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  1. Moral Worth Requires a Fundamental Concern for What Ultimately Matters.Douglas W. Portmore - manuscript
    An act that accords with duty has moral worth if and only if the agent’s reason for performing it is the same as what would have motivated a perfectly virtuous agent to perform it. On one of the two leading accounts of moral worth, an act that accords with duty has moral worth if and only if the agent’s reason for performing it is the fact that it’s obligatory. On the other, an act that accords with duty has moral worth (...)
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  2. Self-Deception and Kant's Moral Philosophy.Ryan Preston-Roedder - manuscript
  3. Autonomous Reboot: the challenges of artificial moral agency and the ends of Machine Ethics.Jeffrey White - manuscript
    Ryan Tonkens (2009) has issued a seemingly impossible challenge, to articulate a comprehensive ethical framework within which artificial moral agents (AMAs) satisfy a Kantian inspired recipe - both "rational" and "free" - while also satisfying perceived prerogatives of Machine Ethics to create AMAs that are perfectly, not merely reliably, ethical. Challenges for machine ethicists have also been presented by Anthony Beavers and Wendell Wallach, who have pushed for the reinvention of traditional ethics in order to avoid "ethical nihilism" due to (...)
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  4. Reason and the Idea of the Highest Good.Corey W. Dyck & L. Edward Allore - forthcoming - Lexicon Philosophicum.
    In this paper, we reconstruct Kant’s notion of the practically conditioned, introduced in the Dialectic of Pure Practical Reason, by drawing on Kant’s general account of the faculty of reason presented in the Transcendental Dialectic of the Critique of Pure Reason. We argue that practical reason’s activity of seeking the practically unconditioned for a given condition generates two different conceptions of the practically unconditioned and identify these as virtue and (the ideal of) happiness. We then account for how and why (...)
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  5. Nonaccidental Rightness and the Guise of the Objectively Good.Samuel J. M. Kahn - forthcoming - Journal of Early Modern Studies:Vol. 13, Issue 2, 2024.
    My goal in this paper is to show that two theses that are widely adopted among Kantian ethicists are irreconcilable. The paper is divided into four sections. In the first, I briefly sketch the contours of my own positive view of Kantian ethics, concentrating on the issues relevant to the two theses to be discussed: I argue that agents can perform actions from but not in conformity with duty, and I argue that agents intentionally can perform actions they take to (...)
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  6. Moral Worth and Our Ultimate Moral Concerns.Douglas W. Portmore - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics.
    Some right acts have what philosophers call moral worth. A right act has moral worth if and only if its agent deserves credit for having acted rightly in this instance. And I argue that an agent deserves credit for having acted rightly if and only if her act issues from an appropriate set of concerns, where the appropriateness of these concerns is a function what her ultimate moral concerns should be. Two important upshots of the resulting account of moral worth (...)
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  7. What’s So Good about the Good Will? An Ontological Critique of Kant’s Axiomatic Moral Construct.Necip Fikri Alican - 2022 - Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 18 (1):422–467.
    Kant maintains that the only thing that is good in itself, and therefore good without limitation or qualification, is a good will. This is an objectionable claim in support of a controversial position. The problem is not just that the good will is not the only thing that is good in itself, which indeed it is not, but more importantly, that the good will is not so much a thing that is good in itself as it is the good kind (...)
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  8. Kant and the duty to promote one’s own happiness.Samuel Kahn - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (3):327-338.
    In his discussion of the duty of benevolence in §27 of the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant argues that agents have no obligation to promote their own happiness, for ‘this happens unavoidably’ (MS, AA 6:451). In this paper I argue that Kant should not have said this. I argue that Kant should have conceded that agents do have an obligation to promote their own happiness.
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  9. The Cake Theory of Credit.Jaakko Hirvelä & Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - 2021 - Philosophical Topics 49 (2):347-369.
    The notion of credit plays a central role in virtue epistemology and in the literature on moral worth. While virtue epistemologists and ethicists have devoted a significant amount of work to providing an account of creditable success, a unified theory of credit applicable to both epistemology and ethics, as well as a discussion of the general form it should take, are largely missing from the literature. Our goal is to lay out a theory of credit that seems to underlie much (...)
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  10. Moral Fetishism and a Third Desire for What’s Right.Nathan Howard - 2021 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 20 (3).
    A major point of debate about morally good motives concerns an ambiguity in the truism that good and strong-willed people desire to do what is right. This debate is shaped by the assumption that “what’s right” combines in only two ways with “desire,” leading to distinct de dicto and de re readings of the truism. However, a third reading of such expressions is possible, first identified by Janet Fodor, which has gone wholly unappreciated by philosophers in this debate. I identify (...)
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  11. One Desire Too Many.Nathan Robert Howard - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (2):302-317.
    I defend the widely-held view that morally worthy action need not be motivated by a desire to promote rightness as such. Some have recently come to reject this view, arguing that desires for rightness as such are necessary for avoiding a certain kind of luck thought incompatible with morally worthy action. I show that those who defend desires for rightness as such on the basis of this argument misunderstand the relationship between moral worth and the kind of luck that their (...)
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  12. Rethinking Kant on Duty.Samuel Kahn - 2021 - Review of Metaphysics 74 (296):497-526.
    According to a common caricature of Kant’s ethics, it is synonymous with the Categorical Imperative (CI) and with the sublime and clarion call of duty. But in this paper, I argue that the conjunction of Kant’s concept of duty and his idea of morality as a system of imperatives is unsustainable on the grounds that it commits him to the following two theses: (I) If an agent has a duty to D, then she must be constrained to D, and (II) (...)
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  13. Hyde within the Boundaries of Mere Jekyll: Evil in Kant & Stevenson.Virgil W. Brower - 2020 - Polish Journal of Aesthetics 56 (1/2020):63-84.
    This essay experiments with Kant’s writings on rational religion distilled through the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde as canonical confrontations with primal problems of evil. It suggests boundaries between Stevenson’s characters and their occupations comparable to the those conflicted in the Kantian university, namely, law, medicine, theology, and philosophy (which makes a short anticipatory appearance in his earlier text on rational religion). With various faculties it investigates diffuse comprehensions—respectively, legal crime, biogenetic transmission, and original sin—of key ethical (...)
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  14. Capitalism After Covid: How the pandemic might inspire a more virtuous economy.Julian Friedland - 2020 - The Philosophers' Magazine 2 (89):12-15.
    Today, dramatically increasing economic inequality, imminent climatological calamity, and a global pandemic now place the timeless debate over capitalism into stark relief. Though many seek to pin the blame on capitalism’s excesses, they would do well to recall the historical record of socialism’s deficiencies, namely, stifling innovation, lumbering inefficiency, and stagnation. Fortunately, our moral psychology affords a middle way between these two extremes. For while economic incentives have a tendency to let our civic and prosocial impulses atrophy from disuse, these (...)
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  15. Moral Worth, Credit, and Non-Accidentality.Keshav Singh - 2020 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Vol. 10. Oxford University Press.
    This paper defends an account of moral worth. Moral worth is a status that some, but not all, morally right actions have. Unlike with merely right actions, when an agent performs a morally worthy action, she is necessarily creditworthy for doing the right thing. First, I argue that two dominant views of moral worth have been unable to fully capture this necessary connection. On one view, an action is morally worthy if and only if its agent is motivated by the (...)
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  16. Kant Does Not Deny Resultant Moral Luck.Robert J. Hartman - 2019 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 43 (1):136-150.
    It is almost unanimously accepted that Kant denies resultant moral luck—that is, he denies that the lucky consequence of a person’s action can affect how much praise or blame she deserves. Philosophers often point to the famous good will passage at the beginning of the Groundwork to justify this claim. I argue, however, that this passage does not support Kant’s denial of resultant moral luck. Subsequently, I argue that Kant allows agents to be morally responsible for certain kinds of lucky (...)
