Southern Journal of Philosophy 37 (1):25-41 (1999)
Kant claims that we have a duty to promote our own moral perfection, but not the moral perfection of others. I examine three types of argument for this asymmetry, as well as the implications of these arguments--and their success or failure--for Kantian theory. The arguments I consider say that (first) to promote others’ perfection is impossible; (second) to try to promote others’ perfection is impermissible; and (third) one cannot be obligated to promote both others’ perfection and one’s own. I argue that none of these arguments establishes Kant’s conclusion. Since the formula of humanity grounds a duty to promote our own perfection out of respect for our rational nature, the absence of an argument denying that we must promote others’ perfection suggests that we must do so (out of respect for their rational nature). Even so, Kant’s theory discourages moral paternalism and takes perfection to be a primarily self-regarding project. Thus, I also show that a Kantian duty to promote the moral perfection of others would be unobjectionable, despite the problems such a duty might initially seem to invite.
|Keywords||Kantian ethics duties to others perfection self-other asymmetry|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Kant's Conception of Duties Regarding Animals: Reconstruction and Reconsideration.Lara Denis - 2000 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 17 (4):405-23.
The Education of the Categorical Imperative.James Scott Johnston - 2006 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 25 (5-6):385-402.
For Community's Sake: A (Self-Respecting) Kantian Account of Forgiveness.Kate A. Moran - forthcoming - Proceedings of the XI International Kant-Kongress.
Seeking Perfection: A Kantian Look at Human Genetic Engineering.Martin Gunderson - 2007 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28 (2):87-102.
The Modal Perfection Argument for the Existence of a Supreme Being.Robert Maydole - 2003 - Philo 6 (2):299-313.
The Alleged Paradox of Moral Perfection.Carla Bagnoli - 2006 - In Elvio Baccarini (ed.), Rationality in Belief and Action,. Rijeka.
The Concept of Perfection in the Teachings of Kant and the Gita.Balbir Singh - 1967 - Delhi: M. Banarsidass.
The Impossibility of Perfection: Aristotle, Feminism, and the Complexities of Ethics.Michael A. Slote - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Added to index2009-02-05
Total downloads87 ( #59,777 of 2,169,723 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #49,578 of 2,169,723 )
How can I increase my downloads?