About this topic
Summary The concept of respect (Achtung – previously translated as ‘reverence’) is one of the most characteristic, and controversial, features of Kant’s moral philosophy. At its core, respect is two things: an attitude and a feeling. The attitude of respect is directed towards three objects in Kant’s philosophy: 1) the moral law, 2) human beings insofar as they exemplify the moral law, and 3) human beings simply insofar as they are human, ends in themselves, and possessors of dignity. These two ‘aspects’ of respect are described by Kant as being identical; to have the attitude is to have the feeling. Kant’s understanding of the attitude of respect for persons as such has been particularly influential, and is considered by many to be one of, if not the, central concepts of his moral philosophy. The feeling of respect is extremely controversial. Kant describes the feeling of respect as different in kind from all other sensible feelings, namely as a feeling that is produced by reason rather than sensibility. Famously, it is this ‘rational’ feeling that Kant describes as the ‘incentive’ of moral action. Interpreters are divided with respect to what role this feeling plays in moral motivation, if it plays one at all.
Key works

Some of the most important discussions of respect in the history of Kant scholarship are those by Rehberg 1788 and Henrich 1963. More recent influential interpretations of the feeling of respect are those by Broadie & Pybus 1975, Reath 1989, and McCarty 1993. Key works on Kant and respect for persons as such are E. Hill 1980, Korsgaard 1996, Sensen 2011, Wood 1999. For a discussion of Kant’s understanding of respect for persons insofar as they exemplify the law, see Darwall 2008. For Kant on self-respect, see Massey 1983.

Introductions In addition to the works mentioned above, for discussions of the various objects of respect see Gregor 1963, Allison 2011, and Klimchuk 2004. A good first point of contact are the articles on respect/Achtung in Wuerth 2021 and Willascheck et al 2015.
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68 found
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1 — 50 / 68
  1. added 2020-04-29
    Das Problem der Grundlegung der Ethik bei Kant und im spekulativen Idealismus.Dieter Henrich - 1963 - In Paulus Engelhardt (ed.), Sein und Ethos. Mainz: Matthias-Grünewald. pp. 350-386.
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  2. added 2020-04-29
    Rezension der Kritik der praktischen Vernunft.August Wilhelm Rehberg - 1788 - Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung 188 (6.8):345-360.
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  3. added 2020-04-19
    Equal Respect for Rational Agency.Michael Cholbi - forthcoming - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, vol. 10.
    Individuals are owed equal respect. But on the basis of what property of individuals are they owed such respect? A popular Kantian answer —rational agency — appears less plausible in light of the growing psychological evidence that human choice is subject to a wide array of biases (framing, laziness, etc.); human beings are neither equal in rational agency nor especially robust rational agents. Defenders of this Kantian answer thus need a non-ideal theory of equal respect for rational agency, one that (...)
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  4. added 2020-04-06
    Reason’s Feeling: A Systematic Reconstruction of Kant’s Theory of Moral Respect.Jörg Noller - 2019 - SATS 20 (1):1-18.
    In my paper, I shall take seriously Kant’s puzzling statements about the moral feeling of respect, which is, according to him, “a feeling self-wrought by means of a rational concept and therefore specifically different” from all common feelings. I will focus on the systematic position of the moral feeling of respect within the framework of Kant’s transcendental idealism. By considering its volitional structure, I argue for a compatibilist account of the moral feeling of respect, according to which both intellectualist and (...)
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  5. added 2020-04-06
    Kant on Space, Time, and Respect for the Moral Law as Analogous Formal Elements of Sensibility.Jessica Tizzard - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):630-646.
    To advance a successful reading of Kant's theory of motivation, his interpreter must have a carefully developed position on the relation between our rational and sensible capacities of mind. Unfortunately, many of Kant's commentators hold an untenably dualistic conception, understanding reason and sensibility to be necessarily conflicting aspects of human nature that saddle Kant with a rigoristic and fundamentally divided moral psychology. Against these interpreters, I argue for a reading that maintains a unified conception, claiming that we must think of (...)
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  6. added 2020-02-11
    Kant on Moral Respect.Anastasia Berg - forthcoming - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie.
    Kant’s account of the feeling of moral respect has notoriously puzzled interpreters: on the one hand, moral action is supposed to be autonomous and, in particular, free of the mediation of any feeling; on the other hand, the subject’s grasp of the law somehow involves the feeling of moral respect. I argue that moral respect for Kant is not, pace both the ‘intellectualists’ and ‘affectivists,’ an effect of the determination of the will by the law—whether it be a mere effect (...)
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  7. added 2019-06-06
    The Kingdom of Ends as a Social Philosophy. [REVIEW]Catriona McKinnon - 2000 - Kantian Review 4:138-148.
  8. added 2019-06-06
    Kant’s Respect-for-Persons Principle.Carl F. Cranor - 1980 - International Studies in Philosophy 12 (2):19-39.
  9. added 2019-04-19
    Kant, Guyer, and Tomasello on the Capacity to Recognize the Humanity of Others.Lucas Thorpe - 2018 - In Kate Moran (ed.), Kant on Freedom and Spontaneity. pp. 107-136.
  10. added 2018-09-06
    Moral Sense Theory and the Development of Kant's Ethics.Michael Walschots - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Western Ontario
    This dissertation investigates a number of ways in which an eighteenth century British philosophical movement known as “moral sense theory” influenced the development of German philosopher Immanuel Kant’s (1724-1804) moral theory. I illustrate that Kant found both moral sense theory’s conception of moral judgement and its conception of moral motivation appealing during the earliest stage of his philosophical development, but eventually came to reject its conception of moral judgement, though even in his early writings Kant preserves certain features of its (...)
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  11. added 2018-09-06
    A Commentary on Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason.Lewis White Beck - 1960 - University of Chicago Press.
  12. added 2018-08-09
    Reseña de Jeanine Grenberg, "Kant's Defense of Common Moral Experience: A Phenomenological Account", Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2013.Paula Satne - 2015 - Con-Textos Kantianos 1:309-322.
  13. added 2018-06-06
    Immanuel Kant on the Moral Feeling of Respect.Ina Goy - 2010 - In Pablo Muchnik (ed.), Rethinking Kant. Current Trends in North American Kantian Scholarship. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 156-179.
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  14. added 2018-05-11
    Immanuel Kant über das moralische Gefühl der Achtung.Ina Goy - 2007 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 61 (3):337 - 360.
    Die Abhandlung „Immanuel Kant über das moralische Gefühl der Achtung“ legt nach einer Einführung in den historischen und werkgeschichtlichen Hintergrund wesentliche systematische Züge des moralischen Gefühls der Achtung dar. Es wird gezeigt, dass das apriorische Gefühl der Achtung einerseits von allen anderen empirischen Gefühlen unterschieden, dennoch aber ein Gefühl ist und in seiner spezifischen Sonderstellung drei bedeutende moralphilosophische Funktionen übernehmen kann: eine evaluative, eine kausale und eine bildende Funktion. Kants These, dass es im strengen Sinn nur ein rein moralisches Gefühl (...)
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  15. added 2018-04-22
    The Sublime.Melissa McBay Merritt - 2018 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
    This Element considers Kant's account of the sublime in the context of his predecessors both in the Anglophone and German rationalist traditions. Since Kant says with evident endorsement that 'we call sublime that which is absolutely great' and nothing in nature can in fact be absolutely great, Kant concludes that strictly speaking what is sublime can only be the human calling to perfect our rational capacity according to the standard of virtue that is thought through the moral law. The Element (...)
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  16. added 2017-11-10
    Love, Respect, and Individuals: Murdoch as a Guide to Kantian Ethics.Melissa McBay Merritt - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (4):1844-1863.
    I reconsider the relation between love and respect in Kantian ethics, taking as my guide Iris Murdoch's view of love as the fundamental moral attitude and a kind of attention to individuals. It is widely supposed that Kantian ethics disregards individuals, since we don't respect individuals but the universal quality of personhood they instantiate. We need not draw this conclusion if we recognise that Kant and Murdoch share a view about the centrality of love to virtue. We can then see (...)
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  17. added 2017-05-29
    Understanding Kant’s Duty of Respect as a Duty of Virtue.Melissa Seymour Fahmy - 2013 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (6):723-740.
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  18. added 2017-01-23
    Kant on Respect, Dignity, and the Duty of Respect.Monika Betzler - 2008 - In Kant's Ethics of Virtue. Walter de Gruyter.
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  19. added 2016-12-14
    Love, That Indispensable Supplement: Irigaray and Kant on Love and Respect.Marguerite La Caze - 2005 - Hypatia 20 (3):92-114.
    Is love essential to ethical life, or merely a supplement? In Kant’s view, respect and love, as duties, are in tension with each other because love involves drawing closer and respect involves drawing away. By contrast, Irigaray says that love and respect do not conflict because love as passion must also involve distancing and we have a responsibility to love. I argue that love, understood as passion and based on respect, is essential to ethics.
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  20. added 2016-12-02
    The Phenomenology of Kantian Respect for Persons.Uriah Kriegel & Mark Timmons - forthcoming - In R. Dean & O. Sensen (eds.), Respect.
