The Netherlands is one of the few countries where euthanasia is legal under strict conditions. This study investigates whether Dutch newspaper articles use the term ‘euthanasia’ according to the legal definition and determines what arguments for and against euthanasia they contain.
The Dutch law states that a physician may perform euthanasia according to a written advance euthanasia directive when a patient is incompetent as long as all legal criteria of due care are met. This may also hold for patients with advanced dementia. We investigated the differing opinions of physicians and members of the general public on the acceptability of euthanasia in patients with advanced dementia.
Paulin J. Hountondji is one of the most important and controversial figures in contemporary African philosophy. His critique of ethnophilosophy as a colonial, exoticising and racialized undertaking provoked contentious debates among African intellectuals on the proper methods and scope of philosophy and science in an African and global context since the 1970s. His radical pledge for scientific autonomy from the global system of knowledge production made him turn to endogenous forms of practising science in academia. The horizon of his philosophy (...) is the quest for critical universality from a historical, and situated perspective. Finally, his call for a notion of culture that is antithetical to political movements focused on a single identitarian doctrine or exclusionary norms shows how timely his political thought remains to this day. This book gives a comprehensive overview of Hountondji’s philosophical arguments and provides detailed information on the historical and political background of his intellectual oeuvre. It situates Hountondji in the dialogue with his African colleagues and explores links to current debates in philosophy, cultural studies, postcolonialism and the social sciences. (shrink)
The prohibition on using others ‘merely as means’ is one of the best-known and most influential elements of Immanuel Kant’s moral theory. But it is widely regarded as impossible to specify with precision the conditions under which this prohibition is violated. On the basis of a re-examination of Kant’s texts, the article develops a novel account of the conditions for using someone ‘merely as a means’. It is argued that this account has not only strong textual support but also significant (...) philosophical advantages over alternative conceptions. (shrink)
Gottfried Achenwall, _Prolegomena to Natural Law_, ed. Pauline Kleingeld, trans. Corinna Vermeulen. Groningen: University of Groningen Press, 2020. Open Access, available via the 'direct download' link below. This is the first English translation of _Prolegomena iuris naturalis_ by Gottfried Achenwall (1719–1772). In this book, Achenwall presents the philosophical foundation for his comprehensive theory of natural law. The book is of interest not only because it provides the basis for a careful, systematic, and well-respected eighteenth-century theory of natural law in (...) the Leibniz-Wolffian tradition, but also because it sheds important light on the work of Immanuel Kant. Achenwall’s work influenced Kant’s legal and political philosophy as well as his ethics, and it is indispensable for understanding Kant’s _Feyerabend Lectures on Natural Law_ and his _Metaphysics of Morals_. The present volume complements the translation of Achenwall’s handbook, _Natural Law_ (London: Bloomsbury, 2020). (shrink)
In the present book, Pauline Phemister argues against traditional Anglo-American interpretations of Leibniz as an idealist who conceives ultimate reality as a plurality of mind-like immaterial beings and for whom physical bodies are ultimately unreal and our perceptions of them illusory. Re-reading the texts without the prior assumption of idealism allows the more material aspects of Leibniz's metaphysics to emerge. Leibniz is found to advance a synthesis of idealism and materialism. His ontology posits indivisible, living, animal-like corporeal substances as (...) the real metaphysical constituents of the universe; his epistemology combines sense-experience and reason; and his ethics fuses confused perceptions and insensible appetites with distinct perceptions and rational choice. In the light of his sustained commitment to the reality of bodies, Phemister re-examines his dynamics, the doctrine of pre-established harmony and his views on freedom. The image of Leibniz as a rationalist philosopher who values activity and reason over passivity and sense-experience is replaced by the one of a philosopher who recognises that, in the created world, there can only be activity if there is also passivity; minds, souls and forms if there is also matter; good if there is evil; perfection if there is imperfection. (shrink)
