Kantian ethics today is dominated followers of Rawls, many of them his former students. Following Rawls they interpret Kant as a moral constructivist who defines the good in terms of the reasonable. Such readings give priority to the first formulation of the categorical imperative and argue that the other two formulations are (ontologically or definitionally) dependent upon it. In contrast the aim of my paper will be to show that Kant should be interpreted firstly as a moral idealist and secondly (...) as, it least in a certain sense a particularist who takes morality to involve the exercise of recognitional capacities rather than following principles or rules. In claiming that Kant is a moral idealist we won’t mean to imply that he is an anti-realist, indeed we believe that he is a realist. Instead, by ‘moral idealism’ it is meant the position that maintains that to be moral is to instantiate an ideal. And so understood moral idealism can be seen as offering an alternative to both constructivism and utilitarianism. (shrink)
In the eyes of many “classical” phenomenologists, Kantianism has seemed to invite individuals to leave the rich, complexly motivated environment of lived experience in favor of a shadowy, formal kingdom of abstract duties and rights. Yet there have been notable attempts within the phenomenological tradition to articulate a richer vision of Kantian moral consciousness and to exhibit, from a first-person perspective, the shape of mental life and the standing dispositions that befit membership in a Kantian kingdom of ends. Here I (...) offer two such competing paradigms of Kantian moral consciousness: on the one hand, the responsive, situational Kantian moral consciousness that recent commentators have reconstructed from Martin Heidegger’s work, and on the other hand, the very different, explicitly cosmopolitan Kantian moral consciousness traced in Hannah Arendt’s conception of an “enlarged mentality.” While each is arguably a legitimately Kantian view, these alternative models of moral consciousness offer considerably different spirits of Kantianism with different benefits and detriments, and each places very different cognitive and moral burdens on agents. (shrink)
Kant uses ‘wish’ as a technical term to denote a strange species of desire. It is an instance in which someone wills an object that she simultaneously knows she cannot bring about. Or in more Kantian garb: it is an instance of the faculty of desire’s (or will’s) failing insofar as a desire (representation) cannot be the cause of the realization of its corresponding object in reality. As a result, Kant originally maintained it to be antithetical to morality, which deals (...) with ‘ought implies can’. However, Kant’s notion of wish is not static. On the contrary, I argue in this article that Kant re-evaluated the capacity to wish as (to some extent) causally efficacious and, further, of moral relevance. This re-evaluation has not been discussed in the literature, yet has been lurking in plain sight in a subtle but decisive shift evident in two versions of a footnote from the *Critique of the Power of Judgement* (KU). (shrink)
The idea of a final end of human conduct – the highest good – lies at the centre of important parts of Kant’s philosophy, such as his moral theory, his philosophy of religion, his views on the historical progress of the human species, and his conception of human rationality. This collection of new essays attempts to re-evaluate the doctrine of the highest good and to determine its relevance for contemporary philosophy.
Both for Kant and for Nietzsche, aesthetics must not be considered as a systematic science based merely on logical premises but rather as a set of intuitively attained artistic ideas that constitute or reconstitute the sensible perceptions and supersensible representations into a new whole. Kantian and Nietzschean aesthetics are both aiming to see beyond the forms of objects to provide explanations for the nobility and sublimity of human art and life. We can safely say that Kant and Nietzsche used the (...) dualities of the beautiful/sublime and Apollonian/Dionysian to advocate their general philosophical worldview, and that the initial formation (in Observations and The Birth of Tragedy) and final dissolution (in the Critique of Judgment and Zarathustra and other later works) of these dualities are determined by the gradually established telos of their philosophical endeavor. Therefore, by observing the evolution of these so-called dualities, Kaplama gathers important clues as to how Kant’s and Nietzsche’s aesthetics transformed into different ways to affirm human art and life. On the one hand, Kaplama argues, the Dionysian came to be the heart and soul of Nietzschean aesthetics and ethics, and the Apollonian (or the formal drive of individuation) was reduced into a mere aesthetic criterion. On the other, Kant treats the sublime (which is originally an idea-producing feeling and/or judgment) as a mere appendix to his Critique of Judgment and aesthetic theory teleologically reducing it into its possible moral consequences. This is why Schopenhauer calls the sublime “by far the most excellent thing in the Critique of Judgment” which touches on the real problem of aesthetics very closely but does not provide a real solution for it. Kant’s forced teleological move is to make his theory of aesthetic judgment stand as a ‘reaffirmation’ of the earlier ethical justification he believed to have accomplished in the first two Critiques and the Groundwork where he defends an affirmation of human life through a teleological morality centered on the principle of free-will. In contrast, Nietzsche’s aesthetics (particularly the Dionysian) guides his ethics and metaphysics again through defining an ideal human nature without which ethos would be static and meaningless, lacking the ability to move and change and represent the tragic pathos of human life. (shrink)
In the following pages, the main proposal is to indicate how Max Weber has dialogued directly with some prerogatives from Kant’s Critic of practical Reason, following the reception of Wilhelm Windelband’s concept of “responsibility” (Verantwortlichkeit) and his theory of values. In sight of these influences, in this paper will be argued how Weber adherence to the neo-Kantian value concept has made possible a review on the categorical imperatives, which has turned his reading from Kantian philosophy to the proposal of an (...) antinomy between the ethic of conviction and the ethic of responsibility inside the Kantian moral maxims. -/- Nessa abordagem será proposto que a recepção de Max Weber do conceito de “responsabilidade” (Verantwortlichkeit) de Wilhelm Windelband, bem como sua revisão de certos elementos da filosofia dos valores neokantiana do sudoeste da Alemanha, permitiram que Weber estabelecesse um diálogo mais direto com os pressupostos de Kant em sua Crítica da razão prática. Em vista dessas influências, o presente artigo argumentará que a maneira como Weber revisa os imperativos categóricos direcionou sua compreensão da filosofia kantiana pelo conceito de “valores”, o permitindo ainda, propor a existência de uma antinomia entre a ética da convicção e da responsabilidade no interior das máximas morais kantianas. (shrink)
There are at least five ‘core’ notions of community found in Kant's works: 1. The scientific notion of interaction. This concept is introduced in the Third Analogy and developed in the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science. 2. A metaphysical idea. The idea of a world of individuals (monads) in interaction. This idea was developed in Kant’s precritical period and can be found in his metaphysics lectures. 3. A moral ideal. The idea of a realm of ends. 4. A political ideal. (...) The idea of a juridical community (or community of communities) governed by juridical laws. 5. A theological ideal. What Kant calls ‘the kingdom of heaven’, and which can be thought of as a community of holy beings, or angels. In this paper I focus on the relationship between the first, second and fourth of these notions. My argument is that Kant’s notion of a juridical community governed by juridical laws is modelled on the metaphysical idea of the world. This metaphysical idea of a world is, in turn, modelled on the category of community introduced in the first Critique and developed in his logic lectures. (shrink)
In this paper I examine the genesis of Kant’s conception of a realm of ends, arguing that Kant first started to think of morality in terms of striving to be a member of a realm of ends, understood as an ideal community, in the early 1760s, and that he was influenced in this by his encounter with the Swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg. In 1766 Kant published Dreams of a Spirit Seer, a commentary on Swedenborg’s magnum opus, Heavenly Secrets. Most commentators (...) take Kant’s attitude towards Swedenborg to have been entirely negative, and argue that, at the most, Kant’s encounter with him had a purely negative impact on Kant’s development, inducing him to reject certain of his early metaphysical positions. I argue, in contrast, that Swedenborg had a positive influence on Kant’s development, particularly on his ethics, for Kant’s conception of a realm of ends is modeled on Swedenborg’s conception of heaven as a community of spirits governed by moral laws. (shrink)
Kant and Leibniz are interested in explaining how a number of individuals can come together and form a single unified composite substance. Leibniz does not have a convincing account of how this is possible. In his pre-critical writings and in his later metaphysics lectures, Kant is committed to the claim that the idea of a world is the idea of a real whole, and hence is the idea of a composite substance. This metaphysical idea is taken over into his ethical (...) writings and becomes the idea of a realm of ends. I explain why a realm of ends, should be thought of as both a unum per se and as a real whole. A realm of ends is a whole of individuals unified by laws they have given themselves, that is, it is a community of autonomous individuals. Only such a community can be thought of as a composite individual. Such a whole will be real rather than ideal because the source of the unity of the whole is intrinsic to the whole, for what gives unity to the realm are laws and the sources of the laws are the individual members of the whole. It will be a unum per se because both the laws and the individuals constituting the realm are incomplete without one another. If this reading is correct, this requires a fundamental reevaluation of Kant’s notion of autonomy. To be autonomous is not, primarily, to be understood in terms of ruling oneself, but instead must be thought of primarily in terms of being a generative source of laws for an ideal community. (shrink)
This chapter contains sections titled: Introduction A. The Formula of Autonomy – Initial Statements B. The Formula of Autonomy, the Formula of Universal Law, and the Formula of Humanity C. The Kingdom of Ends D. Price and Dignity E. Critical Remarks and Worries F. The Formula's Larger Implications References.
