ourselves in this sense is to be involved in an (...)
  7. Originality-Art of Being Oneself.U. Agnew - 1976 - Humanitas 12 (1):49-58.
  8. Early Notions of Global Governance: Selected Eighteenth-Century Proposals for 'Perpetual Peace' with Rousseau, Bentham, and Kant - Unabridged.Esref Aksu - 2008 - University of Wales Press.
    Despite the centrality of the topic of peace to international studies and the proliferation of volumes by such groundbreaking thinkers as Rousseau, Bentham, and Kant, there is no single text available that caters to this aspect of eighteenth-century political theory. Addressing this gap by providing a contemporary compilation of the eighteenth-century “perpetual peace” proposals together with a cogent introduction to the topic’s contemporary links to global governance and cosmopolitan democracy, this volume features full-text proposals by Rousseau, Bentham, and Kant, as (...)
  9. Kant's Justification of the Role of Maxims in Ethics.Michael Albrecht - 2009 - In Karl Ameriks, Otfried Höffe & Nicolas Walker (eds.), Kant's Moral and Legal Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
  10. Kant on Animals.Lucy Allais & John Callanan (eds.) - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
  11. What a Young Girl Ought to Know, by M. Wood-Allen and S. Stall.Mary Wood- Allen & Sylvanus Stall - 1897
  12. The Psycho-Physiology of the Moral Imperative.Arthur Allin - 1898 - Psychological Review 5 (2):228-229.
  13. The Coherence of Kant's Doctrine of Freedom.Henry E. Allison, Bernard Carnois & David Booth - 1990 - Philosophical Review 99 (1):117.
  14. Kant and Applied Ethics: The Uses and Limits of Kant's Practical Philosophy.Matthew C. Altman - 2011 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    _Kant and Applied Ethics_ makes an important contribution to Kant scholarship, illuminating the vital moral parameters of key ethical debates. Offers a critical analysis of Kant’s ethics, interrogating the theoretical bases of his theory and evaluating their strengths and weaknesses Examines the controversies surrounding the most important ethical discussions taking place today, including abortion, the death penalty, and same-sex marriage Joins innovative thinkers in contemporary Kantian scholarship, including Christine Korsgaard, Allen Wood, and Barbara Herman, in taking Kant’s philosophy in new (...)
  15. Subjecting Ourselves to Capital Punishment: A Rejoinder to Kantian Retributivism.Matthew C. Altman - 2005 - Public Affairs Quarterly 19 (4):247-264.
  16. Understanding Moral Obligation: Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, by Robert Stern.Mark Alznauer - 2014 - Mind 123 (492):1246-1249.
  17. Certainty and Practical Reason: Kant's Practical Response to Epistemological Skepticism.Abraham Bruce Anderson - 1986 - Dissertation, Columbia University
    Certainty and Practical Reason is concerned with Kant's practical response to epistemological skepticism and radical doubt. ;It begins from Kant's remark that the concept of freedom is the keystone of the arch of reason, theoretical as well as practical, and sustains reason against skepticism; and from Kant's account of the practical motives of transcendental realism, the source of skepticism, in the First and Second Critiques. The Critiques suggest both that Kant's response to skepticism is practical, and that skepticism is itself (...)
  18. Politics and Morals. [REVIEW]John Anderson - 1954 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 32:213.
  19. Theory and Practice in Morals.John Anderson - 1929 - Australasian Journal of Psychology and Philosophy 7 (4):297-300.
  20. Ethics in Linguistic Space and the Challenge of Morality.John Peter Anderson - 2000 - Dissertation, University of Virginia
    For Kant and his followers, pure reason can be practical, and its substantive practical command is, broadly speaking, that we treat ourselves and others as worthy of respect as free and equal. If those who have defended the Kantian morality system are correct, this moral imperative will not be authoritative and inescapable simply because we don't know how to coherently reweave our practical commitments so as to leave it out, but because it is presupposed by the possibility of practical reason. (...)
