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Summary Kant uses the notion of justification [Rechtfertigung] in various ways in his works. For instance, he talks about justification in his ethics, epistemology, aesthetics, metaphysics, philosophy of religion and political philosophy; however, he rarely reflects on the notion itself and does not provide a unified account of Rechtfertigung. In our modern pluralistic context, pioneering work on the notion by Leslie Stevenson and Andrew Chignell generated some intriguing philosophical discussions concerning the nature of the concept, in particular whether it has unity and whether it has an epistemic character, as well as concerning its relation to contemporary discussions of justification.
Key works Kant uses the term 'justification [Rechtfertigung]' or cognate terms (e.g., to justify [rechtfertigen]' in, among others, Kant 1998, the Critique of Practical Reason (in Kant 1996), Kant 2000, Hatfield 2004, Groundwork of The Metaphysics of Morals (in Kant 1996), Kant 1998, or the Metaphysics of Morals (in Kant 1996). In addition to works by Leslie Stevenson (2003) and Chignell 2007, it is worth mentioning Timmons & Baiasu 2013 - a collection of recent articles on Kant's notion of justification in the practical domain (including metaethics, ethics, legal philosophy and philosophy of religion).
Introductions A good introduction can be found in the article on Rechtfertigung from the recent Kant-Lexikon edited by Mohr, Stolzenberg and Willaschek. For an introduction to Kant's notion of justification, especially practical justification, see the introductory chapter in Timmons & Baiasu 2013.
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  1. added 2020-02-20
    3. The Quid Juris.Dennis Schulting - 2018 - In Kant’s Deduction From Apperception: An Essay on the Transcendental Deduction of the Categories. De Gruyter. pp. 28-62.
    What is the Quid Juris in Kant's Deduction? Chapter 3 from my book on the Deduction (Kant's Deduction From Apperception) provides an answer to that question, and also contains an extensive discussion of the relevant literature on this topic (Henrich, Proops, Seeberg & Longuenesse).
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  2. added 2020-02-19
    Kant, the Practical Postulates, and Clifford.Samuel J. M. Kahn - forthcoming - Contemporary Pragmatism 17 (1).
    In this paper I argue that Kant would have endorsed Clifford’s principle. The paper is divided into four sections. In the first, I review Kant’s argument for the practical postulates. In the second, I discuss a traditional objection to the style of argument Kant employs. In the third, I explain how Kant would respond to this objection and how this renders the practical postulates consistent with Clifford’s principle. In the fourth, I introduce positive grounds for thinking that Kant would have (...)
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  3. added 2019-06-06
    Justification, Objectivity, and Subjectivity in Kant’s Transcendental Deduction of the Categories.Justin B. Shaddock - 2012 - Southwest Philosophy Review 28 (1):177-185.
  4. added 2019-06-06
    Between Autonomy and Authority: Kant on the Epistemic Status of Testimony.Joseph Shieber - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (2):327-348.
  5. added 2019-06-06
    Kant's Justification of the Laws of Mechanics.Eric Watkins - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (4):539-560.
  6. added 2019-06-06
    Necessitation and Justification in Kant’s Ethics.Mark Timmons - 1992 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 22 (2):223-261.
    In the Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, Kant claims that hypothetical imperatives are analytic and that categorical imperatives are synthetic. This claim plays a crucial role in Kant’s attempt to establish moral ‘oughts’ as categorically binding on all rational agents, for by classifying moral statements according to this distinction, Kant hopes to uncover the sort of justification required to establish such statements. However, Kant’s application of the analytic/ synthetic distinction to imperatives is problematic. For one thing, this distinction was (...)
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  7. added 2019-06-06
    Proofs of God’s Existence in German Idealism. The Justification of the Absolute by Means of Modal Theory in Kant, Hegel and Weisse. [REVIEW]Günter Bleickert - 1977 - Philosophy and History 10 (1):24-27.
  8. added 2019-06-05
    Kant: Religion Within the Boundaries of Mere Reason: And Other Writings.Immanuel Kant - 1998 - Cambridge University Press.
    Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason is a key element of the system of philosophy which Kant introduced with his Critique of Pure Reason, and a work of major importance in the history of Western religious thought. It represents a great philosopher's attempt to spell out the form and content of a type of religion that would be grounded in moral reason and would meet the needs of ethical life. It includes sharply critical and boldly constructive discussions on topics (...)
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  9. added 2019-03-23
    Kant and Crusius on Belief and Practical Justification.Gabriele Gava - 2019 - Kantian Review 24 (1):53-75.
