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Owen Ware
University of Toronto, St. George Campus
  1. Rethinking Kant's Fact of Reason.Owen Ware - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14.
    Kant’s doctrine of the Fact of Reason is one of the most perplexing aspects of his moral philosophy. The aim of this paper is to defend Kant’s doctrine from the common charge of dogmatism. My defense turns on a previously unexplored analogy to the notion of ‘matters of fact’ popularized by members of the Royal Society in the seventeenth century. In their work, ‘facts’ were beyond doubt, often referring to experimental effects one could witness first hand. While Kant uses the (...)
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  2. Kant’s Deductions of Morality and Freedom.Owen Ware - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (1):116-147.
    It is commonly held that Kant ventured to derive morality from freedom in Groundwork III. It is also believed that he reversed this strategy in the second Critique, attempting to derive freedom from morality instead. In this paper, I set out to challenge these familiar assumptions: Kant’s argument in Groundwork III rests on a moral conception of the intelligible world, one that plays a similar role as the ‘fact of reason’ in the second Critique. Accordingly, I argue, there is no (...)
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  3.  72
    Fichte’s Method of Moral Justification.Owen Ware - forthcoming - British Journal for the History of Philosophy:1-21.
    While Kant’s claim that the moral law discloses our freedom to us has been extensively discussed in recent decades, the reactions to this claim among Kant’s immediate successors have gone largely overlooked by scholars. Reinhold, Creuzer, and Maimon were among three prominent thinkers of the era unwilling to follow Kant in making the moral law the condition for knowing our freedom. Maimon went so far as to reject Kant’s method of appealing to our everyday awareness of duty on the grounds (...)
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  4. Kant on Moral Sensibility and Moral Motivation.Owen Ware - 2014 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 52 (4):727-746.
    Despite Kant’s lasting influence on philosophical accounts of moral motivation, many details of his own position remain elusive. In the Critique of Practical Reason, for example, Kant argues that our recognition of the moral law’s authority must elicit both painful and pleasurable feelings in us. On reflection, however, it is unclear how these effects could motivate us to act from duty. As a result, Kant’s theory of moral sensibility comes under a skeptical threat: the possibility of a morally motivating feeling (...)
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  5. Fichte on Conscience.Owen Ware - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (2):376-394.
    There is no question that Fichte's theory of conscience is central to his system of ethics. Yet his descriptions of its role in practical deliberation appear inconsistent, if not contradictory. Many scholars have claimed that for Fichte conscience plays a material role by providing the content of our moral obligations—the Material Function View. Some have denied this, however, claiming that conscience only plays a formal role by testing our moral convictions in any given case—the Formal Function View. My aim in (...)
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  6.  46
    Freedom Immediately After Kant.Owen Ware - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    Kant’s effort to defend the co-existence of transcendental freedom and natural necessity is one of the crowning achievements of the first Critique. Yet by identifying the will with practical reason in his moral philosophy, he lent support to the view that the moral law is the causal law of a free will – the result of which, as Reinhold argued, left immoral action impossible. However, Reinhold’s attempt to separate the will from practical reason generated difficulties of its own, which Maimon (...)
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  7. The Duty of Self-Knowledge.Owen Ware - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (3):671-698.
    Kant is well known for claiming that we can never really know our true moral disposition. He is less well known for claiming that the injunction "Know Yourself" is the basis of all self-regarding duties. Taken together, these two claims seem contradictory. My aim in this paper is to show how they can be reconciled. I first address the question of whether the duty of self-knowledge is logically coherent (§1). I then examine some of the practical problems surrounding the duty, (...)
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  8.  56
    Schiller on Evil and the Emergence of Reason.Owen Ware - 2018 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 35 (4):337-355.
    Schiller was one of many early post-Kantians who wrestled with Kant’s doctrine of radical evil, a doctrine that continues to puzzle commentators today. Schiller’s own explanation of why we are prone to pursue happiness without restriction is, I argue, subtle and multilayered: it offers us a new genealogy of reflective agency, linking our tendency to egoism to the first emergence of reason within human beings. On the reading I defend, our drive for the absolute does not lead us directly to (...)
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  9. Consciousness and Personal Identity.Owen Ware & Donald C. Ainslie - 2014 - In Aaron Garrett (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Eighteenth Century Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 245-264.
    This paper offers an overview of consciousness and personal identity in eighteenth-century philosophy. Locke introduces the concept of persons as subjects of consciousness who also simultaneously recognize themselves as such subjects. Hume, however, argues that minds are nothing but bundles of perceptions, lacking intrinsic unity at a time or across time. Yet Hume thinks our emotional responses to one another mean that persons in everyday life are defined by their virtues, vices, bodily qualities, property, riches, and the like. Rousseau also (...)
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  10. The Concept of Persons in Kant and Fichte.Owen Ware - forthcoming - In Antonia LoLordo (ed.), Persons: A History. Oxford University Press.
    It is well known that Kant seeks to discredit rational psychology on the grounds that we cannot access the nature of the soul by reflecting upon the ‘I think’ of self-consciousness. What is far less understood, however, is why Kant still believes the theorems of rational psychology are analytically true insofar as they represent the ‘I’ through the categories of substance, reality, unity, and existence. Early post-Kantian thinkers like Fichte would abandon this restriction and approach the concept of the ‘I’ (...)
     
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  11. Skepticism in Kant's Groundwork.Owen Ware - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (2):375-396.
    This paper offers a new interpretation of Kant's relationship with skepticism in the Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. My position differs from commonly held views in the literature in two ways. On the one hand, I argue that Kant's relationship with skepticism is active and systematic (contrary to Hill, Wood, Rawls, Timmermann, and Allison). On the other hand, I argue that the kind of skepticism Kant is interested in does not speak to the philosophical tradition in any straightforward sense (...)
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  12. Forgiveness and Respect for Persons.Owen Ware - 2014 - American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (3).
    The concept of respect for persons is often rejected as a basis for understanding forgiveness. As many have argued, to hold your offender responsible for her actions is to respect her as a person; but this kind of respect is more likely to sustain, rather than dissolve, your resentment toward her (Garrard & McNaughton 2003; 2011; Allais 2008). I seek to defend an alternative view in this paper. To forgive, on my account, involves ceasing to identify your offender with her (...)
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  13. Fichte’s Normative Ethics: Deontological or Teleological?Owen Ware - 2018 - Mind 127 (506):565-584.
    One of the most controversial issues to emerge in recent studies of Fichte concerns the status of his normative ethics, i.e., his theory of what makes actions morally good or bad. Scholars are divided over Fichte’s view regarding the ‘final end’ of moral striving, since it appears this end can be either a specific goal permitting maximizing calculations (the consequentialist reading defended by Kosch 2015), or an indeterminate goal permitting only duty-based decisions (the deontological reading defended by Wood 2016). While (...)
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  14. Accessing the Moral Law Through Feeling.Owen Ware - 2015 - Kantian Review 20 (2):301-311.
    In this article I offer a critical commentary on Jeanine Grenberg’s claim that, by the time of the second Critique, Kant was committed to the view that we only access the moral law’s validity through the feeling of respect. The issue turns on how we understand Kant’s assertion that our consciousness of the moral law is a ‘fact of reason’. Grenberg argues that all facts must be forced, and anything forced must be felt. I defend an alternative interpretation, according to (...)
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  15. Fichte's Voluntarism.Owen Ware - 2010 - European Journal of Philosophy 18 (2):262-282.
    Abstract: In recent work Stephen Darwall has attacked what he calls J. G. Fichte's ‘voluntarist’ thesis, the idea—on Darwall's reading—that I am bound by obligations of respect to another person by virtue of my choice to interact with him. Darwall argues that voluntary choice is incompatible with the normative force behind the concept of a person, which demands my respect non-voluntarily. He in turn defends a ‘presuppositional’ thesis which claims that I am bound by obligations of respect simply by recognizing (...)
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  16.  65
    Agency and Evil in Fichte’s Ethics.Owen Ware - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15.
    This paper examines Fichte's proof of evil in §16 of the System of Ethics. According to the majority of commentators, Fichte was mistaken to consider his proof Kantian in spirit (Piché 1999; Kosch 2006, 2011; Dews 2008; and Breazeale 2014). For rather than locate our propensity to evil in an act of free choice, Fichte locates it in a natural force of inertia. However, the distance between Kant and Fichte begins to close if we read his concept of inertia, not (...)
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  17.  72
    Ontology, Otherness, and Self-Alterity: Intersubjectivity in Sartre and Merleau-Ponty.Owen Ware - 2006 - Symposium 10 (2):503-513.
  18. Kant, Skepticism, and Moral Sensibility.Owen Ware - 2010 - Dissertation, University of Toronto
    In his early writings, Kant says that the solution to the puzzle of how morality can serve as a motivating force in human life is nothing less than the “philosophers’ stone.” In this dissertation I show that for years Kant searched for the philosophers’ stone in the concept of “respect” (Achtung), which he understood as the complex effect practical reason has on feeling. -/- I sketch the history of that search in Chapters 1-2. In Chapter 3 I show that Kant’s (...)
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  19.  38
    Review: Sittliches Bewusstsein Und Kategorischer Imperativ in Kants 'Grundlegung'. [REVIEW]Owen Ware - 2017 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 55 (2):355-356.
    Heiko Puls's commentary is a welcome, and timely, addition to a growing wave of interest in the third section of Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.
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  20. Is Fichte's Ethics an Empty Formalism?Owen Ware - forthcoming - In Practical Philosophy from Kant to Hegel: Freedom, Right and Revolution. Cambridge University Press.
     
