About this topic
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. 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.
  2. Die Duhem-Quine-These unter dem Geltungsaspekt der erkenntnistheoretischen Fragestellung Kants.Nikolaos Avgelis - 1991 - Kant-Studien 82 (3):285-302.
  3. 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 (...)
  4. Kant's Subjective Deduction.Nathan Bauer - 2010 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (3):433-460.
    In the transcendental deduction, the central argument of the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant seeks to secure the objective validity of our basic categories of thought. He distinguishes objective and subjective sides of this argument. The latter side, the subjective deduction, is normally understood as an investigation of our cognitive faculties. It is identified with Kant’s account of a threefold synthesis involved in our cognition of objects of experience, and it is said to precede and ground Kant’s proof of the (...)
  5. Der phänomenologische Evidenzbegriff.Wilhelm Beimer - 1919 - Kant-Studien 23 (1-3):269-301.
  6. Proofs of God's Existence in German Idealism. The Justification of the Absolute by Means of Modal Theory in Kant, Hegel and Weisse.Günter Bleickert - 1977 - Philosophy and History 10 (1):24-27.
  7. La théorie friesienne de la justification.Christian Bonnet - 2002 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 3 (3):325-339.
  8. Justification of Metaphysics in View of Kant.Rudolf Brajčić - 2004 - Disputatio Philosophica 6 (1):96-71.
  9. 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 (...)
  10. Kant's Concepts of Justification.Andrew Chignell - 2007 - Noûs 41 (1):33–63.
    An essay on Kant's theory of justification, where by “justification” is meant the evaluative concept that specifies conditions under which a propositional attitude is rationally acceptable with a moderate-to-high degree of confidence. Kant employs both epistemic and non-epistemic concepts of justification: an epistemic concept of justification sets out conditions under which a propositional attitude is rationally acceptable with a moderate-to-high degree of confidence and a candidate (if true and Gettier-immune) for knowledge. A non-epistemic concept of justification, by contrast, sets out (...)
  11. 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 (...)
  12. 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 (...)
  13. The Justification of Punishment in Kant.W. Enderlein - 1985 - Kant-Studien 76 (3):303-327.
  14. 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 (...)
  15. Kant and the Price of a Justification.James R. Flynn - 1979 - Kant-Studien 70 (1-4):279-311.
  16. Kant and the Enlightenment's Contribution to Social Epistemology.Axel Gelfert - 2010 - Episteme 7 (1):79-99.
    The present paper argues for the relevance of Immanuel Kant and the German Enlightenment to contemporary social epistemology. Rather than distancing themselves from the alleged ‘individualism’ of Enlightenment philosophers, social epistemologists would be well-advised to look at the substantive discussion of social-epistemological questions in the works of Kant and other Enlightenment figures. After a brief rebuttal of the received view of the Enlightenment as an intrinsically individualist enterprise, this paper charts the historical trajectory of philosophical discussions of testimony as a (...)
  17. Kant on Testimony.Axel Gelfert - 2006 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 14 (4):627 – 652.
    Immanuel Kant is often regarded as an exponent of the ‘individualist’ tradition in epistemology, according to which testimony is not a fundamental source of knowledge. The present paper argues that this view is far from accurate. Kant devotes ample space to discussions of testimony and, in his lectures on logic, arrives at a distinct and stable philosophical position regarding testimony. Important elements of this position consist in (a) acknowledging the ineliminability of testimony; (b) realizing that testimony can establish empirical knowledge (...)
  18. 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 (...)
  19. Transcendental Arguments: A Meta-Critique.Moltke S. Gram - 1979 - Kant-Studien 70 (1-4):508-513.
  20. The Myth of the Given and the Grip of the Given.Robert Hanna - 2011 - Diametros 27:25-46.
    In this paper I argue that the Sellarsian Myth of the Given does not apply to all forms of Non-Conceptualism; that Kant is in fact a non-conceptualist of the right-thinking kind and not a Conceptualist, as most Kant-interpreters think; and that an intelligible and defensible Kantian Non-Conceptualism can be developed which supports the thesis that true perceptual beliefs are non-inferentially justified and also normatively funded by direct, embodied, intentional interactions with the manifest world (a.k.a. the Grip of the Given).