    Kant’s account of practical justification for belief has attracted much attention in the literature, especially in recent years. In this context, scholars have generally emphasized the originality of Kant’s thought about belief (Glaube), and Kant indeed offers a definition of belief that is very different from views that were prevalent in eighteenth-century Germany. In this article, however, I argue that it is very likely that Christian August Crusius exerted influence on Kant’s definition of belief and his account of practical justification. (...)
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  10. added 2017-11-13
    Reply to Watt: Epistemic Humility, Objective Validity, Logical Derivability.Dennis Schulting - 2017 - Critique (November):o-o.
  11. added 2017-02-02
    Problems of Kantian Nonconceptualism and the Transcendental Deduction.Dennis Schulting - 2017 - In Kant's Radical Subjectivism. Perspectives on the Transcendental Deduction. London, UK: Palgrave. pp. 195-255.
    In this paper, I discuss the debate on Kant and nonconceptual content. Inspired by Kant’s account of the intimate relation between intuition and concepts, McDowell (1996) has forcefully argued that the relation between sensible content and concepts is such that sensible content does not severally contribute to cognition but always only in conjunction with concepts. This view is known as conceptualism. Recently, Kantians Robert Hanna and Lucy Allais, among others, have brought against this view the charge that it neglects the (...)
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  12. added 2017-02-02
    Gap? What Gap? On the Transcendental Unity of Apperception and the Necessary Application of the Categories.Dennis Schulting - 2017 - In Kant's Radical Subjectivism. Perspectives on the Transcendental Deduction. London, UK: Palgrave. pp. 141-191.
  13. added 2017-02-02
    Kant's Deduction From Apperception.Dennis Schulting - 2017 - In Kant's Radical Subjectivism. Perspectives on the Transcendental Deduction. London, UK: Palgrave. pp. 53-96.
  14. added 2016-08-12
    Kant on Opinion, Belief, and Knowledge.Thomas Höwing - 2016 - In The Highest Good in Kant’s Philosophy. De Gruyter. pp. 201-222.
    The paper addresses an exegetical puzzle that is raised by Kant's distinction between opining (Meinen), believing (Glauben), and knowing (Wissen). In presenting his moral arguments, Kant often points out that belief, as he conceives of it, has a unique feature: it requires non-epistemic justification. Yet Kant's official formulation of the tripartite distinction runs counter to this claim. It describes Belief in terms of a set of two features, each of which also pertains to either opinion or knowledge. My aim in (...)
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  15. added 2016-03-18
    Kant's Deduction From Apperception: A Reply to My Critics.Dennis Schulting - 2014 - Studi Kantiani 27:95-115.
  16. added 2015-08-27
    Probleme des ‚Kantianischen‘ Nonkonzeptualismus Im Hinblick Auf Die B-Deduktion.Dennis Schulting - 2015 - Kant-Studien 106 (4):561-580.
    :Recently, Allais, Hanna and others have argued that Kant is a nonconceptualist about intuition and that intuitions refer objectively, independently of the functions of the understanding. Kantian conceptualists have responded, which the nonconceptualists also cite as textual evidence for their reading) that this view conflicts with the central goal of Kant’s Transcendental Deduction: to argue that all intuitions are subject to the categories. I argue that the conceptualist reading of KrV, A 89 ff./B 122 ff. is unfounded. Further, I argue (...)
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  17. added 2015-08-25
    Kant’s Transcendental Idealism and His Transcendental Deduction.Justin B. Shaddock - 2015 - Kantian Review 20 (2):265-288.
    I argue for a novel, non-subjectivist interpretation of Kant’s transcendental idealism. Kant’s idealism is often interpreted as specifying how we must experience objects or how objects must appear to us. I argue to the contrary by appealing to Kant’s Transcendental Deduction. Kant’s Deduction is the proof that the categories are not merely subjectively necessary conditions we need for our cognition, but objectively valid conditions necessary for objects to be appearances. My interpretation centres on two claims. First, Kant’s method of self-knowledge (...)
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  18. added 2015-06-01
    Testimony and Kant’s Idea of Public Reason.Kjartan Koch Mikalsen - 2010 - Res Publica 16 (1):23-40.
    It is common to interpret Kant’s idea of public reason and the Enlightenment motto to ‘think for oneself’ as incompatible with the view that testimony and judgement of credibility is essential to rational public deliberation. Such interpretations have led to criticism of contemporary Kantian approaches to deliberative democracy for being intellectualistic, and for not considering our epistemic dependence on other people adequately. In this article, I argue that such criticism is insufficiently substantiated, and that Kant’s idea of public reason is (...)