  21. Moral Principles and Modal Categories: A New Reading of Kant's Critique of Practical Reason.Sharon Anderson-Gold - 1985 - Philosophical Topics 13 (3):7-18.
  22. Teleology and Radical Evil: An Interpretation of the Concept of Species Character in Kant's Philosophy of History.Sharon Rae Anderson-Gold - 1980 - Dissertation, New School for Social Research
    This dissertation focuses on the relation between Kant's philosophy of history and his ethics. It has been claimed that Kant's writings on history contradict his ethics and have no systematic value for his philosophy. Therefore, Kant's writings on history cannot be taken seriously. This objection can be summarized as follows. Kant's philosophy of history implies a notion of moral progress. Earlier generations stand in a means-ends relation to later generations. This contradicts the concept of the absolute value of the individual (...)
  23. A. Heller, A Philosophy of Morals. [REVIEW]Keith Ansell-Pearson - 1990 - Radical Philosophy 56:51.
  24. Universal Principles and Particular (Incommensurable?) Decisions and Forms of Life–a Problem of Ethics That is Both Post-Kantian and Post-Wittgensteinian.K. O. Apel - 1990 - In Peter Winch & Raimond Gaita (eds.), Value and Understanding: Essays for Peter Winch. Routledge. pp. 72--101.
  25. Recentring Humanity.Josie Appleton - 2006 - In Dolan Cummings (ed.), Debating Humanism. Imprint Academic. pp. 26--93.
  26. 7. The Balance of Extremes: Metaphysics, Nature, and Morals in the Later Philosophy of Bernard Bosanquet.Leslie Armour - 2005 - In William Sweet (ed.), Bernard Bosanquet and the Legacy of British Idealism. University of Toronto Press. pp. 147-177.
  27. The Kingdom of Ends in Morals and Law.Leslie Armour & Chhatrapati Singh - 1986 - Indian Philosophical Quarterly 13 (1):13.
  28. The Groundwork of Science: A Study of Epistemology.A. C. Armstrong - 1899 - Psychological Review 6 (1):107-109.
  29. Kant's Theory of Juridical Duties and Their Legislation: An Examination of the Relationship of Law and Morality According to "Metaphysik der Sitten".Sven Arntzen - 1988 - Dissertation, The Johns Hopkins University
    Kant has made an attempt in his Doctrine of Law to show that the principles of natural Law are a priori principles of pure practical reason. He considers this a necessary step towards establishing the obligating force of positive legislation within a legal system. It is not obvious, however, that Law, which recognizes external coercion as a possible incentive for the compliance with its duties, can be reconciled with pure practical reason, which through the categorical imperative commands that one fulfill (...)
  30. Hegel and the Prospect of Perpetual Peace.Robert Arp - 1999 - Diálogos. Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad de Puerto Rico 34 (74):71-100.
  31. Hegel's Prospect of Perpetual Peace.Robert Arp - 1999 - Diálogos. Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad de Puerto Rico 34 (74):71-100.
  32. Kant on the Emotion of Love.Christopher Arroyo - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (3):580-606.
    Although recent Kant scholarship has focused on Kant's treatment of various emotions, one that has not received much attention is love. There are three main reasons for this. First, Kant does not have a single, sustained analysis of the emotion of love; what he does say appears scattered throughout his corpus. Second, Kant identifies a number of different kinds of love, and it is not always clear which kinds are emotions or how the different kinds of love are related. Finally, (...)
  33. Philosophy and History. Raymond Klibansky, H. J. Paton.M. F. Ashley-Montagu - 1937 - Isis 27 (2):358-360.
  34. Categorical Imperatives.R. F. Atkinson - 1977 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 51 (1):1-20.
  35. Sex and Morals.R. F. Atkinson, C. H. Whiteley & Winifred M. Whiteley - 1968 - Philosophical Quarterly 18 (71):181.
  36. A Duty to Be Charitable? A Rigoristic Reading of Kant.Peter Atterton - 2007 - Kant-Studien 98 (2):135-155.
    To be beneficent, that is, to promote according to one's means the happiness of others in need, without hoping for something in return, is every man's duty. Immanuel Kant, The Metaphysics of Morals Almost everyone agrees that we have a moral duty to pull out a drowning child from a shallow pond even if this means getting our clothes muddy. But what are the limits of the duty of beneficence? In “Famine, Affluence and Morality”, which first appeared in 1972, Peter (...)
