Agency and Autonomy in Kant's Moral Theory: Selected Essays by Andrews Reath

By Andrews Reath

Andrews Reath offers a range of his top essays on numerous positive aspects of Kant's ethical psychology and ethical concept, with specific emphasis on his belief of rational business enterprise and his perception of autonomy. jointly the essays articulate Reath's unique method of Kant's perspectives approximately human autonomy, and is the reason Kant's trust that target ethical necessities are according to rules we elect for ourselves. With new papers, and revised models of numerous others, the amount may be of serious curiosity to all scholars and students of Kant and of ethical philosophy.

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Extra resources for Agency and Autonomy in Kant's Moral Theory: Selected Essays

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In the passage just cited, Kant says that ‘we find our pathologically determinable self . . striving antecedently to make its claims primary and originally valid, just as if it constituted our entire self ’ (KpV 5: 74). Beliefs to the effect that our practical and motivational capacities are limited to empirical practical reason support the view that our sensible capacities are the only source of value in the self, or that all reasons are based on sensible needs and desires. In a similar way, disguising or misdescribing a maxim of self-love allows the individual to claim to be acting from a maxim that is a good reason.

Legitimate questions can be raised about the conception of action that I read into Kant in this section, according to which all action carries an implicit claim to justification and proceeds from reasons that resemble moral reasons in form in that they are taken to provide justification for the action in question. However, I do want to attribute to Kant the view that in adopting a maxim, one regards the relevant incentive as a reason or the basis of a principle that provides a justification of an action that is intersubjective.

This fact has a bearing on the character of the feeling of respect. We can now see that this is the feeling that results when the agent recognizes that inclinations are not sources of justifying reasons, and represent only a Kant’s Theory of Moral Sensibility 23 subordinate form of value. We underestimate this experience if we understand it simply as the frustration that might result from electing to leave certain inclinations unsatisfied. More than anything, respect is thought to show that claims about the value of the inclinations that the agent is prepared to advance are unwarranted.

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