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  19. added 2015-05-08
    Kant on Practical Justification: Interpretive Essays. [REVIEW]Markus Kohl - 2014 - Kantian Review 19 (2):332-338.
  20. added 2015-05-08
    Why Reflective Equilibrium? I: Reflexivity of Justification.Svein Eng - 2014 - Ratio Juris 27 (1):138-154.
    In A Theory of Justice (1971), John Rawls introduces the concept of “reflective equilibrium.” Although there are innumerable references to and discussions of this concept in the literature, there is, to the present author's knowledge, no discussion of the most important question: Why reflective equilibrium? In particular, the question arises: Is the method of reflective equilibrium applicable to the choice of this method itself? Rawls's drawing of parallels between Kant's moral theory and his own suggests that his concept of “reflective (...)
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  21. added 2015-05-08
    Necessity and Possibility: The Logical Strategy of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (Review).Philip Dwyer - 2010 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (3):402-403.
    This book is a foray into the thorny interpretive issue of what to make of Kant's so-called "Metaphysical Deduction" of the categories. As with many of the arguments in the first Critique, the claim of the Metaphysical Deduction is easier to make out than its argument. The claim is that by some or other reference to "general logic," one may obtain a "transcendental logic," i.e., a justification (or "deduction") of the categories (of the understanding) necessary to the (very) possibility of (...)
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  22. added 2015-05-08
    The Principle of Right: Practical Reason and Justification in Kant's Ethical and Political Philosophy.Alison Hills - 2007 - Politics and Ethics Review 3 (1):24-36.
    The principle of right is Kant's main formulation of the rules of politics, and it has obvious affinities with the moral law. Do we have moral reasons to obey the principle? I argue that we may have moral reasons to obey the principle ourselves, but not coercively to enforce it. Do we have prudential reasons to obey the principle? I argue that we do not have reasons based on happiness, but that we may have prudential reasons of a wholly different, (...)
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  23. added 2015-05-08
    The Place of Punishment in Kant's Rechtslehre.Paul Gorner - 2000 - Kantian Review 4:121-130.
    If Kant had never written the section of the Rechtslehre on punishment we would still have known from the Critique of Practical Reason that he held a strongly retributive view of punishment. But it is not a view which we could have inferred from the rest of the Rechtslehre. Despite its intuitive appeal, Kant's justification of judicial punishment simply does not fit the account of right he gives in the Rechtslehre. According to this account the only justification for coercion is (...)
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  24. added 2015-05-08
    Kant's Justification of Freedom.Michael Henry Mccarthy - 1973 - Dissertation, University of Toronto (Canada)
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  25. added 2015-05-07
    ‘Constructivism, Contractarianism and Basic Obligations: Kant and Gauthier’.Kenneth R. Westphal - forthcoming - In J.-C. Merle (ed.), Reading Kant’s Doctrine of Right.
    Gauthier’s contractarianism begins with an idea of a rational deliberator but ‘finds no basis for postulating a moral need for the justification of one’s actions to others. The role of agreement is to address each person’s demand that the constraints of society be justified to him, not a concern that he justify himself to his fellows’ (Gauther 1997, 134–5). He contrasts his view with Scanlon’s contractualism, according to which agreement with others is the core of morality and each agent has (...)
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  26. added 2015-05-07
    Kant's Justification of Welfare.Sorin Baiasu - 2014 - Diametros 39:1-28.
    For several decades, theorists interested in Kant’s discussion of welfare have puzzled over Kant’s position on the issue of the redistribution of goods in society. They have done this both in order to clarify his position and as a source of inspiration for current conceptual problems faced by contemporary political philosophers who attempt to reconcile the ideal of equal freedom with the asymmetric interference necessary for redistribution and social provision. In this paper, I start with Kant’s brief discussion of welfare (...)
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  27. added 2015-05-07
    Is Kant (W)Right? – On Kant’s Regulative Ideas and Wright’s Entitlements.Jochen Briesen - 2013 - Kant-Yearbook 5 (1):1-32.
    This paper discusses a structural analogy between Kant’s theory of regulative ideas, as he develops it in the Appendix to the Transcendental Dialectic, and Crispin Wright’s theory of epistemic entitlements. First, I argue that certain exegetical difficulties with respect to the Appendix rest on serious systematic problems, which – given other assumptions of the Critique of Pure Reason – Kant is unable to solve. Second, I argue that because of the identified structural analogy between Kant’s and Wright’s views the project (...)
