Authors
Patrick Frierson
Whitman College
Abstract
This paper explains the empirical markers by which Kant thinks that one can identify moral responsibility. After explaining the problem of discerning such markers within a Kantian framework, I briefly explain Kant’s empirical psychology. I then argue that Kant’s empirical markers for moral responsibility—linked to higher faculties of cognition—are not sufficient conditions for moral responsibility, primarily because they are empirical characteristics subject to natural laws. Next, I argue that these markers are not necessary conditions of moral responsibility. Given Kant’s transcendental idealism, even an entity that lacks these markers could be free and morally responsible, although as a matter of fact Kant thinks that none are. Given that they are neither necessary nor sufficient conditions, I discuss the status of Kant’s claim that higher faculties are empirical markers of moral responsibility. Drawing on connections between Kant’s ethical theory and ‘common rational cognition’, I suggest that Kant’s theory of empirical markers can be traced to ordinary common sense beliefs about responsibility. This suggestion helps explain both why empirical markers are important and what the limits of empirical psychology are within Kant’s account of moral responsibility.Keywords: Immanuel Kant; Moral responsibility; Freedom; Empirical psychology; Transcendental idealism; Reason; Common sense; Anthropology.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2008.09.011
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,018
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

Kant's Deduction of Freedom and Morality.Karl Ameriks - 1981 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 19 (1):53-79.

View all 10 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Kant's Empirical Psychology.Patrick R. Frierson - 2014 - Cambridge University Press.
Kant’s Transcendental and Empirical Psychology of Cognition.Claudia M. Schmidt - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (4):462-472.
Kant's Commitment to Metaphysics of Morals.L. Nandi Theunissen - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (1):103-128.
On the Necessity of Beauty.Linda Palmer - 2011 - Kant-Studien 102 (3):350-366.
Moral Feeling and Moral Conversion in Kant's "Religion".Laura Papish - 2013 - Idealistic Studies 43 (1-2):11 - 26.
Kant's Empirical Account of Human Action.Patrick Frierson - 2005 - Philosophers' Imprint 5:1-34.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
69 ( #164,647 of 2,498,533 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #211,850 of 2,498,533 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes