Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (3):243-254 (2007)

Elizabeth Brake
Rice University
This paper develops a Kantian account of the moral assessment of institutions. The problem I address is this: while a deontological theory may find that some legal institutions are required by justice, it is not obvious how such a theory can assess institutions not strictly required (or prohibited) by justice. As a starting-point, I consider intuitions that in some cases it is desirable to attribute non-consequentialist moral value to institutions not required by justice. I will argue that neither consequentialist nor virtue-ethical accounts account for these intuitions, suggesting that a distinctive deontological account is needed. The account I give is drawn from Kant’s Metaphysics of Morals; I distinguish it from Kantian views of institutions developed by Barbara Herman and Onora O’Neill. Throughout, I use marriage as an example.
Keywords Philosophy   Ontology   Political Philosophy   Ethics
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-007-9066-6
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References found in this work BETA

After Virtue.A. MacIntyre - 1981 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
Practical Philosophy.Immanuel Kant - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Justice, Gender, and the Family.Martha L. Fineman - 1991 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 20 (1):77-97.

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Kant-Bibliographie 2007.Margit Ruffing - 2009 - Kant-Studien 100 (4):526-564.

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