I defend a deontological social contract justification of punishment for free will deniers. Even if nobody has free will, a criminal justice system is fair to the people it targets if we would consent to it in a version of original position deliberation (OPD) where we assumed that we would be targeted by the justice system when the veil is raised. Even if we assumed we would be convicted of a crime, we would consent to the imprisonment of violent criminals (...) if prison conditions were better than the state of nature but deterring enough to prevent the state of nature. And even if we assumed we would be accused of a crime, we would consent to an evidentiary standard low enough to allow a conviction rate sufficient to prevent the state of nature. After explaining this justification, I contrast it with the public health quarantine justification defended by Derk Pereboom and Gregg Caruso, and argue that it provides a stronger response to the using criminals as mere means objection. (shrink)
In this paper, I aim to resolve the Frierson-Grenberg debate on the nature of Kant’s account of moral motivation that took place in the third issue of Con-textos Kantianos. In their respective interpretations, Frierson and Grenberg fail to accommodate the a priori status of moral feeling when incorporating it into Kant’s moral motivational structure. In response, I provide a novel transcendental interpretation – one that takes the a priori moral feeling both as an incentive of morality and as that which (...) conditions the possibility of morality in human agents. I argue that Kant developed the notion of moral feeling solely in order to resolve the problem of motivational skepticism concerning the moral law. Since this problem occurs as a part of Kant’s search for the supreme principle of morality, the notion of moral feeling becomes a part of both Kant’s moral motivational structure and his argument to justify the moral law. (shrink)
I argue that Kantianism and utilitarianism have the opposite strengths and weaknesses. Whereas Kantianism but not utilitarianism accords with our commonsense views about morality, utilitarianism but not Kantianism accords with our commonsense views about action and reasons for action.
The present paper 1departs from the discussion on the foundation of morality in Discourse Ethics (DE) and the criticism raised against it, coming to reconstruct in a somewhat different way the foundational process. A first section is dedicated to analysing the difficulties of Habermas distinction between morality and ethics and the criticism raised against it, questioning a) the possibility to set the difference in the distinction between norms and values and b) the presumed neutrality of DE regarding ethical evaluations. A (...) second section revisits the foundational proposal of DE. First of all, it provi- des an interpretation of the Kantian proposal that makes the universalization of norms subservient to the idea of human beings as ends in themselves. It then considers a) the subsistence of Kantian moral reasoning in its architectonic and b) suggests a formal structure in practical thinking that integrates in hierarchical modus Kantian, discursive and contextually determined evaluative conceptions. (shrink)
Kant famously claims that there is only a single supreme principle of morality: the Categorical Imperative. This claim is often treated with skepticism. After all, Kant proceeds to provide no fewer than six formulations of this purportedly single supreme principle—formulations which appear to differ significantly. But appearances can be deceptive. In this paper, I argue that Kant was right. There is only a single Categorical Imperative, and each of its formulations expresses the very same moral principle.
O objetivo deste estudo é examinar a necessidade de subscrever um tratamento rigidamente hierárquico da relação vigente entre máximas e imperativos morais. Para tanto, pretende-se delinear (e não mais que isso) um modelo exegético do agir segundo princípios que, por um lado, não demande tal rigidez e, por outro, seja capaz de garantir o estatuto privilegiado do bem moral face ao bem natural – o que será feito mediante a exposição, na medida do possível, de seus princípios e con- sequências. (...) A expectativa é de que isso possa, se bem sucedido, significar um pequeno passo na direção do esclarecimento do que está envolvido na prova levada a cabo por Kant na seção final da Fundamentação. (shrink)
This chapter asks what stance is morally appropriate as we consider when, whether, and how to assist persons experiencing physical, emotional, or intellectual disability. Appealing to a variety of intelligent and observant thinkers for inspiration (Ralph Barton Perry, Helen Keller, and Immanuel Kant), it argues that one important aspect of such a stance is an attitude of reciprocal beneficence. This has three central aspects: a perspective of fellowship acknowledging the disabled and the currently able as members of the community of (...) vulnerable human agents; a developed sympathy attuned to gaps in knowledge and failures of imagination and analogy; and a readiness to show gratitude or appreciation for what the currently disabled may teach about the vulnerable moral agency we share. The argument takes initial inspiration from Perry but owes most to its roots in Kantian moral and political theory. It also owes much to wise and insightful enrichments due to Keller. (shrink)