The work of seventeenth-century polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz has proved inspirational to philosophers and scientists alike. In this thought-provoking book, Pauline Phemister explores the ecological potential of Leibniz’s dynamic, pluralist, panpsychist, metaphysical system. She argues that Leibniz’s philosophy has a renewed relevance in the twenty-first century, particularly in relation to the environmental change and crises that threaten human and non-human life on earth. Drawing on Leibniz’s theory of soul-like, interconnected metaphysical entities he termed 'monads', Phemister explains how an individual’s (...) true good is inextricably linked to the good of all. Phemister also finds in Leibniz’s works the rudiments of a theory of empathy and strategies for strengthening human feelings of compassion towards all living things. Leibniz and the Environment is essential reading for historians of philosophy and environmental philosophers, and will also be of interest to anyone seeking a metaphysical perspective from which to pursue environmental action and policy. (shrink)
This chapter proposes a solution to the Trolley Problem in terms of the Kantian prohibition on using a person ‘merely as a means.’ A solution of this type seems impossible due to the difficulties it is widely thought to encounter in the scenario known as the Loop case. The chapter offers a conception of ‘using merely as a means’ that explains the morally relevant difference between the classic Bystander and Footbridge cases. It then shows, contrary to the standard view, that (...) a bystander who diverts the trolley in the Loop case need not be using someone ‘merely as a means’ in doing so. This makes it possible to show why the Loop scenario does not undermine the explanation of the salient moral difference between the Bystander and Footbridge cases. (shrink)
Following the book Algebraic Set Theory from André Joyal and leke Moerdijk , we give a characterization of the initial ZF-algebra, for Heyting pretoposes equipped with a class of small maps. Then, an application is considered (the effective topos) to show how to recover an already known model (McCarty ).
In this article, I reply to Jens Timmermann’s critical discussion of my essay “Contradiction and Kant’s Formula of Universal Law”. I first consider Timmermann’s reasons for rejecting my interpretation of the Formula of Universal Law. I argue that the self-contradiction relevant to determining a maxim’s moral status should not be sought in the imagined world in which the maxim is a universal law. I then discuss Timmermann’s suggestion that something like a volitional self-contradiction is found within the will of the (...) immoral agent. I deny this and clarify that the relevant contradiction is diagnosed counterfactually in moral reflection. Finally, I explain the differences between Timmermann’s account, Korsgaard’s Practical Contradiction interpretation, and my own Volitional Self-Contradiction interpretation. (shrink)
Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz stand out among their seventeenth-century contemporaries as the great rationalist philosophers. Each sought to construct a philosophical system in which theological and philosophical foundations serve to explain the physical, mental and moral universe. Through a careful analysis of their work, Pauline Phemister explores the rationalists seminal contribution to the development of modern philosophy. Broad terminological agreement and a shared appreciation of the role of reason in ethics do not mask the very significant disagreements that led (...) to three distinctive philosophical systems: Cartesian dualism, Spinozan monism and Leibnizian pluralism. The book explores the nature of, and offers reasons for, these differences. Phemister contends that Spinoza and Leibniz developed their systems in part through engagements with and amendment of Cartesian philosophy, and critically analyses the arguments and contributions of all three philosophers. The clarity of the authors discussion of their key ideas including their views on knowledge, universal languages, the nature of substance and substances, bodies, the relation of mind and body, freedom, and the role of distinct perception and reason in morals will make this book the ideal introduction to rationalist philosophy. (shrink)
The Moral Self addresses the question of how morality enters into our lives. Pauline Chazan draws upon psychology, r ral philosophy and literary interpretation to rebut the view that morality's role is to limit desire and control self-love. Perserving the ancients' connection between what is good for the self and what is morally good, Chazan argues that a certain kind of care for the self is central to moral agency. Her intriguing argument begins with a critical examination of the (...) views of Hume, Rousseau and Hegel. The constructive part of the book takes a more unusual turn by synthesising the work on the analyst Heinz Kohut and Aristotle into Chazan's own positive account, which is then illustrated by the use of Russian literature. (shrink)
In this seminal exploration of the nature and future of African philosophy, Paulin J. Hountondji attacks a myth popularized by ethnophilosophers such as Placide Temples and Alexis Kagame that there is an indigenous, collective African philosophy, separate and distinct from the Western philosophical tradition. Hountondji contends that ideological manifestations of this view that stress the uniqueness of the African experience are protonationalist reactions against colonialism conducted, paradoxically, in the terms of colonialist discourse.
This is the first comprehensive account of Kant’s cosmopolitanism, highlighting its moral, political, legal, economic, cultural, and psychological aspects. Contrasting Kant’s views with those of his German contemporaries, and relating them to current debates, Pauline Kleingeld sheds new light on texts that have been hitherto neglected or underestimated. In clear and carefully argued discussions, she shows that Kant’s philosophical cosmopolitanism underwent a radical transformation in the mid 1790s and that the resulting theory is philosophically stronger than is usually thought. (...) Using the work of figures such as Fichte, Cloots, Forster, Hegewisch, Wieland, and Novalis, Kleingeld analyzes Kant’s arguments regarding the relationship between cosmopolitanism and patriotism, the importance of states, the ideal of an international federation, cultural pluralism, race, global economic justice, and the psychological feasibility of the cosmopolitan ideal. In doing so, she reveals a broad spectrum of positions in cosmopolitan theory that are relevant to current discussions of cosmopolitanism. -/- TABLE OF CONTENTS: Acknowledgments; Abbreviations; Introduction; 1. World citizens in their own country: Wieland and Kant on moral cosmopolitanism and patriotism; 2. Universal republic of world citizens or international federation?: Cloots and Kant on global peace; 3. Global hospitality: Kant's concept of cosmopolitan right; 4. Hierarchy or diversity?: Forster and Kant on race, culture, and cosmopolitanism; 5. International trade and justice: Hegewisch and Kant on cosmopolitanism and globalization; 6. Cosmopolitanism and feeling: Novalis and Kant on the development of a universal human community; 7. Kant's cosmopolitanism and current philosophical debates; Bibliography; Index. (shrink)
Kant is famous for his universalist moral theory, which emphasizes human dignity, equality, and autonomy. Yet he also defended sexist and (until late in his life) racist views. In this essay, I address the question of how current readers of Kant should deal with Kant’s sexism and racism. I first provide a brief description of Kant’s views on sexual and racial hierarchies, and of the way they intersect. I then turn to the question of whether we should set aside Kant’s (...) sexism and racism or ‘translate’ his egalitarian principles into inegalitarian ones. I argue for a third position, namely, that we should highlight the tensions that pervade Kant’s theory. In the final section, I argue that the use of inclusive language and female pronouns in recent discussions of Kant’s moral and political philosophy carries significant risks. I end by articulating several preconditions for fruitfully using Kant’s moral principles to criticize sexism and racism. (shrink)
The Montagovian hypothesis of direct model-theoretic interpretation of syntactic surface structures is supported by an account of the semantics of binding that makes no use of variables, syntactic indices, or assignment functions & shows that the interpretation of a large portion of so-called variable-binding phenomena can dispense with the level of logical form without incurring equivalent complexity elsewhere in the system. Variable-free semantics hypothesizes local interpretation of each surface constituent; binding is formalized as a type-shifting operation on expressions that denote (...) functions, & sentences containing a free pronoun are analyzed as a function from individuals to propositions having a meaning of type (e,t). Standard weak crossover effects & binding patterns in sentences with multiple pronouns are shown to submit to straightforward type-theoretic treatments that do not rely on indexation. The variable-free semantics smoothly implements full surface compositionality & requires less machinery than standard accounts to handle functional questions, their answers, sloppy inferences, & across-the-board binding. 73 References. J. Hitchcock. (shrink)
In this essay, “The Principle of Autonomy in Kant’s Moral Theory: Its Rise and Fall,” Pauline Kleingeld notes that Kant’s Principle of Autonomy, which played a central role in both the Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals and the Critique of Practical Reason, disappeared by the time of the Metaphysics of Morals. She argues that its disappearance is due to significant changes in Kant’s political philosophy. The Principle of Autonomy states that one ought to act as if one were (...) giving universal laws through one’s maxims. The criterion of just legislation that Kant accepted in the mid-1780s does not require any actual consent on the part of the citizens—genuine universality is sufficient for a law to be just. Hence, at that time, Kant could indeed explicate the criterion governing the moral permissibility of one’s maxims by drawing an analogy with the criterion governing the justice of political laws. In the Metaphysics of Morals and in other works in the 1790s, however, he added the further condition that laws must be given with the consent of the citizens. With this further condition, the moral criterion was no longer fully analogous to the criterion for political laws being just. Accordingly, Kleingeld argues, Kant dropped the Principle of Autonomy, which was firmly based on that analogy. (shrink)
