Philosophy 81 (3):505-530 (2006)

Jens Timmermann
University of St. Andrews
The present article is an attempt to clarify the Kantian conception of duties to the self and to defend them against common objections. Kant’s thesis that all duty rests on duties to the self is shown to follow from the autonomy of the human will; and the allegation that they are impossible because the agent could always release himself from such a duty turns out to be question-begging. There is no attempt to prove that there are such duties, but they are revealed to be an indispensable part of morality. Traditional attributes of moral commands, such as ‘categoricity’ or ‘overridingness’ make no sense in a one-sidedly other-regarding or social conception of morality
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DOI 10.1017/s0031819106317056
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