This chapter describes and illustrates ideals of appreciation and positive expressions of respect in personal relationships and then argues that these are distinct from beneficence, that they are aspects of a full recognition of human dignity, and that they have important general and special implications for relationships involving persons with disabilities. The chapter emphasizes that especially among family, friends, and caregivers, proper respect for persons calls for positive affirmations and being open to appreciate the good in others and their lives (...) and that appreciating them is more than respecting them and caring for their comfort and happiness. Respect and appreciation for and by us, as persons with disabilities, requires confronting and changing cultural stigmas that undermine these morally important attitudes. (shrink)
The received view of Kant’s moral philosophy is that it precludes all moral luck. But I offer a plausible interpretation according to which Kant embraces moral luck in circumstance and constitution. I interpret the unconditioned nature of transcendental freedom as a person’s ability to do the right thing no matter how she is inclined by her circumstantial and constitutive luck. I argue that various passages about degrees of difficulty relating to circumstantial and constitutive luck provide a reason to accept a (...) pro-moral luck interpretation of Kant. (shrink)
Moral anxiety is the unease that we experience in the face of a novel or difficult moral decision, an unease that helps us recognize the significance of the issue we face and engages epistemic behaviors aimed at helping us work through it (reflection, information gathering, etc.). But recent discussions in philosophy raise questions about the value of moral anxiety (do we really do better when we’re anxious?); and work in cognitive science challenges its psychological plausibility (is there really such an (...) emotion?). Drawing on Kant and Kantians, I develop a model of moral anxiety (or ‘conscience’ in Kant’s terminology) that highlights both its empirical credentials and its distinctive value. Kant, it turns out, was an early—and sophisticated—dual-process theorist. (shrink)
Medical students commonly learn how to administer pelvic exams by practicing on unconscious patients, often without first obtaining explicit consent from patients to do so. While twenty-one states currently have laws that require teaching hospitals to obtain consent from patients to participate in this educational experience, opposition from the medical community has stymied legislative progress. In this paper, I respond to the two most common reasons offered to oppose legislation, which appeal to (1) the educational benefits of these exams, or (...) (2) protecting institutional autonomy. Kantian ideas about autonomy help to illuminate the problematic ways in which these arguments supplant the importance of women’s choices over how their bodies are used while seeking medical treatment. Ultimately, neither argument offers sufficient reason to oppose laws that require explicit consent before administering training pelvic exams. (shrink)
In this paper I reconstruct Schiller's theory of virtue from his essay “On grace and dignity” and discuss how it fits into Kant's moral philosophy. According to Schiller, a virtuous person – a beautiful soul – is characterised by harmony between reason and sensibility. I show that despite some misleading textual clues and interpretations based on them, Schiller does not regard the harmony between reason and sensibility as an equal partnership. On the contrary, just like Kant, Schiller fully recognises the (...) priority of reason. The difference between their positions is more subtle. Whereas Kant holds that sensibility must be overtly subordinated to reason, Schiller believes that there should be a semblance of an equal partnership between reason and sensibility, provided that the latter is sufficiently ennobled. (shrink)
What happens when human beings fail to do as reason bids? This book is an attempt to address this age-old question within Kant’s mature practical philosophy, i.e. the practical philosophy that emerged with the watershed discovery of autonomy in the mid-1780s. As always, Kant is good for a surprise. There is, it is argued, not one answer but two: he advocates Socratic intellectualism in the realm of prudence whilst defending an anti-intellectualist or volitional account of immoral action. This ‘hybrid’ theory (...) of practical failure is more than a philosophical curiosity. There are ramifications for Kant’s theory of practical reason as a whole. In particular, the hybrid account emphasizes the divide between pure and empirical practical rationality to the extent that the latter, while containing practically relevant propositions, no longer counts as a branch of practical reason at all. Hypothetical and categorical imperatives exemplify two entirely distinct kinds of normativity. In fact, the dichotomy between pure and empirical determining grounds of the will goes hand in hand with many other dualisms and dichotomies that, whether we like them or not, continue to define Kant’s mature ethical thought. (shrink)
Evidence-based medicine is a clinical decision-making framework which makes claims about what physicians ought to do. Though heralded as the cutting edge of medical science, evidence-based medicine is a value-laden normative theory which implicitly depends on substantive views regarding what is morally good or right. In this paper, I provide an ethical analysis of evidence-based medicine. I consider its normative underpinnings in three ethical theories: utilitarianism, Kantian deontology, and virtue ethics. In the face of uncertainty, evidence-based medicine endorses expected utility (...) theory using the best available evidence in order to avoid doing more harm than good. In accordance with the Kantian respect for individuals as ends in themselves, evidence-based medicine calls for integrating the values and preferences of the patient. De-emphasizing intuition, clinical expertise, and pathophysiologic rationale emphasizes the need for the intellectual virtues of curiosity, critical thinking, and courage. Evidence-based medicine is a successful clinical practice that can be morally justified by all three major ethical theories. Although its focus on maximizing good health outcomes and integrating respect for individual patients has been emphasized, the role of the intellectual virtues in evidence-based medicine remains highly under-explored. (shrink)
My aim in this essay is to reorient our understanding of the Kantian ethical project, especially in relation to its assumed rivals. I do this by considering Kant's relation to eudaimonism, especially in its Aristotelian form. I argue for two points. First, once we understand what Kant and Aristotle mean by happiness, we can see that not only is it the case that, by Kant's lights, Aristotle is not a eudaimonist. We can also see that, by Aristotle's lights, Kant is (...) a eudaimonist. Second, we can see that this agreement on eudaimonism actually reflects a deeper, more fundamental agreement on the nature of ethics as a distinctively practical philosophy. This is an important result, not just for the history of moral philosophy but for moral philosophy as well. For it suggests that both Kantians and Aristotelians may well have more argumentative resources available to them than is commonly thought. (shrink)
Kant takes the idea of autonomy of the will to be his distinctive contribution to moral philosophy. However, this idea is more nuanced and complicated than one might think. In this chapter, I sketch the rough outlines of Kant’s idea of autonomy of the will while also highlighting contentious exegetical issues that give rise to various possible interpretations. I tentatively defend four basic claims. First, autonomy primarily features in Kant’s account of moral agency, as the condition of the possibility of (...) moral obligation. Second, autonomy amounts to a metaphysical property as well as a normative principle and a psychological capacity. Third, although there is legitimate scholarly disagreement about whether or not autonomy involves self-legislation of the moral law, there is good reason to believe it underwrites an ‘inside-out’ (as opposed to ‘outside-in’) conception of the relationship between the will and moral requirements. Fourth, persons have dignity because their autonomy makes them members in the set of beings over whom the categorical imperative requires us to universalise our maxims, not because autonomy is an independently important property. (shrink)
The Problem of Obligation is the problem of how to explain the features of moral obligations that distinguish them from other normative phenomena. Two recent accounts, the Second-Personal Account and the Relational Account, propose superficially similar solutions to this problem. Both regard obligations as based on the claims or legitimate demands that persons as such have on one another. However, unlike the Second-Personal Account, the Relational Account does not regard these claims as based in persons’ authority to address them. Advocates (...) of the Relational Account accuse the Second-Personal Account of falling prey to the Problem of Antecedence. According to this objection, the Second-Personal Account is committed to the implausible claim that we have an obligation to φ only if, and because, others demand that we φ. Since the Relational Account’s proposed solution to the Problem of Obligation does not face the Problem of Antecedence, its advocates argue that it is dialectically superior to the Second-Personal Account. In this paper, I defend the Second-Personal Account by arguing that, first, the Relational Account does not actually solve the Problem of Obligation and, second, the Second-Personal Account does not fall prey to the Problem of Antecedence. (shrink)