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  17. Moral Worth and Moral Responsibility.Matthé Scholten - 2018 - In Violetta L. Waibel, Margit Ruffing & David Wagner (eds.), Natur Und Freiheit. Akten des Xii. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses. De Gruyter. pp. 2165-2172.
  18. How Should One Live? An Introduction to Ethics and Moral Reasoning.Bradley Thames - 2018 - San Diego, CA, USA: Bridgepoint Education.
    This book provides an entry-level introduction to philosophical ethics, theories of moral reasoning, and selected issues in applied ethics. Chapter 1 describes the importance of philosophical approaches to ethical issues, the general dialectical form of moral reasoning, and the broad landscape of moral philosophy. Chapter 2 presents egoism and relativism as challenges to the presumed objectivity and unconditionality of morality. Chapters 3, 4 and 5 discuss utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics, respectively. Each chapter begins with a general overview of the (...)
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  19. A Gênese da Ética de Kant: o desenvolvimento moral pré-crítico em sua relação com a teodiceia (Extrato).Bruno Cunha - 2017 - São Paulo: LiberArs Press.
    Kant‘s moral philosophy is one of the great cornerstones of the Western ethical reflection. The little that is known is that the basic conception on which Kantian ethics was built – videlicet, the concept of autonomy of the will – was developed from the attempt to solve a set of problems of metaphysical and theological character that could only have been overcome through the adoption of a new practical metaphysics. With this in mind, this research is an attempt at a (...)
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  20. Kant's conception of Merit.Robert N. Johnson - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 77 (4):310-334.
    It is standard to attribute to Kant the view that actions from motives other than duty deserve no positive moral evaluation. I argue that the standard view is mistaken. Kant's account of merit in the Metaphysics of Morals shows that he believes actions not performed from duty can be meritorious. Moreover, the grounds for attributing merit to an action are different from those for attributing moral worth to it. This is significant because it shows both that his views are reasonably (...)
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  21. Kant on the motive of (imperfect) duty.Jennifer Ryan Lockhart - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (6):569-603.
    This paper argues that Kantians face a little discussed problem in accounting for how actions that fulfill imperfect duties can be morally motivated. It is widely agreed that actions that are performed from the motive of duty are performed through a recognition of the objective necessity of the action. It is also generally held that the objective necessity of an action consists in its rational non-optionality. Many actions that fulfill imperfect duties, however, are rationally optional. Given these constraints, it is (...)
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  22. In defense of pharmaceutically enhancing human morality.Evangelos D. Protopapadakis - 2017 - Current Therapeutic Research 86:9-12.
    I will discuss the prospect of pharmaceutically enhancing human morality and decision making in such a way as to eliminate morally unjustifiable choices and promote desirable ones. Our species in the relatively short period since it has emerged has enormously advanced in knowledge, science, and technical progress. When it comes to moral development, the distance it has covered is almost negligible. What if we could medically accelerate our moral development? What if we could once and for all render our species (...)
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  23. The Motives for Moral Credit.Grant Rozeboom - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 11 (3):1-30.
    To deserve credit for doing what is morally right, we must act from the right kinds of motives. Acting from the right kinds of motives involves responding both to the morally relevant reasons, by acting on these considerations, and to the morally relevant individuals, by being guided by appropriate attitudes of regard for them. Recent theories of the right kinds of motives have tended to prioritize responding to moral reasons. I develop a theory that instead prioritizes responding to individuals (through (...)
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  24. The Good, the Bad, and the Badass: On the Descriptive Adequacy of Kant's Conception of Moral Evil.Mark Timmons - 2017 - In Significance and System: Essays on Kant's Ethics. New York, USA: pp. 293-330.
    This chapter argues for an interpretation of Kant's psychology of moral evil that accommodates the so-called excluded middle cases and allows for variations in the magnitude of evil. The strategy involves distinguishing Kant's transcendental psychology from his empirical psychology and arguing that Kant's character rigorism is restricted to the transcendental level. The chapter also explains how Kant's theory of moral evil accommodates 'the badass'; someone who does evil for evil's sake.
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  25. Immanuel Kant - As Anotações às Observações Sobre o Sentimento do Belo e do Sublime [seleção de notas].Bruno Cunha - 2016 - Kant E-Prints 11 (2):51-79.
    A publicação do volume XX dos escritos completos de Kant publicado pela Academia de Berlin, editado por Lehmann em 1942, representou uma contribuição fundamental para a interpretação do desenvolvimento da filosofia moral de Kant, uma vez que, pela primeira vez, os intérpretes tiveram acesso ao extrato completo das decisivas Anotações (Bemerkungen) kantianas em seu exemplar particular de Observações sobre o Sentimento do Belo e do Sublime. De fato, pouca progressão havia sido observada no trabalho dos primeiros intérpretes do desenvolvimento, que, (...)
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  26. Sobre Uma faculdade superior de apetição compreendida como razão prática: Kant em diálogo com Wolff.Bruno Cunha - 2016 - Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 57 (135):641-657.
    RESUMO Neste artigo, busco identificar, por meio de algumas passagens da "Fundamentação da Metafísica dos Costumes" e da "Crítica da Razão Prática", o debate de Kant com a Filosofia Prática Universal de Wolff. Em um primeiro momento, apresento, de forma sucinta, alguns aspectos gerais da metafísica e da ética wolffiana com o intuito de, em um segundo momento, explicitar como algumas considerações de Kant, em suas duas primeiras obras morais, incidem diretamente nas teses de seu predecessor. A crítica de Kant (...)
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  27. Kant and Moral Motivation: The Value of Free Rational Willing.Jennifer K. Uleman - 2016 - In Iakovos Vasiliou (ed.), Moral Motivation (Oxford Philosophical Concepts). New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 202-226.
    Kant is the philosophical tradition's arch-anti-consequentialist – if anyone insists that intentions alone make an action what it is, it is Kant. This chapter takes up Kant's account of the relation between intention and action, aiming both to lay it out and to understand why it might appeal. The chapter first maps out the motivational architecture that Kant attributes to us. We have wills that are organized to action by two parallel and sometimes competing motivational systems. One determines us by (...)
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  28. Kant on irresistible inclination: Moral worth, happienss, and belief in God.Audrey L. Anton - 2015 - Minerva - An Internet Journal of Philosophy 19 (1).
  29. A Kantian responds to Santayana.Samuel Kahn - 2015 - SOCRATES 3 (1):66-79.
    In this paper, I have argued that whatever might be said about his attack on other German philosophers, Santayana’s attack on Kant, despite its subtlety, its force and its intelligence, is fundamentally misguided. Teasing out where Santayana’s attack rests on misunderstandings of Kant’s philosophy is a useful exercise: it is useful for Kantians, for it gives us a chance to show Kant at his best; it is useful for Santayana scholars, for it reminds us that Santayana, for all his brilliance, (...)
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  30. Kant’s theory of conscience.Samuel J. M. Kahn - 2015 - In Pablo Muchnik & Oliver Thorndike (eds.), Rethinking Kant: Volume IV. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 135-156.
    In this paper I discuss Kant’s theory of conscience. In particular, I explicate the following two claims that Kant makes in the Metaphysics of Morals: (1) an erring conscience is an absurdity and (2) if an agent has acted according to his/her conscience, then s/he has done all that can be required of him/her. I argue that (1) is a very specific claim that does not bear on the problem of moral knowledge. I argue that (2) rests on a strongly (...)
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  31. Das Proposições Práticas da Crítica da Razão Prática Pura: Uma Análise dos Conceitos Norteadores da Ética Kantiana.Filicio Mulinari - 2015 - Clareira: Revista de Filosofia da Região Amazônica 2 (2):85-98.
