Philosophical Quarterly 69 (274):64-81 (2019)

Authors
Pauline Kleingeld
University of Groningen
Abstract
One of the most important difficulties facing Kant’s Formula of Universal Law (FUL) is its apparent inability to show that it is always impermissible to kill others for the sake of convenience. This difficulty has led current Kantian ethicists to de-emphasize the FUL or at least complement it with other Kantian principles when dealing with murder. The difficulty stems from the fact that the maxim of convenience killing fails to generate a ‘contradiction in conception’, producing only a ‘contradiction in the will’ when subjected to the two-fold test associated with the FUL. This result is thought to imply that the FUL allows us sometimes to kill for the sake of convenience. In this essay, I argue that the very diagnosis of the problem rests on a mistake, and that if the maxim of convenience killing generates a contradiction in the will, then acting on it is never permissible.
Keywords categorical imperative  contradiction  Formula of Universal Law  Immanuel Kant  imperfect duties  killing  latitude
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Reprint years 2019
DOI 10.1093/pq/pqy038
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References found in this work BETA

Creating the Kingdom of Ends.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Kantian Ethics.Allen W. Wood - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.
The Practice of Moral Judgment.Barbara Herman - 1985 - Journal of Philosophy 82 (8):414-436.

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