Making room for character -- Pluralism and the community of moral judgment -- A cosmopolitan kingdom of ends --Responsibility and moral competence --Can virtue be taught?: the problem of new moral facts -- Training to autonomy: Kant and the question of moral education -- Bootstrapping -- Rethinking Kant's hedonism -- The scope of moral requirement -- The will and its objects -- Obligatory ends -- Moral improvisation -- Contingency in obligation.
Creating the Kingdom of Ends consists of thirteen essays published between 1983 and 1993 and centered, according to the author, around two themes: Kant’s Formula of Humanity understood as a theory of value, and Kant’s doctrine of the two standpoints understood as a view of the world as open to our remaking. The resulting readings, often brilliant in their clarity and force, sketch the outlines of a moral theory more concretely situated and congruent with common sense than that with which (...) Kant is frequently taxed. (shrink)
This book follows hard upon Korsgaard's The Sources of Normativity. Both present the author's influential version of a Kantian theory of normative ethics and metaethics. Whereas The Sources of Normativity was a systematic investigation of "normativity" written as a single unit, the present volume is a collection of previously published papers, some of them already well known and much discussed, dating between 1983 and 1993. By the nature of the case, one might expect less thematic unity in this book than (...) in the other one, but the present book is a deeper and more wide ranging presentation of the author's views. Korsgaard's historical focus in The Sources of Normativity is less on Kant and more on the British moralists. Creating the Kingdom of Ends deals quite explicitly with the interpretation of Kant's moral philosophy. The papers in this book contain, in my judgment, the heart of Korsgaard's work: a variety of fresh and illuminating insights into Kant's moral theory and its relation to contemporary ethical theory which have helped to reshape the image of Kant's ethics and to refocus the issues dealt with in current moral philosophy. Or to make claims less grand but of more immediate relevance to this review, there is no question that some of the papers in this book have helped to reshape both the present writer's image of Kant's ethics and his conception of the way questions of ethical theory should be addressed. I hope below to say something both about where I think Korsgaard has gotten these matters right, and where I find her position either unclear or dubious. (shrink)
Christine Korsgaard has become one of the leading interpreters of Kant's moral philosophy. She is identified with a small group of philosophers who are intent on producing a version of Kant's moral philosophy that is at once sensitive to its historical roots while revealing its particular relevance to contemporary problems. She rejects the traditional picture of Kant's ethics as a cold vision of the moral life which emphasises duty at the expense of love and value. Rather, Kant's work is seen (...) as providing a resource for addressing not only the metaphysics of morals, but also for tackling practical questions about personal relations, politics, and everyday human interaction. This collection contains some of the finest current work on Kant's ethics and will command the attention of all those involved in teaching and studying moral theory. (shrink)
Buscando inspiración en el equilibrio kantiano entre dignidad y felicidad,el autor apunta hacia la polaridad entre los ideales de solidaridad y los debienestar en el consumo, que podrían ser manifestaciones contemporánea de una vieja tensión que se origina ya con estoicos y epicúreos. El utópicoreino de los fines en sí, de Kant, sería un intento de plasmar el equilibrioentre felicidad y dignidad tanto propias como ajenas. Con todo, es necesarioir más allá de Kant, con las correcciones que hace la ética (...) discursiva, y la apertura ética a la alteridad que permita escuchar al otro en la búsqueda común de felicidad y dignidad. (shrink)