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  28. added 2015-05-07
    Kant’s [Moral] Constructivism and Rational Justification.Kenneth R. Westphal - 2011 - In Pihlström & Williams Baiasu (ed.), Politics and Metaphysics in Kant. Wales University Press.
    This paper characterises concisely a key issue about rational justification which highlights an important achievement of Kant’s constructivist method for identifying and justifying basic norms: uniquely, it resolves the Pyrrhonian Dilemma of the Criterion. Kant’s constructivist method is both sound and significant because it is based on core principles of rational justification as such. Explicating this basis of Kant’s constructivism affords an illuminating and defensible explication of four key aspects of the autonomy of rational judgment, including our positive moral freedom; (...)
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  29. added 2015-05-07
    Natura Daedala Rerum? On the Justification of Historical Progress in Kant’s ‘Guarantee of Perpetual Peace'.Lea Ypi - 2010 - Kantian Review 14 (2):103-135.
    This article analyses the teleological argument justifying historical progress in Kant's Guarantee of Perpetual Peace. It starts by examining the controversies produced by Kant's claim that the teleology of nature supports the idea of a providential development of humanity towards moral progress and the possibility of achieving a cosmopolitan political constitution. It further illustrates how Kant's teleological argument in Perpetual Peace needs to be assessed with reference to two systematically relevant issues: first, the problem of coordination linked to the necessity (...)
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  30. added 2015-05-07
    Morality as the Condition for Justification: A Review of Kant's Approach to the Problem of the Relationship between Morals and Religion. [REVIEW]Hua-fu Zhu - 2010 - Modern Philosophy 3:80-86.
    In this paper, the "pure rational religion within the boundaries of" Analysis of the argument was that Kant religion as part of the contents of the form of two - a rational and empirical content of the content; the former is the moral core of religion, the latter who is used to carry or show the moral core of the religious cloak. Kant stressed that true religion must be a combination of the two; for the people, morality and religion are (...)
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  31. added 2015-05-07
    Kant's Justification of the Death Penalty Reconsidered.Benjamin S. Yost - 2010 - Kantian Review 15 (2):1-27.
    This paper argues that Immanuel Kant’s practical philosophy contains a coherent, albeit implicit, defense of the legitimacy of capital punishment, one that refutes the most important objections leveled against it. I first show that Kant is consistent in his application of the ius talionis. I then explain how Kant can respond to the claim that death penalty violates the inviolable right to life. To address the most significant objection – the claim that execution violates human dignity – I argue that (...)
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  32. added 2015-05-07
    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.
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  33. added 2015-05-07
    Revisiting Kantian Retributivism to Construct a Justification of Punishment.Jane Johnson - 2008 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 2 (3):291-307.
    The standard view of Kant’s retributivism, as well as its more recent reworking in the ‘limited’ or ‘partial’ retributivist reading are, it is argued here, inadequate accounts of Kant on punishment. In the case of the former, the view is too limited and superficial, and in the latter it is simply inaccurate as an interpretation of Kant. Instead, this paper argues that a more sophisticated and accurate rendering of Kant on punishment can be obtained by looking to his construction of (...)
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  34. added 2015-05-07
    Public Reason as a Form of Normative and Political Justification: A Study on Rawls's Idea of Public Reason and Kant's Notion of the Use of Public Reason in What is Enlightenment?Paul Nnodim - 2004 - South African Journal of Philosophy 23 (2):148-157.
  35. added 2015-05-07
    Kant's Ethics of Assent: Knowledge and Belief in the Critical Philosophy.Andrew Chignell - 2004 - Dissertation, Yale University
    Most accounts of Kant's epistemology focus narrowly on cognition and knowledge . Kant himself, however, thought that there are many other important species of assent : opinion, persuasion, conviction, belief, acceptance, and assent to the deliverances of common sense. ;My goal in this dissertation is to isolate and motivate the principles of rational acceptability which, for Kant, govern each of these kinds of assent, instead of focusing merely on cognition and knowledge. Some of the principles apply in the context of (...)
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  36. added 2015-05-07
    Justification of Metaphysics in View of Kant.Rudolf Brajčić - 2004 - Disputatio Philosophica 6 (1):96-71.
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  37. added 2015-05-07
    A Kantian Justification of Possession.Kenneth Westphal - 2002 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Kant’s Metaphysics of Ethics: Interpretive Essays. Oxford University Press.
    Kant’s justification of possession appears to assume rather than prove its legitimacy. This apparent question-begging has been recapitulated or exacerbated but not resolved in the literature. However, Kant provides a sound justification of limited rights to possess and use things (qualified choses in possession), not of private property rights. Kant’s argument is not purely a priori; it is in Kant’s Critical sense ‘metaphysical’ because it applies the pure a priori ‘Universal Principles of Right’ to the concept of finite rational human (...)