    Emotions can be understood generally from two different perspectives: (i) a third-person perspective that specifies their distinctive functional role within our overall cognitive economy and (ii) a first-person perspective that attempts to capture their distinctive phenomenal character, the subjective quality of experiencing them. One emotion that is of central importance in many ethical systems is respect (in the sense of respect for persons or so-called recognition-respect). However, discussions of respect in analytic moral philosophy have tended to focus almost entirely on (...)
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  21. added 2016-05-07
    Respect for Persons and Perfectionist Politics.Thaddeus Metz - 2001 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 30 (4):417–442.
    Can a state seek to promote a thick conception of the good (such as fostering a kind of meaning or excellence in people's lives) without treating its citizens disrespectfully? The predominant answer among friends of the principle of respect for persons is "no." The most powerful Kantian objection to non-liberalism or perfectionism is the claim that citizens who do not share the state's conception of the good would be wronged in that the state would treat a certain way of life (...)
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  22. added 2016-02-29
    Duty and Inclination.Audrey L. Anton - 2006 - Southwest Philosophy Review 22 (1):199-207.
  23. added 2016-02-19
    The Role of Achtung in Kant's Moral Theory.Sharon E. Sytsma - 1993 - Auslegung 19 (2):117-122.
  24. added 2016-02-08
    Respect as a Moral Emotion: A Phenomenological Approach.John J. Drummond - 2006 - Husserl Studies 22 (1):1-27.
  25. added 2016-01-20
    An Unfamiliar and Positive Law: On Kant and Schiller.Reed Winegar - 2013 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 95 (3):275-297.
    A familiar post-Kantian criticism contends that Kant enslaves sensibility under the yoke of practical reason. Friedrich Schiller advanced a version of this criticism to which Kant publicly responded. Recent commentators have emphasized the role that Kant’s reply assigns to the pleasure that accompanies successful moral action. In contrast, I argue that Kant’s reply relies primarily on the sublime feeling that arises when we merely contemplate the moral law. In fact, the pleasures emphasized by other recent commentators depend on this sublime (...)
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  26. added 2015-11-25
    Practical Reason and Respect for Persons.Melissa McBay Merritt - 2017 - Kantian Review 22 (1):53-79.
    My project is to reconsider the Kantian conception of practical reason. Some Kantians think that practical reasoning must be more active than theoretical reasoning, on the putative grounds that such reasoning need not contend with what is there anyway, independently of its exercise. Behind that claim stands the thesis that practical reason is essentially efficacious. I accept the efficacy principle, but deny that it underwrites this inference about practical reason. My inquiry takes place against the background of recent Kantian metaethical (...)
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  27. added 2015-09-15
    Toward a Serresian Reconceptualization of Kantian Respect.Bryan Lueck - 2008 - Philosophy Today 52 (1):52-59.
    According to Immanuel Kant, moral experience is made possible by respect, an absolutely unique feeling in which the sensible and the intelligible are given immediately together. This paper argues that Kant's moral philosophy underemphasizes the role of this sensibility at the heart of moral experience and that a more rigorous conception of respect, grounded in Michel Serres's concepts of the parasite, the excluded/included third, and noise would yield a moral philosophy more consistent with Kant's own basic insights.
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  28. added 2015-09-15
    Kantian Moral Motivation and the Feeling of Respect.Richard R. McCarty - 1993 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 31 (3):421-435.
  29. added 2015-09-14
    Consideraciones en torno a la concepción kantiana de dignidad humana desde una perspectiva heterónoma.Federico Ignacio Viola - 2014 - Revista de Filosofía (Madrid) 39 (1):187-201.
    En el presente artículo se arriesga una nueva interpretación del concepto kantiano de autonomía, abordándolo desde una perspectiva “heterónoma”. En efecto, sin soslayar la interpretación ya clásica de aquél se indaga sobre la posibilidad de pensarlo como tributario de una heteronomía que señala de alguna manera a la autonomía una dignidad sobre la cual ésta no puede tener prácticamente ninguna injerencia. Se pone de relieve así pues el hecho de que esta dignidad inviolable marca una diferencia práctica más radical que (...)
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  30. added 2015-09-05
    Love and Respect in the Doctrine of Virtue.Marcia W. Baron - 1997 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 36 (S1):29-44.
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  31. added 2015-08-27
    Concrete Kantian Respect.Nancy Sherman - 1998 - Social Philosophy and Policy 15 (1):119.
