Emotion in Kant's Moral Theory

Dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder (1996)
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Abstract

In spite of the traditional assumption that Kant's moral theory is paradigmatically unfriendly to emotion, I argue that a defensible account of moral emotion is possible within his critical framework. I defend Kant against five objections, each of which claims that an adequate Kantian account of moral emotion is not possible: that Kant has no account of emotion, that any account possible will reflect a certain unavoidable ambivalence toward emotion, that Kant misses or excludes the motivational importance of emotion, the role emotion plays must be suppressed in the effort to achieve a rationalistic deliberative outlook, and finally that the emotional Kantian agent is schizophrenic, for there is a tension in Kant's account between the rational and sensuous sides of human moral agency. I show that each objection suffers from misconceptions about Kant's moral theory and neglect of important texts concerning emotion

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