During the 1780s, as Kant was developing his universalistic moral theory, he published texts in which he defended the superiority of whites over non-whites. Whether commentators see this as evidence of inconsistent universalism or of consistent inegalitarianism, they generally assume that Kant's position on race remained stable during the 1780s and 1790s. Against this standard view, I argue on the basis of his texts that Kant radically changed his mind. I examine his 1780s race theory and his hierarchical conception of (...) the races, and subsequently address the question of the significance of these views, especially in the light of Kant's own ethical theory. I then show that during the 1790s Kant restricts the role of the concept of race, and drops his hierarchical account of the races in favour of a more genuinely egalitarian and cosmopolitan view. (shrink)
Correct bibliographical information is as follows: Gottfried Achenwall, _Natural Law: A Translation of the Textbook for Kant's Lectures on Legal and Political Philosophy_, edited by Pauline Kleingeld, translated by Corinna Vermeulen, with an Introduction by Paul Guyer. London: Bloomsbury, 2020. As the first translation into any modern language of Achenwall’s Ius naturae, from the 1763 edition used by Immanuel Kant, this is an essential work for anyone interested in Kant, the natural law tradition or the history of legal and (...) political theory. For over twenty years, Kant used this book as the basis for his lectures on natural law. It influenced his legal and political philosophy as well as his ethics, and it is indispensable for understanding Kant’s Feyerabend Lectures on Natural Law and his Metaphysics of Morals. Articulating his theory of natural law with clear definitions and precise distinctions, Achenwall offers a lucid account that includes instructive comparisons with the work of Grotius, Hobbes, Pufendorf, Wolff and others. The volume also contains an Introduction by the eminent Kant scholar Paul Guyer, comparing Achenwall’s theory to the legal and political philosophy of Kant’s Doctrine of Right, and a concordance correlating Achenwall’s Natural Law to Kant’s Feyerabend Lectures on Natural Law. (shrink)
Kant’s most prominent formulation of the Categorical Imperative, known as the Formula of Universal Law (FUL), is generally thought to demand that one act only on maxims that one can will as universal laws without this generating a contradiction. Kant's view is standardly summarized as requiring the 'universalizability' of one's maxims and described in terms of the distinction between 'contradictions in conception' and 'contradictions in the will'. Focusing on the underappreciated significance of the simultaneity condition included in the FUL, I (...) argue, by contrast, that the principle is better read as requiring that one be able to will two things simultaneously without self-contradiction, namely, that a maxim be one's own and that it be a universal law. This amounts to a new interpretation of the FUL with significant interpretive and philosophical advantages. (shrink)
The Moral Self addresses the question of how morality enters into our lives. Pauline Chazan draws upon psychology, moral philosophy, and literary interpretation to rebut the view that morality's role is to limit desire and control self-love. Preserving the ancients' connection between what is good for the self and what is morally good, Chazan argues that a certain kind of care for the self is central to moral agency. This book offers a dynamic interdisciplinary slant on the discussion of (...) moral theory. (shrink)
Immanuel Kant’s views on politics, peace, and history have lost none of their relevance since their publication more than two centuries ago. This volume contains a comprehensive collection of Kant’s writings on international relations theory and political philosophy, superbly translated and accompanied by stimulating essays. Pauline Kleingeld provides a lucid introduction to the main themes of the volume, and three essays by distinguished contributors follow: Jeremy Waldron on Kant’s theory of the state; Michael W. Doyle on the implications of (...) Kant’s political theory for his theory of international relations; and Allen W. Wood on Kant’s philosophical approach to history and its current relevance. (shrink)