    When we think about Kantian virtue, what often comes to mind is the notion of respect. Respect is due to all persons merely in virtue of their status as rational agents. Indeed, on the Kantian view, specific virtues, such as duties of beneficence, gratitude, or self-perfection, are so many ways of respecting persons as free rational agents. To preserve and promote rational agency, to protect individuals from threats against rational agency, i.e., to respect persons, is at the core of virtue. (...)
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  32. added 2015-08-27
    The Rationality of Valuing Oneself: A Critique of Kant on Self-Respect.Cynthia A. Stark - 1997 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 35 (1):65-82.
    Kant claims that persons have a perfect duty to respect themselves. I argue, first, that Kant’s argument for the duty of self-respect commits him to an implausible view of the nature of self-respect: he must hold that failures of self-respect are either deliberate or matter of self-deception. I argue, second, that this problem cannot be solved by understanding failures of self-respect as failures of rationality because such a view is incompatible with human psychology. Surely it is not irrational for people, (...)
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  33. added 2015-07-12
    Accessing the Moral Law Through Feeling.Owen Ware - 2015 - Kantian Review 20 (2):301-311.
    In this article I offer a critical commentary on Jeanine Grenberg’s claim that, by the time of the second Critique, Kant was committed to the view that we only access the moral law’s validity through the feeling of respect. The issue turns on how we understand Kant’s assertion that our consciousness of the moral law is a ‘fact of reason’. Grenberg argues that all facts must be forced, and anything forced must be felt. I defend an alternative interpretation, according to (...)
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  34. added 2015-07-02
    Some Considerations on the Feeling of Respect for the Moral Law.Johnny Antonio Dávila - 2011 - Discusiones Filosóficas 12 (18):145 - 154.
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  35. added 2015-07-02
    The Fact of Reason and the Feeling of Respect.Fldvia Carvalho Chagas - 2008 - In Valerio Hrsg V. Rohden, Ricardo Terra & Guido Almeida (eds.), Recht Und Frieden in der Philosophie Kants. pp. 83.
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  36. added 2015-06-29
    Was bedeutet „Ehrfurcht“ in Albert Schweitzers Verantwortungsethik? Eine Begriffsanalyse im Vergleich mit Schwantje, Kant, Goethe und Nietzsche.Heike Baranzke - 2012 - Synthesis Philosophica 27 (1):7-29.
    Aufgrund der Tatsache, dass Albert Schweitzer seine Ethik der Ehrfurcht vor dem Leben auf Anorganisches wie auf die Gesellschaft und die Welt im Ganzen beziehen kann, nimmt der Beitrag anstelle des Gegenstandsbereichs den Begriff der Ehrfurcht in den Blick. Immanuel Kants und Johann Wolfgang von Goethes Konzeptionen säkularer Ehrfurcht weisen den Weg zu Schweitzers Ehrfurcht als einer Verschränkung des ethischen Selbst- und Weltverhältnisses des menschlichen Subjekts als Ergebnis einer konsequent reflektierten Selbstkultivierung zur Verantwortungsbereitschaft. Mit Nietzsche verweigert sich Schweitzer jeglicher normativen (...)
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  37. added 2014-11-30
    Respect for the Law and the Use of Dynamical Terms in Kant's Theory of Moral Motivation.Melissa Zinkin - 2006 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 88 (1):31-53.
    Kant's discussion of the feeling of respect presents a puzzle regarding both the precise nature of this feeling and its role in his moral theory as an incentive that motivates us to follow the moral law. If it is a feeling that motivates us to follow the law, this would contradict Kant's view that moral obligation is based on reason alone. I argue that Kant has an account of respect as feeling that is nevertheless not separate from the use of (...)
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  38. added 2014-07-02
    Reason, Value, and Respect: Kantian Themes From the Philosophy of Thomas E. Hill, Jr.Mark Timmons (ed.) - 2015 - Oxford University Press.
    In thirteen specially written essays, leading philosophers explore Kantian themes in moral and political philosophy that are prominent in the work of Thomas E. Hill, Jr., such as respect and self-respect, practical reason, conscience, and duty. In conclusion Hill offers an overview of his work and responses to the preceding essays.
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  39. added 2014-07-01
    Love in Vain.Robert Johnson - 1997 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 36 (S1):45-50.
    Kant famously argued in the Groundwork that our fundamental moral obligation is simply to respect the humanity in persons. However, his fuller view, found in the Metaphysic of Morals, is that the humanity in persons not only demands our respect, but also our love. Neither of these demands, of course, requires that we feel anything for others, and Kant is much more specific here about what constitutes respect between persons. But in elaborating this position he also claims that these demands (...)