  21. 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, (...)
  22. 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 (...)
  23. 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 (...)
  24. 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 (...)
  25. 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 (...)
  26. Kant on Practical Justification: Interpretive Essays. [REVIEW]Markus Kohl - 2014 - Kantian Review 19 (2):332-338.
  27. Review: Timmons & Baiasu Sorin (Eds), Kant on Practical Justification: Interpretive Essays[REVIEW]Markus Kohl - 2014 - Kantian Review 19 (2):332-338.
  28. The Justification of a Moral Argument: The Anti-Naturalists and Kant.Armin Richard Konrad - 1968 - Dissertation, Emory University
  29. 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.
  30. Kant's Groundwork Justification of Freedom.Michael H. McCarthy - 1984 - Dialogue 23 (3):457-473.
  31. Kant's Justification of Freedom.Michael Henry Mccarthy - 1973 - Dissertation, University of Toronto (Canada)
  32. 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 (...)
  33. Review: Timmons, Mark and Baiasu, Sorin, Kant on Practical Justification[REVIEW]Kate A. Moran - 2014 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 96 (4).
  34. 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. 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.
  36. Kant’s Touchstone of Communication and the Public Use of Reason.Lawrence Pasternack - 2014 - Society and Politics 8 (1):78-91.
    Nearly all of the work that has been done on Kant’s conception of public reason has focused on its socio-political significance. John Rawls, Onora O’Neill and others have explored its relevance to a well ordered democracy, to pluralism, to toleration, and so on. However, the relevance of public reason for Kant is not limited to the socio-political. Kant repeatedly appeals to the “touchstone of communication” in relation to the normative side of his epistemology. The purpose of this paper is to (...)
  37. 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 (...)
  38. 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 (...)
  39. 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.
  40. Kant’s Deduction From Apperception: An Essay on the Transcendental Deduction of the Categories.Dennis Schulting - 2019 - Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter.
    In focusing on the systematic deduction of the categories from a principle, Schulting takes up anew the controversial project of the eminent German Kant scholar Klaus Reich, whose monograph “The Completeness of Kant's Table of Judgments” made the case that the logical functions of judgement can all be derived from the objective unity of apperception and can be shown to link up with one another systematically. -/- Common opinion among Kantians today has it that Kant did not mean to derive (...)
  41. 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.
  42. Kant's Deduction From Apperception.Dennis Schulting - 2017 - In Kant's Radical Subjectivism. Perspectives on the Transcendental Deduction. London, UK: Palgrave. pp. 53-96.
  43. 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 (...)
  44. Reply to Watt: Epistemic Humility, Objective Validity, Logical Derivability.Dennis Schulting - 2017 - Critique (November):o-o.
  45. Probleme des ‚Kantianischen‘ Nonkonzeptualismus Im Hinblick Auf Die B-Deduktion.Dennis Schulting - 2015 - Kant-Studien 106 (4):561-580.
  46. Kant's Deduction From Apperception: A Reply to My Critics.Dennis Schulting - 2014 - Studi Kantiani 27:95-115.
  47. Kant's Deduction and Apperception. Explaining the Categories.Dennis Schulting - 2012 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
  48. Kant, Non-Conceptual Content, and the 'Second Step' of the B-Deduction.Dennis Schulting - 2012 - Kant Studies Online:51-92.
  49. 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 (...)
  50. Justification, Objectivity, and Subjectivity in Kant's Transcendental Deduction of the Categories.Justin B. Shaddock - 2012 - Southwest Philosophy Review 28 (1):177-185.
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