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  21.  34
    Virtue, Rules, and Justice: Kantian Aspirations. [REVIEW]Owen Ware - 2013 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (5):1005-1008.
    Virtue, Rules, and Justice: Kantian Aspirations is a collection of 16 individual essays. The book is organised into four parts, covering a wide range of topics. ‘Basic Themes’ (Part I) presents an overview of Kant’s ethics and its development in contemporary philosophy; ‘Virtue’ (Part II) considers the notion of virtue from a variety of theoretical perspectives; ‘Moral Rules and Principles’ (Part III) interprets and defends the idea of a ‘Kantian legislative perspective’; and ‘Practical Questions’ (Part IV) addresses a number of (...)
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  22. The Second Person in Fichte and Levinas.Owen Ware & Michael L. Morgan - forthcoming - Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal.
    Levinas never engaged closely with Fichte’s work, but there are two places in the chapter “Substitution,” in Otherwise than Being (1974), where he mentions Fichte by name. The point that Levinas underscores in both of these passages is that the other’s encounter with the subject is not the outcome of the subject’s freedom; it is not posited by the subject, as Fichte has it, but is prior to any free activity. The aim of this paper is to deepen the comparison (...)
     
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  23.  71
    Review: Roth, Klas and Surprenant, Chris (Eds.), Kant and Education: Interpretations and Commentary[REVIEW]Owen Ware - 2012 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews:unknown.
    Kant and Education brings together sixteen essays by an international group of scholars. The range of topics covered in the anthology is impressive. Kant's contribution to contemporary theories of education is central, as well as Kant's intellectual debt to Rousseau, the role of education in Kant's normative theories, and the impact of Kant's ideas on subsequent generations. Add to this the relative shortness of each essay (ten to fifteen pages), and one is left with an accessible introduction to a fascinating, (...)
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  24.  58
    Sartre and Merleau-Ponty on Intersubjectivity.Owen Ware - 2006 - Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy/Revue canadienne de philosophie continentale 10 (2):503-513.
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  25. Fichte's Deduction of the Moral Law.Owen Ware - forthcoming - In Steven Hoeltzel (ed.), Palgrave Fichte Handbook. Palgrave.
    It is often assumed that Fichte's aim in Part I of the System of Ethics is to provide a deduction of the moral law, the very thing that Kant – after years of unsuccessful attempts – deemed impossible. On this familiar reading, what Kant eventually viewed as an underivable 'fact' (Factum), the authority of the moral law, is what Fichte traces to its highest ground in what he calls the principle of the 'I'. However, scholars have largely overlooked a passage (...)
     
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  26.  26
    Impossible Passions.Owen Ware - 2005 - Philosophy Today 49 (2):171-183.
  27.  54
    Rudolf Otto's Idea of the Holy: A Reappraisal.Owen Ware - 2007 - Heythrop Journal 48 (1):48–60.
    This paper explores the ambiguity in Rudolph Otto's discussion of the mysterium tremendum in order to address a broader set of difficulties in The Idea of the Holy (1917). In doing so, I outline two common criticisms of Otto's position. The first attacks Otto for not providing a secure transition from the numinous experience of terror to the holy experience of faith. The second attacks Otto for upholding a kind of theistic dualism, which seemingly puts his thought at odds with (...)
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  28.  51
    Universality and Historicity: On the Sources of Religion.Owen Ware - 2006 - Research in Phenomenology 36 (1):238-254.
    One of the central questions of Jacques Derrida's later writings concerns the sources of religion. At times he gives explicit priority to the universal dimension of religion. In other places, however, he considers the primacy of faith in its concrete, historical context. This paper will clarify Derrida's relationship to universality and historicity by first comparing his notion of "messianicity without messianism" to that of Walter Benjamin's "weak Messianism." After drawing out these differences, I will focus on Derrida's later writings. I (...)
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  29.  31
    Love Speech.Owen Ware - 2008 - Critical Inquiry 34 (3):491-508.
  30.  7
    Impossible Passions: Derrida and Negative Theology.Owen Ware - 2005 - Philosophy Today 49 (2):171-183.
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  31. Fichte's Moral Philosophy.Owen Ware - forthcoming - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
  32. Fichte’s System of Ethics: A Critical Guide.Owen Ware & Stefano Bacin - forthcoming - Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    The book will provide the first close examination in English of one of Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s main works, the System of Ethics (1798). All chapters will be contributions published for the first time.
     
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  33. Kant's Justification of Ethics.Owen Ware - forthcoming - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  34. Practical Philosophy From Kant to Hegel: Freedom, Right and Revolution.Owen Ware - forthcoming - Cambridge University Press.
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