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  40. added 2014-06-17
    A New Look at Kantian Respect for Persons.Ernesto V. Garcia - 2012 - Kant Yearbook 4 (1).
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  41. added 2014-06-17
    Anthropology From a Metaphysical Point of View.Jeanine Grenberg - 1999 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 37 (1):91-115.
    I argue that there can be, on Kant's account, a significant motivational role for feeling in moral action. I first discuss and reject Andrews Reath's claim that Kant is forced to disallow a motivational role for feeling because of his rejection of moral sense theory. I then consider and reject the more general challenge that allowing a role for the influence of feeling on the faculty of desire undermines Kant's commitment to a morality free from anthropological considerations. I conclude by (...)
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  42. added 2014-06-14
    Kant's Empirical Psychology.Patrick R. Frierson - 2014 - Cambridge University Press.
    Throughout his life, Kant was concerned with questions about empirical psychology. He aimed to develop an empirical account of human beings, and his lectures and writings on the topic are recognizable today as properly 'psychological' treatments of human thought and behavior. In this book Patrick R. Frierson uses close analysis of relevant texts, including unpublished lectures and notes, to study Kant's account. He shows in detail how Kant explains human action, choice, and thought in empirical terms, and how a better (...)
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  43. added 2014-06-10
    Respect for the Moral Law: The Emotional Side of Reason.Janelle DeWitt - 2014 - Philosophy 89 (1):31-62.
    Respect, as Kant describes it, has a duality of nature that seems to embody a contradiction – i.e., it is both a moral motive and a feeling, where these are thought to be mutually exclusive. Most solutions involve eliminating one of the two natures, but unfortunately, this also destroys what is unique about respect. So instead, I question the non-cognitive theory of emotion giving rise to the contradiction. In its place, I develop the cognitive theory implicit in Kant's work, one (...)
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  44. added 2014-06-10
    Dignity, Contractualism and Consequentialism.David Cummiskey - 2008 - Utilitas 20 (4):383-408.
    Kantian respect for persons is based on the special status and dignity of humanity. There are, however, at least three distinct kinds of interpretation of the principle of respect for the dignity of persons: the contractualist conception, the substantive conception and the direct conception. Contractualist theories are the most common and familiar interpretation. The contractualist assumes that some form of consent or agreement is the crucial factor that is required by respect for persons. The substantive conceptions of dignity, on the (...)
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  45. added 2014-05-04
    Respect de la loi, respect de la personne: Kant.Robert Theis - 2005 - Revue Philosophique De Louvain 103 (3):331-346.
    This paper will attempt to reconstruct two Kantian approaches to the notion of 'respect': 1. respect in relation to the concept of law as well as respect for the law; 2. respect for the person. This reconstruction will be followed by an analysis of the significance of this twofold approach. The author will try to show that, in the end, it is through respect for the person that the necessity of, and hence respect for, the law is established. In other (...)
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  46. added 2014-05-04
    Kant's Respect for Persons.Andreas Teuber - 1983 - Political Theory 11 (3):369-392.
  47. added 2014-04-27
    Once Again: What is the ‘First Proposition’ in Kant's Groundwork? Some Refinements, a New Proposal, and a Reply to Henry Allison.Dieter Schönecker - 2012 - Kantian Review 17 (2):281-296.
    Discussing the concept of duty in Groundwork 1, Kant refers to a ‘second proposition’ and a ‘third proposition’, the latter being a ‘Folgerung aus beiden vorigen’. However, Kant does not identify what the ‘first proposition’ is. In this paper, I will argue that the first proposition is this: An action from duty is an action from respect for the moral law. I defend this claim against a critique put forward by Allison according to which ‘respect’ is a concept that is (...)
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  48. added 2014-04-02
    Throwing Oneself Away: Kant on the Forfeiture of Respect.Aaron Bunch - 2014 - Kantian Review 19 (1):71-91.
    Surprisingly often Kant asserts that it is possible to behave in such a degrading way that one ‘throws oneself away’ and turns oneself ‘into a thing’, as a result of which others may treat one ‘as they please’. Rather than dismiss these claims out of hand, I argue that they force us to reconsider what is meant and required by ‘respect for humanity’. I argue that to ‘throw away’ humanity is not to lose or extinguish it, but rather to refuse (...)
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  49. added 2014-04-01
    Motivation and Moral Choice in Kant’s Theory of Rational Agency.Richard McCarty - 1994 - Kant-Studien 85 (1):15-31.
  50. added 2014-03-24
    Kant on the Moral Triebfeder.Larry Herrera - 2000 - Kant-Studien 91 (4):395-410.
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