  37. P.C. Lo, Treating Persons As Ends: An Essay On Kant's Moral Philosophy. [REVIEW]John Atwell - 1988 - Philosophy in Review 8:173-175.
  38. Fallacies in Two Objections to Kant's First Defense of the Duty of Beneficence in the Grundlegung.John E. Atwell - 1995 - Argumentation 9 (4):633-643.
    The two best known objections to Kant's first defense of the duty of beneficence are examined and found to be fallacious. The first objection relies on the possibility of imagining an individual who would be willing for the maxim of nonbeneficence to be a universal law (but it fails to recognize that such an individual is not a rational person and thus not subject to morality at all); and the second objection, while granting the nonuniversalizability of the maxim of nonbeneficence, (...)
  39. Kant and the Duty to Promote Others’ Happiness.John E. Atwell - 1995 - Proceedings of the Eighth International Kant Congress 1:727-733.
  40. PC Lo, Treating Persons as Ends: An Essay on Kant's Moral Philosophy Reviewed By.John E. Atwell - 1988 - Philosophy in Review 8 (5):173-175.
  41. La Prudence Chez Kant.Pierre Aubenque - 1975 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 80 (2):156 - 182.
  42. Means, Ends, and Persons: The Meaning and Psychological Dimensions of Kant's Humanity Formula.Robert Audi - 2015 - Oxford University Press USA.
    This book is a full-scale account of the morally important ideas of treating persons merely as means and treating them as ends. Audi clarifies these independently of Kant, but with implications for understanding him, and presents a theory of conduct that enhances their usefulness both in ethical theory and in practical ethics.
  43. Chapter IV: Concluding Remarks on the Groundwork.Bruce Aune - 1980 - In Kant's Theory of Morals. Princeton University Press. pp. 104-130.
  44. Kant on Religious Moral Education.Dennis Vanden Auweele - 2015 - Kantian Review 20 (3):373-394.
    While scholars are slowly coming to realize that Kants reflections on religion in parts II and III of Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason interpret religion specifically as one aspect of moral education, namely moral ascetics. After first clearly distinguishing between a cognitive and a conative aspect of moral education, I show how certain historical religious practices serve to provide the conative aspect of moral education. Kant defines this aspect of moral education as practices that render the human agent. (...)
  45. For the Love of God: Kant on Grace.Dennis Vanden Auweele - 2014 - International Philosophical Quarterly 54 (2):175-190.
    Most philosophers do not read Kant’s philosophy of religion as providing a foundation for Christianity, or even as in line with it. Recently, however, a number of so-called “affirmative Kantians” have argued that Kant’s philosophy of religion explicitly aims at recovering the spirit of Christianity. In this article I scrutinize this claim with regard to Kant’s conceptualization of “grace” as a supplement to his moral theory. Contrary to these “affirmative Kantians,” I argue that Kant’s account of grace stems from Kant’s (...)
  46. Kant's Moral Teleology.Thomas Paul Auxter - 1973 - Dissertation, Bryn Mawr College
  47. Idealism and Freedom: Essays on Kant’s Theoretical and Practical PhiIosophy. [REVIEW]Sidney Axinn - 2004 - International Studies in Philosophy 36 (4):104-105.
  48. Creating the Kingdom of Ends. [REVIEW]Sldney Axlnn - 2003 - International Studies in Philosophy 35 (4):321-323.
  49. Life and Morals.J. L. B. & S. J. Holmes - 1949 - Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):82.
  50. A Review of the Principal Questions in Morals. [REVIEW]J. L. B., Richard Price & D. Daiches Raphael - 1949 - Journal of Philosophy 46 (22):733.
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