Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (6):812-830 (2018)

Nick Smyth
Fordham University
Four decades ago, Bernard Williams accused Kantian moral theory of providing agents with ‘one thought too many’. The general consensus among contemporary Kantians is that this objection has been decisively answered. In this paper, I reconstruct the problem, showing that Williams was not principally concerned with how agents are to think in emergency situations, but rather with how moral theories are to be integrated into recognizably human lives. I show that various Kantian responses to Williams provide inadequate materials for solving this ‘integration problem’, and that they are correspondingly ill-positioned to account for the authority of morality, as Williams suspected all along.
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DOI 10.1080/00455091.2017.1415105
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