In this paper we examine the genealogy and transmission of moral duty in Western ethics. We begin with an uncontroversial account of the Stoic notion of the kathēkon, and then examine the pivotal moment of Cicero’s translation of it into Latin as ‘officium’. We take a deflationary view of the impact of Cicero’s translation and conclude that his translation does not mark a departure from the Stoic ideal. We find further confirmation of our deflationary position in the development of the (...) notion of ‘duty’ in Germany between the 16th and 18th centuries. We examine Pufendorf’s critique of ancient eudaimonism and his appropriation of officium, and claim that it foreshadows Kant’s rejection of Garve’s Ciceronian ethics. We demonstrate the undeniable parallels between Kant’s Groundwork and Garve’s influential translation of Cicero’s De Officiis, thereby indicating a novel way in which we should understand Cicero’s contribution to the development of modern moral philosophy. (shrink)
Ask most philosophers for an example of a moral rationalist, and they will probably answer “Kant.” And no wonder. Kant’s first great work of moral philosophy, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, opens with a clarion call for rationalism, proclaiming the need to work out for once a pure moral philosophy, a metaphysics of morals. That this metaphysics includes the first principle of ethics, the moral law, is obvious. But what about the second principles, particular moral laws, such as duties (...) of truthfulness, beneficence, etc.? Are these principles metaphysical too? Many have thought not, since they make essential use of empirical and anthropological considerations. I argue otherwise; the second principles are metaphysical and this matters. I do this by taking seriously the metaphysics of the metaphysics of morals—more specifically, by understanding the metaphysics of morals alongside the metaphysics of nature. For, qua metaphysics, both employ a common two-stage methodology, the first stage of which is wholly a priori but the second stage of which is partly empirical. As I explain, appreciating this common methodology sheds new light on how the second principles are to be established, as well as on the reach of Kant’s rationalism. (shrink)
Kant holds that whenever we fail to act from duty, we are driven by self-love. In this paper, we argue that there are a variety of different ways in which people go wrong, and we show why it is unsatisfying to reduce all of these to self-love. In doing so, we present Kant with five cases of wrongdoing that are difficult to account for in terms of self-love. We end by suggesting a possible fix for Kant, arguing that he should (...) either accept a pluralistic account of self-love, or move beyond the duty/self-love dichotomy entirely. (shrink)
Theories of reasons and other normativia can seem to lead ineluctably to a tragic dilemma. They can be personal but parochial if they locate reasons in features of the point of view of actual people. Or they can be objective but alien if they take reasons to be mind-independent fixtures of the universe. Kantian constructivism tries to offer the best of both worlds: an account of normative authority anchored in the evaluative perspectives of actual agents but refined by a procedure (...) that guarantees certain principles, like the moral law, will have universal and unconditional authority. This chapter considers motivations for such a view and chronicles the intrepid efforts of its adherents to make good on this guarantee - to show that the structure of practical reason commits reasoners to morality. -/- . (shrink)
In Kant scholarship, the concept of maxims is discussed, for the most part, from the perspective of the universalization procedure of the Categorical Imperative. In fact, however, it has a much wider relevance. As is shown in this contribution, maxims are fundamental to Kant’s theory of action and value. Since the agent expresses her pro-attitudes, i.e., interests, preferences, and life-plans based on maxims, they figure as constitutive elements of her practical identity. After some general and historical considerations on Kant’s concept (...) of maxims, it is shown that their function in the theory of the ‘practical syllogism’ implies that maxims play an important role in considerations on the agent’s ends, goals, and purposes. Additionally, I will discuss the function of maxims in Kant’s action theory. I will defend an interpretation of the Kantian idea according to which practical deliberation can be understood based on a hierarchical order of maxims. Finally, the problem of higher-order maxims and the issue of the unity and inner consistency of maxims is debated. (shrink)
Die Philosophie Immanuel Kants und – wenn auch in weit geringerem Maße – der Neukantianismus waren für das philosophische Denken von Hans Jonas zeitlebens von hoher Bedeutung. Wichtige Prinzipien wie die kritische Grundhaltung zur Metaphysik und die Notwendigkeit einer philosophischen Begründung ethischer Normen hat Jonas in das eigene Denken übernommen, dann aber für seine sehr eigenständige, von Kant immer wieder stark abweichende Philosophie fruchtbar werden lassen.
