Kant is the philosophical tradition's arch-anti-consequentialist – if anyone insists that intentions alone make an action what it is, it is Kant. This chapter takes up Kant's account of the relation between intention and action, aiming both to lay it out and to understand why it might appeal. The chapter first maps out the motivational architecture that Kant attributes to us. We have wills that are organized to action by two parallel and sometimes competing motivational systems. One determines us by (...) way of motives that are sensuous, natural and given from without, the other by motives that are intellectual, rational, and given from within. Each set of motives belongs to a system of laws – natural motives to the laws of nature, rational motives to the laws of freedom. For Kant, all things, including actions, are what they are in virtue of the laws governing them; actions, qua actions, are always governed by laws that govern individual wills. These laws are Kantian maxims, 'or subjective practical laws.' Maxims, for Kant, thus make actions the actions they are. The chapter then maps out the implications of this motivational architecture for Kant's theory of value. Maxims always advert to or 'contain' both ends and means. Ends are always specifications of one of two ultimate ends. Actions have the moral value they have depending on which of two ultimate ends the maxim adverts to. The possibilities are 'happiness,' or gratification of desires with sensuous origins, and 'duty,' or accord with the moral demand to will in ways that respect free rational agency wherever it is found. Only actions aimed at the latter – actions with rational motives – have moral value. Actions aimed at the former – actions with natural motives – though not immoral in themselves, become so when pursuit works against rational motives. For Kant, actions aimed at happiness are ultimately allied with efforts to sustain our 'animal' existence, and so are governed by terms and conditions given by the natural world. Actions aimed at duty, in contrast, are ultimately allied with efforts to impose a rational form on nature, to make it over, so to speak, according to values not given by nature itself. Actions aimed at duty, therefore, create a specifically moral world, one in which mores and norms, formal and informal arrangements, institutions, policies, and so on, realize, harmonize, and promote free rational agency itself. Finally, the chapter addresses motivations for Kant's view. The architecture of will and the theories of action and value he proposes allow Kant to accommodate a host of intuitions and commitments. His view makes room for metaphysically free agency, and for the lived experience of motivational freedom from ever-changing natural desires. It makes room for conflicts within the will while still holding out hope that resolution is possible. It accommodates views that the best human lives engage 'higher' faculties in sustained ways. It identifies a stable, necessary, universal end amidst the evident contingency, pluralism, and instability of most ends. It makes us, and not God or nature, the authors of our moral lives. In the end, Kant's 'anti-consequentialism,' his focus on intentions, is a way of insisting on actions that take their character and value from what should matter most to us, namely individual and collective free rational agency, rather than only and always taking the character of reactive responses to circumstance. (shrink)
External freedom is the central good protected in Kant's legal and political philosophy. But external freedom is perplexing, being at once freedom of spatio-temporal movement and a form of noumenal or 'intelligible' freedom. Moreover, it turns out that identifying impairments to external freedom nearly always involves recourse to an elaborated system of positive law, which seems to compromise external freedom's status as a prior, organizing good. Drawing heavily on Kant's understanding of the role of empirical 'anthropological' information in constructing a (...) Doctrine of Right, or Rechtslehre, this essay offers an interpretation of external freedom that makes sense of its simultaneous spatio-temporality, dependence on positive law, intelligibility (or 'noumenality'), and a priority. The essay suggests that this account of Kantian external freedom has implications both for politics and for the metaphysics of everyday objects and institutions. (shrink)
Immanuel Kant's moral philosophy is one of the most distinctive achievements of the European Enlightenment. At its heart lies what Kant called the 'strange thing': the free, rational, human will. This introduction explores the basis of Kant's anti-naturalist, secular, humanist vision of the human good. Moving from a sketch of the Kantian will, with all its component parts and attributes, to Kant's canonical arguments for his categorical imperative, this introduction shows why Kant thought his moral law the best summary expression (...) of both his own philosophical work on morality and his readers' deepest shared convictions about the good. Kant's central tenets, key arguments, and core values are presented in an accessible and engaging way, making this book ideal for anyone eager to explore the fundamentals of Kant's moral philosophy. (shrink)
