Autonomy and Moral Rationalism: Kant’s Criticisms of ‘Rationalist’ Moral Principles (1762-1785)

In Stefano Bacin & Oliver Sensen (eds.), The Emergence of Autonomy in Kant's Moral Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 48-66 (2019)

Authors
Stefano Bacin
Università degli Studi di Milano
Abstract
This paper attempts to shed light on Kant’s notion of autonomy in his moral philosophy by considering Kant’s critique of the rationalist theories of morality that Kant discussed in his lectures on practical philosophy from the 1760s to the time of the Groundwork. The paper first explains Kant’s taxonomy of moral theories. Second, it considers Kant's arguments against the two main variants of ‘rationalism’ as he construes it, that is, perfectionism and theological voluntarism, pointing out the similarities to previous criticisms. Third, the paper argues that Kant’s discussion of the 'rationalist' views does not amount to an unqualified dismissal, but to an attempt at working out a novel rationalist position. Kant’s criticisms of rationalist views suggest that his project emerges from the failures of previous rationalism, with the aim to work out a rationalist view that can account for moral obligation by integrating insights from the theological conception. The combination of perfectionism and theological views yields the basic outline of the idea of autonomy, consisting in the lawgiving function of a rational will as a key to the legislation of a necessary law.
Keywords moral rationalism  moral voluntarism  perfectionism  divine command theory  autonomy  heteronomy  Kant's philosophical development
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 40,109
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Invention of Modern Moral Philosophy A Review Of.Jennifer A. Herdt - 2001 - Journal of Religious Ethics 29 (1):147-173.
Kant's Rationalist Aesthetics.Rachel Zuckert - 2007 - Kant-Studien 98 (4):443-463.
Kant on Moral Autonomy.Oliver Sensen (ed.) - 2012 - Cambridge University Press.
Kant and the Possibility of Moral Motivation.Mark Timmons - 1985 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 23 (3):377-398.
Kant on Recognizing Our Duties As God’s Commands.John E. Hare - 2000 - Faith and Philosophy 17 (4):459-478.
Kant on Recognizing Our Duties As God’s Commands.John E. Hare - 2000 - Faith and Philosophy 17 (4):459-478.
Antivoluntarism and the Birth of Autonomy.Wesley Erdelack - 2011 - Journal of Religious Ethics 39 (4):651-679.
The Politics of Kantian Moral Philosophy.David Milton Hasen - 1993 - Dissertation, Harvard University

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-07-24

Total views
19 ( #421,353 of 2,237,126 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
13 ( #70,122 of 2,237,126 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature