Acting On Principle An Essay On Kantian Ethics
Amazon.com: Acting on Principle: An Essay on Kantian Ethics ...
O'Neill addresses Kant's account of reasoning about action, in particular the
controversial claim that the Categorical Imperative guides action and is therefore
Acting On Principle An Essay On Kantian Ethics
Thus, at the heart of kants moralphilosophy is a conception of reason whose reach in practical affairsgoes well beyond that of a humean slave to the passions. The apparent failure of kants argument to establish theautonomy of the will, and hence the authority of moral demands overus, has not deterred his followers from trying to make good on thisproject. Kant must therefore address thepossibility that morality itself is an illusion by showing that the cireally is an unconditional requirement of reason that applies to us.
Hence, behaviors that are performed because ofobsessions or thought disorders are not free in this negative sense. When we take up this latter, practical, standpoint, weneed not believe that we or others really are free, in any deepmetaphysical sense we need only operate under the idea offreedom (g 4448). Thus, if we dosomething because it is our civic duty, or our dutyas a boy scout or a good american, ourmotivation is respect for the code that makes it our duty.
Kant takes each formulation that succeeds thefirst in its own way as bringing the moral law closer tofeeling. Kant, in particular, describes two subsidiaryprinciples that are supposed to capture different aspects of the ci. On the formerview, by contrast, a rationale is at hand because your will is,insofar as it is rational, good.
Most interpreters have denied thatthis is the proper interpretation of kants views. Indeed, it is hardto imagine any life that is recognizably human without the use ofothers in pursuit of our goals. Kants analysis of the common moral concepts ofduty and good will led him to believe thatwe are free and autonomous as long as morality, itself, is not anillusion.
Proponents of this former readingare, however, then left with the burden of explaining how it could bethe autonomy of the will alone that explains the authority ofmorality. Hence,determination by natural laws is conceptually incompatible with beingfree in a negative sense. Andonce we add this to the assumptions that we must will our ownhappiness as an end, and that developed talents are necessary means toachieving that end, it follows that we cannot rationally will that aworld come about in which it is a law that no one ever develops any oftheir natural talents.
The judgments inquestion are supposed to be those that any normal, sane, adult humanbeing would accept on due rational reflection. A second issue that has received considerable attention is whetherkant is a metaethical constructivist or realist. A crucial move in kants argument is his claim that a rationalwill cannot act except under the idea of its own freedom(g 4448). We mustunderstand the concepts of a good will,obligation, duty and so on, as well astheir logical relationships to one another, before we can determinewhether our use of these concepts is justified. Thus, the differencebetween a horse and a taxi driver is not that we may use one but notthe other as a means of transportation.
Acting on Principle: An Essay on Kantian Ethics: Onora Nell ...
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Acting On Principle An Essay On Kantian Ethics
Onora O'Neill, Acting on Principle: An Essay on Kantian Ethics ...
In Acting on Principle Onora O'Neill shows that Kantian ethics has practical as
well as philosophical importance. First published in 1975, the book is regarded
Acting On Principle An Essay On Kantian Ethics
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Acting on principle: An essay on kantian ethics, second edition
One might take this as expressing kants intention toderive thereby the universal law formula from the humanity formula we mustact only on maxims that can be universal laws. The idea of agood will is closer to the idea of a good person, or,more archaically, a person of good will. What the humanity formula rulesout is engaging in this pervasive use of humanity in such a way thatwe treat it as a means to our ends. So autonomy,when applied to an individual, ensures that the source of theauthority of the principles that bind her is in her own will. Human persons inevitably haverespect for the moral law even though we are not always moved by itand even though we do not always comply with the moral standards thatwe nonetheless recognize as authoritative.
This certainly would not comportwell with the virtue ethics form of teleology. Kant himself repeatedlyclaimed that these arguments are merely analytic but that they do notestablish that there is anything that answers to the concepts heanalyzes. Kant uses four examples in the , oneof each kind of duty, to demonstrate that every kind of duty can bederived from the ci, and hence to bolster his case that the ci isindeed the fundamental principle of morality. The point of this first project isto come up with a precise statement of the principle or principles onwhich all of our ordinary moral judgments are based. If the moral rightness of an action is grounded in thevalue of the character traits of the person who performs or wouldperform it then it seems kant thinks that it would be grounded insomething of only conditional value.
Failure to conform to instrumental principles, forinstance, is irrational but not always immoral. Nowadays, however, manywould regard kant as being overly optimistic about the depth andextent of moral agreement. At the heart of kants moral theory is the idea of autonomy. Becoming a philosopher, pianist or novelistmight be my end in this sense. Proceedings of the third international kant congress held at theuniversity of rochester, march 30april 4, 1970 hussain, nadeem & shaw, nishi, 2013, metaethicsand its discontents a casestudy of korsgaard, in c. Although kant does not state this as animperative, as he does in the other formulations, it is easy enough toput it in that form act so that through your maxims you could be alegislator of universal laws. Kant held that ordinary moral thought recognized moral duties towardourselves as well as toward others. Kant was clearly right that this and theother formulations bring the ci closer to intuition thanthe universal law formula. Although on the surfacemoral judgments can look as if they describe a moral world, they are,as hare reads kant, prescriptions, notdescriptions. Many see it as introducing more of a socialdimension to kantian morality.Download Citation on ResearchGate | Acting on principle: An essay on kantian
ethics, second edition | Two things', wrote Kant, 'fill the mind with ever new and ...
ACTING ON PRINCIPLE An Essay on Kantian Ethics Second Edition ...Cambridge University Press 978-1-107-03559-1 - Acting on Principle: An Essay
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Proper regard for something with absolutevalue or worth requires respect for it. Second,recast that maxim as a universal law of nature governing all rationalagents, and so as holding that all must, by natural law, act as youyourself propose to act in these circumstances. But in order to be a legislator ofuniversal laws, such contingent motives, motives that rational agentssuch as ourselves may or may not have, must be set aside. Indeed, we respect these laws to the degree, but only to thedegree, that they do not violate values, laws or principles we holdmore dear. This seemsto be supported by the fact that kant used the same examples throughthe law of nature formula and the humanity formula Buy now Acting On Principle An Essay On Kantian Ethics
In such cases ofrespecting you because of who or what you are, i am giving the properregard to a certain fact about you, your being a dean for instance. This is, firstly, theconcept of a will that does not operate through the influence offactors outside of this responsiveness to apparent reasons. It is because each persons own reason is thelegislator and executor of the moral law that it is authoritative forher. Kants insistence on an method toseek out and establish fundamental moral principles, however, does notalways appear to be matched by his own practice. In the , kant argued that this highest good for humanityis complete moral virtue together with complete happiness, the formerbeing the condition of our deserving the latter Acting On Principle An Essay On Kantian Ethics Buy now
However, in this case we focus on our status as universallaw. Some of kants commentators, for example,have argued along the following lines that i should always treathumanity as an end in itself entails that i should act only on maximsthat are consistent with themselves as universal laws of nature(oneill 1975, 1990 engstrom 20). Therefore, rational agents are free in a negative senseinsofar as any practical matter is at issue. Prodigality and avarice, for instance, do not differby being too loose or not loose enough with ones means. For kant, willing an endinvolves more than desiring it requires actively choosing orcommitting to the end rather than merely finding oneself with apassive desire for it Buy Acting On Principle An Essay On Kantian Ethics at a discount
If this assumption is true, then if one can on independentgrounds prove that there is something which is an end in itself, onewill have an argument for a categorical imperative. The duty of beneficence, on the other hand, ischaracterized as wide and imperfect because it does not specifyexactly how much assistance we must provide to others. If your maxim fails the third step, you have a perfectduty admitting of no exception in favor of inclinationto refrain from acting on that maxim (g 4421). Yet, givenlimitations on our time, energy and interest, it is difficult to seehow full rationality requires us to aim to fully develop literally allof our talents. By contrast, the maxim of refusing to assist others inpursuit of their projects passes the contradiction in conception test,but fails the contradiction in the will test at the fourth step Buy Online Acting On Principle An Essay On Kantian Ethics
In such cases ofrespecting you because of who or what you are, i am giving the properregard to a certain fact about you, your being a dean for instance. They begin with kants ownstated assumption that there is such an end in itself if and only ifthere is a categorical imperative binding on all rational agents assuch. For one thing, moral judgments suchas lying is wrong might well be best analyzed accordingto kants views as the categorical imperative commands usnot to lie, and this judgment is not an imperative, but areport about what an imperative commands. Most interpreters have denied thatthis is the proper interpretation of kants views. In order to show thatthis maxim is categorically forbidden, one strategy is to make use ofseveral other of kants claims or assumptions Buy Acting On Principle An Essay On Kantian Ethics Online at a discount
To this end, kant employs his findings from the , and offersa categorization of our basic moral duties to ourselves and others. Our humanity is that collection of features thatmake us distinctively human, and these include capacities to engage inself-directed rational behavior and to adopt and pursue our own ends,and any other rational capacities necessarily connected with these. For should thiscome to pass, it would not change the fact that each and every desireand interest conflict with it, that makes dutya constraint, and hence is virtue essentially a trait concerned withconstraint. And it is a necessary means of doing this that a practice oftaking the word of others exists, so that someone might take my wordand i take advantage of their doing so Acting On Principle An Essay On Kantian Ethics For Sale
Thatsaid, he also appeared to hold that if an act is to be of genuinemoral worth, it must be motivated by the kind of purity of motivationachievable only through a permanent, quasi-religious conversion orrevolution in the orientation of the will of the sortdescribed in. I do not act humanity is in the first instance an end in this negative sense it issomething that what i may do in pursuit of my otherends, similar to the way that my end of self-preservation limits whati may do in pursuit of other ends. The judgments inquestion are supposed to be those that any normal, sane, adult humanbeing would accept on due rational reflection. It does not mean that arational will must it is free, since determinists areas free as libertarians in kants view For Sale Acting On Principle An Essay On Kantian Ethics
To act out of respect for the moral law, in kants view, is tobe moved to act by a recognition that the moral law is a supremelyauthoritative standard that binds us and to experience a kind offeeling, which is akin to awe and fear, when we acknowledge the morallaw as the source of moral requirements. Moral philosophy, for kant,is most fundamentally addressed to the first-person, deliberativequestion, what ought i to do?, and an answer to thatquestion requires much more than delivering or justifying thefundamental principle of morality. So in analyzingunqualified goodness as it occurs in imperfectly rational creaturessuch as ourselves, we are investigating the idea of being motivated bythe thought that we are constrained to act in certain ways that we kant confirms this by comparing motivation by duty with other sorts ofmotives, in particular, with motives of self-interest,self-preservation, sympathy and happiness Sale Acting On Principle An Essay On Kantian Ethics
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