This paper takes up Kant's argument that infanticides - specifically unwed women who kill their illegitimate children at birth - should not be tried for murder or receive the death penalty. Kant suggests that their actions are committed in a 'state of nature' outside the law's jurisdiction. I aim here both to defend Kant's reasoning against charges that it is cruel , as well as to understand what Kant was thinking in introducing such a 'temporary' state of nature. I claim (...) that such a state of nature arises in Kant's thinking when powerful social norms conflict with legal requirements, rendering legal sanctions and protections moot for the actor. Kant's thinking here shows him struggling with the fact of powerful social norms, something his practical theory rarely does, focused as it is on practical laws that come from pure reason, or from self-interest, and not from the hybrid of rational and natural, moral and 'sensuous,' that is social life. Kant ultimately rejects 'temporary state of nature' exemptions from law, and instead urges legal reforms aimed at averting conflicts between social and legal norms. (shrink)
The Federal Trade Commission has an important role to play in the governmental oversight of mobile health apps, ensuring consumer protections from unfair and deceptive trade practices and curtailing anti-competitive methods. The FTC’s consumer protection structure and authority is outlined before reviewing the recent FTC enforcement activities taken on behalf of consumers and against developers of mhealth apps. The article concludes with identification of some challenges for the FTC and modest recommendations for strengthening the consumer protections it provides.
The Common Health problems that plague Americans today are often the result of people’s choices and behaviors: obesity, cigarette smoking, accidental pediatric head trauma owing to failure to properly restrain children, and failure to adhere to medication regimens. For each problem, there is a well-studied effective behavioral intervention: a healthy diet and exercise for obesity, smoking cessation programs to overcome cigarette addiction, appropriate car restraints to prevent accidental head trauma, and direct observation of treatment and simplification of medical regimens to (...) improve drug adherence. Traditionally, the physician defined the problem and told the patient what she needed to do. In the modern era of .. (shrink)
External freedom is the central good protected in Kant's legal and political philosophy. But external freedom is perplexing, being at once freedom of spatio‐temporal movement and a form of noumenal or ‘intelligible’freedom. Moreover, it turns out that identifying impairments to external freedom nearly always involves recourse to an elaborated system of positive law, which seems to compromise external freedom's status as a prior, organizing good. Drawing heavily on Kant's understanding of the role of empirical ‘anthropological’information in constructing a Doctrine of (...) Right, or Rechtslehre, this essay offers an interpretation of external freedom that makes sense of its simultaneous spatio‐temporality, dependence on positive law, intelligibility, and a priority. The essay suggests that this account of Kantian external freedom has implications both for politics and for the metaphysics of everyday objects and institutions. (shrink)
In this paper, we argue that, contra Strevens (2013), understanding in the sciences is sometimes partially constituted by the possession of abilities; hence, it is not (in such cases) exhausted by the understander’s bearing a particular psychological or epistemic relationship to some set of structured propositions. Specifically, the case will be made that one does not really understand why a modeled phenomenon occurred unless one has the ability to actually work through (meaning run and grasp at each step) a model (...) simulation of the underlying dynamic. (shrink)
Although early emotion theorists posited that bodily changes contribute to emotion, the primary view in affective science over the last century has been that emotions produce bodily changes. Recent findings from physiology, neuroscience, and neuropsychology support the early intuition that body representations can help constitute emotion. These findings are consistent with the modern psychological constructionist hypothesis that emotions emerge when representations of bodily changes are conceptualized as an instance of emotion. We begin by introducing the psychological constructionist approach to emotion. (...) With Schachter as inspiration, we next examine how embodied representations contribute to affective states, and ultimately emotion, with inflammation as a key example. We close by looking forward to future research on how body representations contribute to human experience. (shrink)