The word ‘cosmopolitan’, which derives from the Greek word kosmopolitês (‘citizen of the world’), has been used to describe a wide variety of important views in moral and socio political philosophy. The nebulous core shared by all cosmopolitan views is the idea that all human beings, regardless of their political affiliation, do (or at least can) belong to a single community, and that this community should be cultivated. Different versions of cosmopolitanism envision this community in different ways, some focusing on (...) political institutions, others on moral norms or relationships, and still others focusing on shared markets or forms of cultural expression. The philosophical interest in cosmopolitanism lies in its challenge to commonly recognized attachments to fellow citizens, the local state, parochially shared cultures, and the like. (shrink)
This book is a translation into English of La religion grecque by Louise Bruit Zaidman and Pauline Schmitt Pantel, described by Dr Simon Price as 'an excellent book, by far the best introduction to the subject in any language'. It is the purpose of the book to consider how religious beliefs and cultic rituals were given expression in the world of the Greek citizen - the functions performed by the religious personnel, and the place that religion occupied in individual, (...) social and political life. The chapters cover first ritual and then myth, rooting the account in the practices of the classical city while also taking seriously the world of the imagination. For this edition the bibliography has been substantially revised to meet the needs of a mainly student, English-speaking readership. The book is enriched throughout by illustrations, and by quotations from original sources. (shrink)
'Autonomy' is originally a political notion. In this chapter, I argue that the political theory Kant defended while he was writing the _Groundwork_ sheds light on the difficulties that are commonly associated with his account of moral autonomy. I argue that Kant's account of the two-tiered structure of political legislation, in his _Feyerabend Lectures on Natural Law_, parallels his distinction between two levels of moral legislation, and that this helps to explain why Kant could regard the notion of 'autonomy' as (...) apt to express the principle of morality---at least in the mid 1780s. (shrink)
Toddlerhood is characterized by rapid development in several domains, such as language, socio-emotional behavior and emerging math skills all of which are important precursors of school readiness. However, little is known about how these skills develop over time and how they may be interrelated. The current study investigates young children’s development at two time points, with about 7 months in between, assessing their language, socio-emotional and math language and numeracy skills with teacher ratings. The sample includes 577 children from 18 (...) until 36 months of age of 86 childcare classrooms. The results of the autoregressive path analyses showed moderate to strong stability of language, socio-emotional and math language and numeracy skills, although the magnitude of associations was smaller for the latter. The cross-lagged path analyses highlighted the importance of language and socio-emotional skills for development in the other domains. Differential relations were found for the autoregressive and cross-lagged paths depending on gender and age. Language skills appeared a stronger predictor of boys’ socio-emotional and math language and numeracy skill development compared to girls. Girls’ socio-emotional skills predicted growth in math. For boys, socio-emotional and math language and numeracy skills appeared to be unrelated. Language skills showed stronger relations with the development of math language and numeracy skills for younger children as compared to older children. Also, for older children math language and numeracy skills negatively predicted growth in their socio-emotional skills. The findings provide more insights in how language, math language and numeracy skills and socio-emotional skills co-develop in the early years and as such have important implications for interventions aimed to support children’s development. (shrink)
The increasingly common use of inclusive language (e.g., "he or she") in representing past philosophers' views is often inappropriate. Using Immanuel Kant's work as an example, I compare his use of terms such as "human race" and "human being" with his views on women to show that his use of generic terms does not prove that he includes women. I then discuss three different approaches to this issue, found in recent Kant-literature, and show why each of them is insufficient. I (...) conclude that the tension between gender-neutral and gender-specific views in Kant's work should be made explicit, and I offer several strategies for doing so. (shrink)
Brown, Pauline I recently came across an article by Meg Keneally in The Guardian. I can think of no better description of our policies and practices on immigration detention than the following extract: It's a well-worn solution to an intractable human problem involving a large group of inconvenient people - ship them off somewhere, put a wall around them, and try to forget about the whole thing. You could argue that our country was founded as a result of this (...) approach. You could also argue that we learned our lesson too well, because it's an approach we are still using when it comes to vulnerable people who have undertaken hazardous ocean journeys - and the outcomes are no more humane than they were in the 18th and 19th centuries. (shrink)
In his Essay, John Locke sets out his theory of knowledge and how we acquire it. He shows how all our ideas are grounded in human experience and analyses the extent of our knowledge of ourselves and the world. This new abridgement uses P. H. Nidditch's authoritative text to make an accessible edition of Locke's masterpiece.
The Australian Army has adopted “respect” as a new addition to the existing trio of values, “courage, initiative and teamwork.” This article explores what respect may mean as an army value. The significance of respect surrounding two incidents involving Australian Defence Force personnel while on duty in Afghanistan is considered. The first is the so-called “green on blue” attack by an Afghan National Army soldier killing three Australian soldiers on 29 August 2012. The second concerns allegations of mutilation of suspected (...) Afghan insurgents’ corpses by soldiers attached to an Australian Special Forces Unit on 28 April 2013. The incidents have resulted in internal military investigations: in the second incident, with a view to possible prosecution for breach of the law of armed conflict and related disciplinary offences; and in the case of the green on blue attack, leading to a civilian coronial inquest. This article discusses the training and modelling of behaviour required to instil such a value as respect. (shrink)
There exists a standard view of Kant’s position on global order and this view informs much of current Kantian political theory. This standard view is that Kant advocates a voluntary league of states and rejects the ideal of a federative state of states as dangerous, unrealistic, and conceptually incoherent. This standard interpretation is usually thought to fall victim to three equally standard objections. In this essay, I argue that the standard interpretation is mistaken and that the three standard objections miss (...) their target. Kant does advocate the establishment of a non-coercive league of states, at least in his mature political writings (such as Perpetual Peace and the Metaphysics of Morals), but he does so for different reasons than is usually thought and without rejecting the ideal that a world federation of states eventually be realized. I end by indicating how Kant’s revised view can be made productive for present-day philosophical purposes. (shrink)
I examine the consistency of Kant's notion of moral progress as found in his philosophy of history. To many commentators, Kant's very idea of moral development has seemed inconsistent with basic tenets of his critical philosophy. This idea has seemed incompatible with his claims that the moral law is unconditionally and universally valid, that moral agency is noumenal and atemporal, and that all humans are equally free. Against these charges, I argue not only that Kant's notion of moral development is (...) consistent, but also that the assumption of the possibility of moral progress is indispensible for Kant's moral theory. (shrink)
This paper argues for the hypothesis of direct compositionality (as in, e.g., Montague 1974), according to which the combinatory syntactic rules specify a set of well-formed expressions while the semantic combinatory rules work in tandem to directly supply a model-theoretic interpretation to each expression as it is "built" in the syntax. (This thus obviates the need for any level like LF and, concomitantly, for any rules mapping surface structures to such a level.) I focus here on one related group of (...) phenomena: the interaction of "paycheck" pronouns with Weak Crossover effects and i-within-i effects. These interactions were studied in Jacobson (1977) as they show up in Back-Peters sentences. There I argued that these interactions show that paycheck pronouns have a complex representation at LF; here I show that all of the observations in this earlier work are compatible with the hypothesis of direct compositionality. The key tool is the adoption of a variation-free semantics (a semantics which makes no use of variables as part of the semantic machinery). In addition to the general consequences for the syntax/semantics interface, there are two other main results. First, I provide new arguments for a variable-free semantics. For example, it will be shown that under this view the paycheck reading of a pronoun comes for free; most other theories posit additional mechanisms and/or an additional lexical meaning for pronouns, and thus paycheck and regular pronouns are only accidentally homophonous. Second, I reiterate one of the central points in Jacobson (1977): this is that the first pronoun in a Bach-Peters sentence is indeed a paycheck pronoun, and hence nothing special needs to be said about these sentences nor does any new machinery need to be invoked for them. (shrink)
According to philosophical “situationism”, psychological evidence shows that human action is typically best explained by the influence of situational factors and not by “global” and robust character traits of the agent. As a practical implication of their view, situationists recommend that efforts in moral education be shifted from character development to situation management. Much of the discussion has focused on whether global conceptions of virtue and character, and in particular Aristotelian virtue ethics, can be defended against the situationist challenge. After (...) several rounds of debate, both sides claim victory, and they seem to have reached a stalemate. In this paper, I refocus the debate on the arguments offered in support of situationism itself. I argue that two serious problems have so far gone unnoticed in the literature. First, the argument in support of situationism is unsound. It is based on evidence that agents’ morally relevant behavior reliably covaries with morally irrelevant situationa.. (shrink)
Many regard Kant’s account of the highest good as a failure. His inclusion of happiness in the highest good, in combination with his claim that it is a duty to promote the highest good, is widely seen as inconsistent. In this essay, I argue that there is a valid argument, based on premises Kant clearly endorses, in defense of his thesis that it is a duty to promote the highest good. I first examine why Kant includes happiness in the highest (...) good at all. On the basis of a discussion of Kant's distinction between 'good' and 'pleasant', and in light of his methodological comments in the second chapter of the Critique of Practical Reason, I explain how Kant’s conception of the good informs his conception of the highest good. I then argue that Kant's inclusion of happiness in the highest good should be understood in light of his claim that it is a duty to promote the happiness of others. In the final section of this essay, I reconstruct Kant’s argument for the claim that it is a duty to promote the highest good and explain in what sense this duty goes beyond observance of the Categorical Imperative. (shrink)
The goal of this study is to reconstruct and evaluate the systematic role of Kant's views on history within his ‛critical' philosophy. Kant's philosophy of history has been neglected in the literature, largely due to the widespread though mistaken perception that it is at odds with central assumptions of Kant’s ‘critical’ thought. I discuss Kant's most important texts on history and examine the relationship between Kant's view of history and the central tenets of his Critiques (in particular, Kant's conception of (...) teleology, his notion of an 'interest of reason,' and the problem of the possibility of the highest good). I argue that Kant's philosophy of history should be seen as an integral (though not entirely unproblematic) part of his mature philosophy. I show this in part by correcting the standard view of Kant's philosophy of history, and in part by highlighting hitherto neglected aspects of his critical philosophy. (shrink)
Within Kantian ethics and Kant scholarship, it is widely assumed that autonomy consists in the self-legislation of the principle of morality. In this paper, we challenge this view on both textual and philosophical grounds. We argue that Kant never unequivocally claims that the Moral Law is self-legislated and that he is not philosophically committed to this claim by his overall conception of morality. Instead, the idea of autonomy concerns only substantive moral laws, such as the law that one ought not (...) to lie. We argue that autonomy, thus understood, does not have the paradoxical features widely associated with it. Rather, our account highlights a theoretical option that has been neglected in the current debate on whether Kant is best interpreted as a realist or a constructivist, namely that the Moral Law is an a priori principle of pure practical reason that neither requires nor admits of being grounded in anything else. (shrink)