The Emergence of Autonomy in Kant's Moral Philosophy ed. by Stefano Bacin and Oliver Sensen [Book Review]

Journal of the History of Philosophy 58 (2):407-409 (2020)
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Abstract

Kant introduces autonomy in the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals as "the characteristic of the will by which it is a law to itself". Autonomy is Kant's solution to a puzzle about how to describe and account for moral obligation, which binds necessarily and cannot, therefore, be derived from any independent desire or interest. But Kant's pithy description of autonomy raises more questions than it settles. How is self-legislation possible in the first place? How is autonomy related to the various imperatival statements of the moral law in the Groundwork? How can rational agents be motivated by their recognition of obligation in the absence of some other interest?Though the title of the volume...

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Kate Moran
Brandeis University

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