Immanuel Kant's moral philosophy is one of the most distinctive achievements of the European Enlightenment. At its heart lies what Kant called the "strange thing": the free rational human will. This introduction explores the basis of Kant's anti-naturalis, secular, moral vision of the human good. Moving from a sketch of the Kantian will, with all its component parts and attributes, to Kant's canonical arguments for his categorical imperative, it shows why Kant thought his moral law the best summary expression of (...) both his own philosophical work on morality and his readers' deepest shared convictions about the good. Kant's central tenets, his key arguments, and core values are presented in an accessible and engaging way, making this book ideal for anyone eager to explore the fundamentals of Kant's moral philosophy. (shrink)
I argue against a reading of Kant's moral theory according to which Kant proposes no substantial conception of the good. Against those who place Kant in the liberal tradition on the basis of his formal, 'neutral framework,' principles, I suggest that Kant's practical and political theory rests on a valuation of the practical and cognitive virtues of self-mastery , self-sufficiency, and regularity. The appeal of Kant's principles, and hence their chances of ever being put into action, accordingly lies not in (...) their fairness or reasonableness, but in their promise to make real repose, unity, and harmony. I support these claims by examining the role of interest in Kant's understanding of agency; by showing that the categorical imperative serves as a practical guide only on the understanding that it expresses and protects free rational activity, in which it assumes an interest; and by pulling together the scattered passages in which Kant describes the features and promises of free rational activity that have for us tremendous appeal. My investigation makes clear that such appeal, and the recognition of a conception of the good it expresses, is necessary if Kant's moral principles are to have the power to move he thinks they must. (shrink)
Les objets de la recherche universitaire débordent parfois les catégories habituellement admises. La religion en général et le christianisme en particulier doivent ainsi être replacés dans un contexte élargi, social, culturel, éducatif ou religieux. Le présent article examine brièvement le concept de clairvoyance dans la littérature monastique chrétienne de l’Égypte antérieure à 451, pour montrer qu’on doit l’étudier non seulement en fonction du contexte chrétien mais aussi du contexte hellénistique dans lequel le christianisme s’est développé. Academic subjects do not fall (...) neatly into distinctly labeled units. Religion in general, and Christianity in particular, must be considered within larger, pre-existing social, cultural, educational, and religious contexts. This paper briefly examines one concept, clairvoyance in Christian monastic literature in Egypt before 451 c.e., and attempts to demonstrate the necessity of studying it not only within the Christian context, but also within the wider, Hellenistic context within which Christianity eventually flourished. (shrink)
It is a mystery how we just know to be in any context of our lives. It happens without our thinking. By this same token we never have to work out how to speak an English sentence that we utter. We just know to talk and do. This paper is an exploration of this mystery.
Kant’s anthropological lectures introduce scepticism about our psychological capacity to experience happiness conceived as gratification or contentment. Aesthetic experience is in a position to inform an alternative conception of happiness that not only is more adequate to the idea of happiness than either gratification or contentment but also may more easily conform to the moral law’s constraints than gratification. As an ‘ideal feeling’, pleasure in beauty serves as a model for how best to enjoy even sensual pleasures and otherwise ‘private’ (...) sensations. In the end, the third Critique suggests that this alternative conception is more ‘appropriate’ to humankind. (shrink)
This study investigated women’s lived experience of becoming less obsessed with their bodily appearance. Written narrative accounts were collected from seven women co-participants and a phenomenological analysis of these descriptive protocols was then performed in order to reveal the prereflective structure of the focal phenomenon, seven essential constituents of which emerged. A major goal of this research was to contribute to the undernourished area of phenomenological research regarding the experience of body image.
Institutional review boards distinguish health care quality improvement and health care quality improvement research based primarily on the rigor of the methods used and the purported generalizability of the knowledge gained. Neither of these criteria holds up upon scrutiny. Rather, this apparently false dichotomy may foster under-protection of participants in QI projects and over-protection of participants within QIR.