The attention economy — the market where consumers’ attention is exchanged for goods and services — poses a variety of threats to individuals’ autonomy, which, at minimum, involves the ability to set and pursue ends for oneself. It has been argued that the threat wireless mobile devices pose to autonomy gives rise to a duty to oneself to be a digital minimalist, one whose interactions with digital technologies are intentional such that they do not conflict with their ends. In this (...) paper, we argue that there is a corresponding duty to others to be an attention ecologist, one who promotes digital minimalism in others. Although the moral reasons for being an attention ecologist are similar to those that motivate the duty to oneself, the arguments diverge in important ways. We explore the application of this duty in various domains where we have special obligations to promote autonomy in virtue of the different roles we play in the lives of others, such as parents and teachers. We also discuss the consequences of our arguments for employers, software developers, and policy makers. (shrink)
Dieter Henrich ‘s “Notion of a Deduction” (1989), opened up approaches to both Deductions in terms of legal as opposed to syllogistic reasoning. Since the CpR is shot through with juridical metaphors and analogies, many points of connection suggest themselves. In this paper, I extend and modify Henrich’s approach, in order to extract a particular logic of evidence. I argue that the three syntheses of the A-Deduction correspond to parts of a deductive procedure, and that their names have been chosen (...) to indicate this connection to the reader. Nonetheless, the principal aim of the paper is not to develop and defend these historiographical claims, but to explicate the structure of the logic of evidence in question and link it to Kant’s intended refutation of Hume. Since the procedures Kant describes are part of the law of evidence of many nations and are equally well at work in contemporary information-theory, a precise reconstruction can map directly onto contemporary problems in philosophy, physics, and informatics, without any loss of historical accuracy. (shrink)
To capture genuine utilitarian tendencies, developed the Oxford Utilitarianism Scale based on two subscales, which measure the commitment to impartial beneficence and the willingness to cause harm for the greater good. In this article, I argue that the impartial beneficence subscale, which breaks ground with previous research on utilitarian moral psychology, does not distinctively measure utilitarian moral judgment. I argue that Kantian ethics captures the all-encompassing impartial concern for the well-being of all human beings. The Oxford Utilitarianism Scale draws, in (...) fact, a point of division that places Kantian and utilitarian theories on the same track. I suggest that the impartial beneficence subscale needs to be significantly revised in order to capture distinctively utilitarian judgments. Additionally, I propose that psychological research should focus on exploring multiple sources of the phenomenon of impartial beneficence without categorizing it as exclusively utilitarian. (shrink)
The ‘black box’ in Stoic axiology refers to the mysterious connection between the input of Stoic deliberation (reasons generated by the value of indifferents) and the output (appropriate actions). In this paper, I peer into the black box by drawing an analogy between Stoic and Kantian axiology. The value and disvalue of indifferents is intrinsic, but conditional. An extrinsic condition on the value of a token indifferent is that one's selection of that indifferent is sanctioned by context-relative ethical principles. The (...) value of an indifferent that does not meet this condition is normatively silenced, such that it fails to constitute a reason for action. (shrink)
The notion of social welfare was created by the paradigm shift from duty‐based to right‐based morality, in which the satisfaction of human needs is a right in line with preserving human dignity. This paper investigates Kant’s view on social welfare in light of redistribution policy. Kant bases his political philosophy on external freedom. Notwithstanding the ethical principles of his philosophy, he is the first prominent thinker to clearly emphasize the necessity of a redistribution policy by the government toward providing for (...) the needs of the poor and the needy. The important question remaining is whether or not the Kantian ideas of external freedom and redistribution for the sake of satisfying the right to social welfare can reach a compromise. It seems that Kant believes the redistribution policy to be not the right of the poor to be provided welfare by the state, but the right of the state, and as such, the states' right to task the people with providing for the welfare of the poor. Such a policy challenges the freedom of the wealthier class and apparently leads to an inconsistency between the two pillars of Kant’s sociopolitical philosophy. The current paper aims to find Kant’s response to this challenge by referring to his scattered arguments. (shrink)
The main purpose of these introductory remarks is to give the reader a sense of Philip Rossi’s philosophical project and its importance. I will then advance an interpretation of what motivates Kant’s commitment to community, and, on its basis, object to Rossi’s views on radical evil –a point which affects how one should conceive the moral vocation of humanity and the role that politics and religion play within it. My reconstruction concludes with a sketch of how the five contributions to (...) this Symposium fit together and deepen our understanding of Rossi’s overall project. (shrink)
In her book Morality as Rationality: A Study of Kant’s Ethics, Barbara Herman set a clear goal: to show that the central claims of Kant’s ethics can be properly understood only if we accept the thesis that morality is a form of rationality. In other words, Herman argues that within Kant’s practical philosophy all moral principles are rational and when we act in accordance with them we act rationally.
U trećem odseku Zasnivanja metafizike morala Kant nastoji da, na osno vu ideje o nužnom pretpostavljanju slobode, pruži dedukciju vrhovnog moralnog prin cipa i da dokaže njegovo objektivno važenje. Tri godine kasnije, u Kritici praktičkog -/- uma, on eksplicitno poriče mogućnost izvođenja navedene dedukcije i promenom meto doloških postavki pokušava da pokaže da svest o moralnom zakonu kao činjenici uma -/- predstavlja osnovu za dedukciju slobode. U ovom radu ćemo zastupati stav da direktan -/- kontrast između dva Kantova teksta jasno (...) pokazuje da je došlo do radikalnog preokre -/- ta u njegovoj misli. Cilj ovog teksta je da pokaže da je Kant imao razloge da bude neza -/- dovoljan dedukcijom moralnog zakona ponuđenom u Zasnivanju metafizike morala, što -/- ga je navelo da promeni svoj argumentativni tok prilikom pisanja druge Kritike. (shrink)
Kant’s conception of autonomy has been criticised for identifying acting freely with acting morally. As a result, many Kantians have moved away from Kant’s moral conception of autonomy, instead proposing what I will call an “end-set- ting” or “two-way capacity” account of autonomy. I believe that we should resist these revisions and that doing so makes clear why it is only the capacity for moral autonomy that is of unlimited value. What fundamentally distinguishes our free capacity of volition is the (...) fact that we are autonomous. This capacity en- ables us to have a conception of unlimited goodness that gives us the dignity, i. e. the unlimited value, that non-autonomous beings lack. (shrink)
In this article I maintain that when employers could free workers from the space constraint of the office without incurring unbearable economic losses, it is morally wrong not to grant workers the possibility to work remotely, as this violates the humanity formulation of Kant’s categorical imperative. The article therefore aims to contribute to the development of Kantian business ethics, taking into account a series of empirical evidence gathered in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. I firstly discuss the Kantian concept (...) of meaningful work and explain why, due to a prejudice that existed with respect to remote work before the Covid-19 pandemic, the issue of freedom from the office was not given normative relevance. I then introduce a Kantian argument in defence of remote work and proceed to discuss two objections. The first objection is that remote work may well foster productivity, but it creates problems in terms of innovation and training of new staff. The second objection is that remote work hinders rather than fosters meaningful work because it deprives employees of social relations and inhibits workplace identity. I conclude by explaining why neither objection undermines the normative argument that workers should be allowed to work remotely as long as the “bearable costs” clause is met. (shrink)
In der Reihe werden herausragende monographische Untersuchungen und Sammelbände zu allen Aspekten der Philosophie Kants veröffentlicht, ebenso zum systematischen Verhältnis seiner Philosophie zu anderen philosophischen Ansätzen in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Veröffentlicht werden Studien, die einen innovativen Charakter haben und ausdrückliche Desiderate der Forschung erfüllen. Die Publikationen repräsentieren den aktuellsten Stand der Forschung.
I advance an approach to thinking about moral obligation and how it moves us that runs counter to mainstream thought in ethics. Many assume, with Kant, that bona fide moral obligation must involve some truly unconditional, categorical, or inescapable constraint. Following in Hume’s footsteps, I advocate for viewing our paradigmatic obligations as instead deriving from rules of important social practices, followed out of a felt sense of reverence or regard. I do not offer a complete defense of this more Humean (...) approach here; instead, I respond to a familiar kind of objection. Some allege that seeing our obligations this way can lead to a troubling kind of conflict between an agent’s motive to fulfill her obligations and the very values that, for her, make a given practice and its rules worthy of her devotion. In such circumstances, the objector alleges, any motive to fulfill her obligations will amount to little more than an agent’s “worshiping” of the rules. I disarm this charge of “rule-worship” as it has been levied against the Humean approach, though not by denying that this sort of motivational conflict can arise. Instead, I argue that once the source and nature of conflict are better understood, its possibility is no threat. Indeed, far from a strike against it, the way that the Humean approach to obligation helps us to make good sense of this kind of conflict is ethically attractive, and thus a selling point. (shrink)
I argue that, alongside the already well-established prohibition against treating persons as mere means, Kant’s Formula of Humanity requires a prohibition against treating persons as mere things. The former captures ethical violations due to someone’s (perceived) instrumental value, e.g. exploitation, the latter captures cases in which I mistreat others because they have no instrumental value to me. These are cases in which I am indifferent and complacent towards persons in need; forms of mistreatment frequently suffered by the world’s poorest. I (...) explain why we need the category of treating others as mere things and what the prohibition against such treatment entails. Prohibitions against treating as mere means and as mere things are both essential for understanding the specific nature and extent of our duties to the world’s poorest. (shrink)
