Decision Procedures, Moral Criteria, and the Problem of Relevant Descriptions in Kant's Ethics

In B. Sharon Byrd, Joachim Hruschka & Jan C. Joerdan (eds.), Jahrbuch Für Recht Und Ethik. Duncker Und Humblot (1997)
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I argue that the Universal Law formulation of the Categorical Imperative is best interpreted as a test or decision procedure of moral rightness and not as a criterion intended to explain the deontic status of actions. Rather, the Humanity formulation is best interpreted as a moral criterion. I also argue that because the role of a moral criterion is to explain, and thus specify what makes an action right or wrong, Kant's Humanity formulation yields a theory of relevant descriptions



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Mark Timmons
University of Arizona

Citations of this work

Nary an Obligatory Maxim from Kant’s Universalizability Tests.Samuel J. M. Kahn - 2022 - Zeitschrift Für Ethik Und Moralphilosophie 5 (1):15-35.
Kant’s theory of conscience.Samuel J. M. Kahn - 2015 - In Pablo Muchnik & Oliver Thorndike (eds.), Rethinking Kant: Volume IV. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 135-156.
The Problem of Relevant Descriptions and the Scope of Moral Principles.Irina Schumski - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (4):1588-1613.

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References found in this work

Moral Beliefs.Philippa Foot - 1959 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 59:83 - 104.
Consistency in Action.Onora O'Neill - 1998 - In James Rachels (ed.), Ethical Theory 2: Theories About How We Should Live. Oxford University Press.
Universal Laws and Ends-in-Themselves.Onora O’Neill - 1989 - The Monist 72 (3):341-361.
Relevance.R. M. Hare - 1978 - In A. I. Goldman & I. Kim (eds.), Values and Morals. Boston: D. Reidel. pp. 73--90.

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