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  38. added 2015-05-07
    The Possibility of Practical Reason: An Essay on Kant's Justification of Ethics.Halla Kim - 1997 - Dissertation, The University of Iowa
    The thesis is a critical and comprehensive examination of Immanuel Kant's theory of practical reason. I argue that considerable light is thrown upon Kant's view when it is considered in light of the British naturalist ethics stretching from Hobbes to Hutcheson, and especially Hume. Consideration of the naturalist ethics is important because of that tradition's radical skepticism about the power of pure practical reason. While not many scholars emhasize this point, Kant's ethics is not so much a response to amoralism (...)
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  39. added 2015-05-07
    Justification and Belief in Kant's Moral Philosophy.Lawrence Robin Pasternack - 1997 - Dissertation, Boston University
    My dissertation examines the relationship between Kant's account of moral experience and his means of justifying morality. More specifically, I examine the justificatory role attributed to the consciousness of being bound by the moral law in the Critique of Practical Reason and subsequent texts. ;Rather than supplying a proof of the veracity of this consciousness, Kant claims that it alone establishes the moral law's objective validity. In my attempt to determine how this consciousness achieves its purported justificatory function, I focus (...)
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  40. added 2015-05-07
    Kant, Health Care and Justification.Erich H. Loewy - 1995 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 16 (2).
    An argument based on Kant for access to health-care for all is a most helpful addition to prior discussions. My paper argues that while such a point of view is helpful it fails to be persuasive. What is needed, in addition to a notion of the legislative will, is a viewpoint of community which sees justice as originating not merely from considerations of reason alone but from a notion of community and from a framework of common human experiences and capabilities.
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  41. added 2015-05-07
    Why is the Deduction of Taste Judgments so Easy-an Attempt at a Justification of Paragraph-38 of Kant'kritik der Urteilskraft'.C. Rapp & W. Ullrich - 1994 - Philosophisches Jahrbuch 101 (2):358-365.
  42. added 2015-05-07
    The Justification of Punishment in Kant.W. Enderlein - 1985 - Kant-Studien 76 (3):303-327.
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  43. added 2015-05-07
    Kant's Groundwork Justification of Freedom.Michael H. McCarthy - 1984 - Dialogue 23 (3):457-473.
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  44. added 2015-05-07
    Faith as Kant's Key to the Justification of Transcendental Reflection.Stephen Palmquist - 1984 - Heythrop Journal 25 (4):442–455.
    A revised version of this article became Chapter V in my 1993 book, Kant's System of Perspectives.
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  45. added 2015-05-07
    The Requirements of Reason: An Essay on Justification in Kant's Ethics.George N. Terzis - 1984 - Dissertation, The Johns Hopkins University
    Kant insists that our actions ought to conform to objective moral rules, and that these rules apply to us regardless of whether we feel inclined to conform to them. Can he establish the truth of these claims? ;His writings on moral philosophy contain not a single answer to this question but two distinct and incompatible ones. In the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant argues that the basic norm that underlies our moral judgments, the Moral Law, is valid for (...)
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  46. added 2015-05-07
    Order Through Reason. Kant’s Transcendental Justification of Science.Thomas E. Wartenberg - 1979 - Kant-Studien 70 (1-4):409-424.
  47. added 2015-05-07
    The Justification of a Moral Argument: The Anti-Naturalists and Kant.Armin Richard Konrad - 1968 - Dissertation, Emory University
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  48. added 2015-05-07
    Kant's Justification of the Possibility of Judgments of Taste.David Lee Sobers - 1967 - Dissertation, The University of Rochester
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  49. added 2015-05-03
    Kant on Practical Justification: Interpretative Essays.Mark Timmons & Sorin Baiasu (eds.) - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
    This volume of new essays provides a comprehensive and structured examination of Kant's justification of norms, a crucial but neglected theme in Kantian practical philosophy.
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  50. added 2014-07-10
    Kant on Justification in Transcendental Philosophy.Derk Pereboom - 1990 - Synthese 85 (1):25 - 54.
    Kant''s claim that the justification of transcendental philosophy is a priori is puzzling because it should be consistent with (1) his general restriction on the justification of knowledge, that intuitions must play a role in the justification of all nondegenerate knowledge, with (2) the implausibility of a priori intuitions being the only ones on which transcendental philosophy is founded, and with (3) his professed view that transcendental philosophy is not analytic. I argue that this puzzle can be solved, that according (...)
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