Dissertation, (2012)

Alice Pinheiro Walla
McMaster University
This doctoral thesis analyzes the systematic role of Kant’s conception of happiness in his moral, legal and political theory. Although many of his conclusions and arguments are directly or indirectly influenced by his conception of human happiness, Kant’s underlying assumptions are rarely overtly discussed or given much detail in his works. Kant also provides different and apparently incompatible definitions of happiness. This research explores the domains of Kant’s practical philosophy in which his conception of happiness plays a systematic role: the relation between the natural need of human beings to pursue happiness and the ends-oriented structure of the human will; Kant’s anti-eudaimonism in ethical theory; Kant’s claim that we have an indirect duty to promote our own happiness and the problem that under certain circumstances, the indeterminacy of happiness makes it not irrational to choose short term satisfaction at the costs of one’s overall, long term happiness, given Kant’s conception of non-moral choice as expectation of pleasure; Kant’s justification of the duty to adopt the happiness of others as our ends and the latitude and eventual demandingness of this duty; finally, since Kant also subsumes subsistence needs and welfare under the concept of happiness of individuals, I also engage with the question of state provision for the poor in the Kantian Rechtsstaat and explore Kant’s conception of equity or fairness as an alternative to the traditional minimalist and the welfare interpretations of the Kantian state.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2012, 2013
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: 65,784
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Kant on Happiness in the Moral Life.Gary Watson - 1983 - Philosophy Research Archives 9:79-108.
The Concept of the Highest Good in Kant's Moral Theory.Stephen Engstrom - 1992 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (4):747-780.
What is This Thing Called Happiness?Fred Feldman - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
A Deduction of Kant’s Concept of the Highest Good.Curtis Bowman - 2003 - Journal of Philosophical Research 28:45-63.
Kant's Conception of Virtue.Lara Denis - 2006 - In Paul Guyer (ed.), Cambridge Companion to Kant and Modern Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
In Defense of the Hedonistic Account of Happiness.Stephen Morris - 2011 - Philosophical Psychology 24 (2):261-281.
Kant on Happiness.Victoria S. Wike - 1987 - Philosophy Research Archives 13:79-90.
Kant on Moral Freedom and Moral Slavery.David Forman - 2012 - Kantian Review 17 (1):1-32.


Added to PP index

Total views
60 ( #182,426 of 2,463,134 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #223,428 of 2,463,134 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes