This paper focuses on the relationship between Kant and the traditional view of dignity. I argue that some amendments to Sensen’s description of the traditional paradigm enable us to see more clearly both where Kant adheres to the latter and where his view is original. First, a consideration of Pufendorf’s use of dignity suggests (1) that, contrary to Sensen’s reconstruction, the traditional paradigm does not entail a connection between dignity and duties to oneself, and (2) that Pufendorf’s understanding of dignity (...) as a kind of esteem, as opposed to price, provides a crucial mediation between the traditional view and Kant’s view. Finally, I argue that the traditional understanding of dignity also includes a subordinate justificatory element that helps to explain Kant’s use of dignity in the Doctrine of Virtue. (shrink)
The chapter begins by discussing the general meaning of a 'doctrine of method' in Kant’s work, as well as the specific goals of the Doctrine of Method of the second Critique. The central section, then, focuses on the notion of 'receptivity to morality', which here has a central role and a quite distinct meaning. I argue that Kant’s main point in his account of how to 'make objective practical reason subjectively practical' (5:151) is that one ought to lead the individual (...) agent to become aware of his own dignity as a moral being. In Kant’s view, recognition of this point is relevant to the overall aim of the second Critique – to show that pure reason is practical – and of moral theory itself. The task of the Doctrine of Method is to show how it is possible to make agents aware of their basic moral capacities, and through that awareness to instil genuine moral dispositions. Accordingly, the Doctrine of Method is the completion of the Critique, confirming the conclusions of the Analytic through the common use of pure practical reason and connecting them with the experience of every moral agent. (shrink)
In this work, Fichte's high school years in Schulpforta are reconstructed for the first time, building on sources never considered before and throwing new light on this first phase of his intellectual biography and on his reception of the work of important figures of the Enlightenment such as Lessing, Herder, Gottsched, Gellert, and Rosseau. – The volume also includes the most important contemporary documents on Schulpforta and Fichte's texts from those years. Among these, the most relevant is his Latin speech (...) concerning the use of rules in poetry and rhetoric. In this volume, Fichte's speech is newly translated and annotated for the first time, to provide the rich historical background. (shrink)
The paper argues for distinguishing two aspects in Kant’s idea of self-legislation of the moral law: the immediate character (i.e., the practical necessity) of the law itself and the lawgiving function attributed to the rational will. I argue that the novelty of Kant’s thesis chie y consists in the combination of the two aspects, and that this solves the alleged paradoxical character of the idea of self-legislation. As it grounds on the connection of a fundamental law with a lawgiving, Kant’s (...) view can be regarded as a novel variant of the mixed model first proposed by Suárez, with two crucial di erences concerning the subject playing the role of the lawgiver and the notion of law involved. Finally, I argue that the inner structure of the idea of self-legislation shows that Kant’s view combines a realism of the moral law with a constructivism of moral obligation. (shrink)
I suggest that looking at how Kant’s arguments relate to the stand of the discussion on the relationship between right and ethics in his times contributes to a better understanding of his own position in this matter. I contrast the terms of the pre-Kantian debate with Kant’s take on the matter, in order to point out how Kant gains a new perspective concerning the rela- tionship between ethics and right. While the most prominent pre-Kantian view construed right and ethics as (...) either resulting from the application of a general principle to di erent domains or reciprocally independent, Kant’s own account centres on the difference between outer and inner freedom. I argue that Kant thereby only differentiates two relations of freedom to different hindrances, without implying any separation. This distinction allows him to construe right and ethics as sharing the same normative force of moral obligation. Therefore I suggest that Kant’s view understands the relationship between right and ethics neither as dependence nor as independence, but highlights the normative continuity throughout morals. (shrink)
Kant’s revolutionary new approach to philosophy was accompanied by the introduction of a largely novel terminology. With the Kant-Lexikon, a lexical reference gives the modern reader access to his work on the basis of present-day editions and takes into account 20th century and contemporary research and advances in lexicology. The Kant-Lexikon includes 2395 entries authored by 221 scholars.