Pufendorf makes a clear distinction between the physical constitution of human beings and their value as human beings, stressing that the latter is justified exclusively by the regular use of the free will. According to Pufendorf, the regular use of free will requires certain inventions (divine as well as human) imposed on the free will and called moral entities. He claims that these inventions determine the moral quality of a human being as well as the standards according to which human (...) beings and their actions are able to be judged. This article examines the normative aspects of Pufendorf’s concepts of moral value and moral estimation in regard to the epistemological question of the accessibility of moral entities for human beings. In the first part, it reconstructs Pufendorf’s doctrine of moral entities and the place of moral estimation in this doctrine. In the second part, it presents Pufendorf’s account of the moral philosophy as a science in order to explain his theory of moral normativity as imposed, and the role of a person in regard to the own moral status. In the last part, it illustrates some consequences in regard to the problem of slavery in Pufendorf. (shrink)
The articles contained in this collection look at the displacements, upheavals and dislocations in the traditional definition of obligation as experienced in the 18th and early 19th centuries from the perspective of the humanities and cultural studies. The works in this volume not only focus on Kantian moral philosophy, as the pinnacle of a specific modern development, but also examine the diverse other concepts of obligation and how they were formulated through literature, aesthetics, politics and pedagogy.
In his "Elementa Iuris Naturae et Gentium" Johann Gottlieb Heineccius presents a unique account of love as the principle of natural law, referring to the main concern of early modern protestant theories of natural law: the importance of securing subjective rights by a law. Heineccius accepts the universal character of subjective rights derived from human nature, claiming their protection as natural duties required by a law. This chapter provides an attempt to explain the specific ways in which Heineccius deals with (...) the paradoxical situation that the protection of subjective rights by a natural law theory requires certain limitations of the use of such rights, in order to avoid the mutual collision of such rights. For this purpose it focuses on the rights to free thought and free speech, which are very good example for that. While the first part reconstructs the way in which Heineccius claims the specific concern of natural law and points out continuities and discontinuities with his predecessors, the second part focuses on the requirement of natural law for limitation of free thought and free speech in case of collision of subjective rights. (shrink)
This Thesis is analyzing the transformation of Kant's argumentation on space from "Von dem ersten Grunde des Unterschiedes der Gegenden im Raume" (1768), "De mundi sensibilis atque intelligibilis forma et principiis" (1770), and "Kritik der reinen Vernunft" (1781/87).
In this chapter I compare the concept of hope as affect in the psychology of Kant and Hoffbauer, pointing out continuities and discontinuities between their discussions of this concept. I sketch the negative aspects of hope in Kant’s work, and his responses to questions of how hope can impair the objectivity of judgments about the future and what the negative effects of this impairment are. Although Kant does not consider hope as essentially an affect, he maintains that, in some kind (...) of (pre-rational) natural state of human existence, it does function as an affect, and, as a result, impairs our cognitive faculties. In order to prevent such an impairment, he claims, we need to use reason to govern all our faculties. Hoffbauer takes up this idea in the newly developed context of clinical psychology. The first part of the chapter presents a short sketch of Kant’s psychological concept of hope as affect, focusing on the possible negative effects of hope on the function of human understanding. The second part examines the reception of this Kantian theory in Hoffbauer’s psychology. The analysis in this section focuses on Hoffbauer’s analysis of how the affective impact of hope may cause the inappropriate use of our cognitive faculties, even potentially leading to a serious impairment of our sanity. This psychological perspective sheds new light on Kant’s claim that reason has an essential interest in hope. (shrink)