An Introduction to Kant's Moral Philosophy by Jennifer K. Uleman

By Jennifer K. Uleman

Immanuel Kant's ethical philosophy is without doubt one of the such a lot targeted achievements of the eu Enlightenment. At its middle lies what Kant known as the 'strange thing': the loose, rational, human will. This advent explores the foundation of Kant's anti-naturalist, secular, humanist imaginative and prescient of the human solid. relocating from a cartoon of the Kantian will, with all its part elements and attributes, to Kant's canonical arguments for his express critical, this advent indicates why Kant idea his ethical legislation the simplest precis expression of either his personal philosophical paintings on morality and his readers' private shared convictions concerning the solid. Kant's valuable tenets, key arguments, and center values are awarded in an available and interesting means, making this e-book excellent for an individual wanting to discover the basics of Kant's ethical philosophy.

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But then this is just it: a rational, free creature is a locus of causality via laws it employs itself. To say we cause according to laws we represent to ourselves is to point to all this. There is, of course, a clear contrast here between rational will and ‘animal’ desire, which does none of these things, causing movement instead according to instinct or reflex. There is, for Kant, no question of animals representing laws to themselves, let alone of choosing them or judging that certain actions accord with them: non-rational creatures are limited to behaving according to laws that operate upon or through them.

Communitarian critiques trace their lineage back to G. W. F. Hegel, Phänomenologie des Geistes (Werke 3) [1807] (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1970) (English: Phenomenology of Spirit, trans. A. V. Miller [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979]) and Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts (English: Elements of the Philosophy of Right). : Harvard University Press, 1992). 22 An Introduction to Kant’s Moral Philosophy These criticisms, I think, are both more interesting and more threatening to Kantian moral theory than charges of coldness and hyper-rationalism, because they cut closer to the bone.

But it captures all the wanting and longing and inclining and being interested that more ordinary definitions would mention. To want, or long, or incline, or be interested, is to organize oneself and one’s energies toward an object in a certain way: this is what Kant’s definition emphasizes. In doing so, Kant’s definition helps us see desire as a capacity that animates in a certain way, namely toward something we want but don’t yet have. And this, if reflected on briefly, surely is what most of us understand as desire.

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