This essay develops a Kantian approach to the permissibility of biomedical physical, cognitive, and moral enhancement. Kant holds that human beings have an imperfect duty to promote their physical, cognitive, and moral perfection. While an agent’s individual circumstances may limit the means she may permissibly use to enhance herself, whether biomedically or otherwise, I argue (1) that biomedical means of enhancing oneself are, generally speaking, both permissible and meritorious from a Kantian perspective. Despite often being equally permissible, I also argue (...) (2) that enhancing oneself by more traditional means is, generally speaking, more meritorious (and involves the display of more virtue) than enhancing oneself by biomedical means. Nevertheless, since Kant does not fault agents for acting less meritoriously (or for displaying less virtue) than they otherwise could, I also argue (3) that those who opt for permissible biomedical enhancement over more traditional forms are not blameworthy for doing so. I also consider and reject several objections to these claims, including that biomedical enhancements (1) are too passive to count as actions by the agent who enhances herself, (2) involve a failure of the agent to treat her humanity as an end in itself or to show proper respect for her dignity, (3) might be undertaken on the basis of motives that undermine their permissibility, (4) are likely to exacerbate existing social and economic inequalities in ways that do the same, and (5) in their moral form are incompatible with Kant’s conception of duty and human freedom. (shrink)
This paper discusses the philosophical issues pertaining to Kantian moral agency and artificial intelligence. Here, our objective is to offer a comprehensive analysis of Kantian ethics to elucidate the non-feasibility of Kantian machines. Meanwhile, the possibility of Kantian machines seems to contend with the genuine human Kantian agency. We argue that in machine morality, ‘duty’ should be performed with ‘freedom of will’ and ‘happiness’ because Kant narrated the human tendency of evaluating our ‘natural necessity’ through ‘happiness’ as the end. Lastly, (...) we argue that the Kantian ‘freedom of will’ and ‘faculty of choice’ do not belong to any deterministic model of ‘agency’ as these are sacrosanct systems. The conclusion narrates the non-feasibility of Kantian AI agents from the genuine Kantian ethical outset, offering a utility-based Kantian ethical performer instead. (shrink)
In this article, I address the issue of whether we have an obligation to remember past immoral actions. My central question is: do we have an obligation to remember past moral transgressions? I address this central question through three more specific questions. In the first section, I enquiry whether we have an obligation to remember our own past transgressions. In the second section, I ask whether we have an obligation to remember the wrongful actions that others have committed against ourselves. (...) In the last section, I investigate whether we have a duty to remember the suffering of victims of crimes that have a political aspect, crimes such as state violence, oppression and racial discrimination, for example. Here I use the term ‘obligation’ in a board sense to refer to actions that are recommended from the moral point of view, that is, when we have moral reasons to act in a certain way. Here I decided to explore these issues from a Kantian perspective. At first glance, Kant does not seem to have much to offer to an ethics of memory since he does not ask these questions directly. Nevertheless, I was interested to explore to what extent Kant’s ethics, and Kantian ethics more generally, can give us tools to answer these questions. What I have discovered is that, despite my initial doubts, the Kantian framework can provide us with materials to build arguments that can help us to answer these questions. In fact, I will argue that in Kant’s ethics, we have an obligation to remember past immoral actions. With regard to our own transgressions, I argue that we ought to remember our past transgressions because this is an aspect of our moral development. With regard to others’ transgressions, I argue that we have a duty of self-respect to demand that others respect us (in the Kantian sense, that is, that others treat us in a morally correct way) and that this involves remembering others’ transgressions, particularly when there is no evidence of their repentance or if they have not apologized. However, if we have (fallible) reasons to think that the wrongdoer has repented, then there is certainly no need to continue to remind them of their offenses. Thus, in the first two sections, my arguments are based on a certain interpretation of Kant’s ethical texts. However, when I address the political dimension of the ethics of memory I have based my arguments on the work of contemporary authors, especially Jeffrey Blustein. In the last section then, the perspective is more ‘Kantian’ than Kant’s. I argue that we have a duty to remember the victims of social and political injustice (social and political violence, oppression, discrimination, atrocity and crimes against humanity). Defenders of the importance of political memory usually appeal to consequentialist arguments. However, these arguments have limits. A Kantian perspective (deontological) is relevant here because it allows us to provide new arguments in support of the importance of political memory and thus ultimately to provide a stronger defense of duties of memory. -/- The issues that arise in relation to an ethics of memory will no doubt require that we study other sources in addition to the materials and arguments provided from a Kantian perspective. Nevertheless, I conclude that perhaps a bit surprisingly, the Kantian tradition has more to offer than it initially seemed, and it can certainly provide part of the theoretical framework to develop an ethics of memory. (shrink)