    Muitos filósofos fizeram referência à teoria ética proposta por Immanuel Kant em sua obra Crítica da Razão Pura, ora tomando-a como fundamento para desenvolvimento de teorias éticas contemporâneas, ora tomando-a como alvo de crítica pós-moderna. Contudo, apesar da grande repercussão da obra kantiana, deve-se salientar não é incomum encontrar leituras errôneas e comentários equivocados sobre as teses de Kant. Nesse sentido, o presente artigo almeja apresentar e esclarecer os principais conceitos da primeira parte da Analítica da Razão Prática Pura da (...)
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  32. The Moral Evaluation of Living Organ Donation and Trade in Human Organs in Light of Kant's Ethics.Piotr Grzegorz Nowak - 2015 - Diametros 46:30-54.
    In the article I justify the acceptability of ex vivo transplantation and I provide the ethical evaluation of trafficking in human organs from the Kantian perspective. Firstly, I refer to passages of Kant's works, where he explicitly states that depriving oneself of one’s body parts for other purposes than self-preservation is not permitted. I explain that the negative ethical evaluation of the disposal of the body parts was given various justifications by Kant. Subsequently, I provide partial criticism of this justification, (...)
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  33. The Metaphysics of Vice: Kant and the Problem of Moral Freedom.Jeppe von Platz - 2015 - Rethinking Kant 4.
    In line with the tradition running from Ancients through Christian thought, Kant affirms the idea of moral freedom: that true freedom consists in moral self-determination. The idea of moral freedom raises the problem of moral freedom: if freedom is moral self-determination, it seems that the wicked are not free and therefore not responsible for their wrongdoings. In this essay I discuss Kant's solution to this problem. I argue that Kant distinguishes between four modalities of freedom as moral self-determination and that (...)
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  34. Squire Allworthy’s Inclinations and Acting from Duty: The Problem of Moral Worth in Kant’s Criticism of Sentimentalist Ethics.Jeffrey Edwards - 2014 - In Mario Egger (ed.), Philosophie Nach Kant: Neue Wege Zum Verständnis von Kants Transzendental- Und Moralphilosophie. De Gruyter. pp. 251-278.
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  35. The Primacy of the Good Will.Julio Esteves - 2014 - Kant Studien 105 (1):83-112.
  36. Freedom, Morality, and the Propensity to Evil.Samuel Kahn - 2014 - Kantian Studies Online (1):65-90.
    In Book I of the Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason Kant offers an explanation of freedom and moral good and evil that is different from that offered in the Groundwork for a Metaphysics of Morals. My primary goal in this paper is to analyze and elucidate this new theory. My secondary goal is to contrast this new theory with the older one that it is replacing. I argue that the new theory, which centers on the idea that evil (...)
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  37. A Kantian take on fallible principles and fallible judgments.Samuel J. M. Kahn - 2014 - American Dialectic 4 (1):1-27.
    According to Kant, if an agent acts according to his/her conscience, then s/he has done all that s/he ought as far as morality is concerned. But Kant thinks that agents can be mistaken in their subjective determinations of their duties. That is, Kant thinks it is possible for an agent to believe that some action X is right even though it is an objective truth that X is not right; according to Kant, agents do not have infallible knowledge of right (...)
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  38. Reliability of Motivation and the Moral Value of Actions.Paula Satne - 2013 - Studia Kantiana 14:5-33.
    Kant famously made a distinction between actions from duty and actions in conformity with duty claiming that only the former are morally worthy. Kant’s argument in support of this thesis is taken to rest on the claim that only the motive of duty leads non-accidentally or reliably to moral actions. However, many critics of Kant have claimed that other motives such as sympathy and benevolence can also lead to moral actions reliably, and that Kant’s thesis is false. In addition, many (...)
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  39. Kant on duty in the groundwork.Benjamin Ferguson - 2012 - Res Publica 18 (4):303-319.
    Barbara Herman offers an interpretation of Kant's Groundwork on which an action has moral worth if the primary motive for the action is the motive of duty. She offers this approach in place of Richard Henson's sufficiency-based interpretation, according to which an action has moral worth when the motive of duty is sufficient by itself to generate the action. Noa Latham criticizes Herman's account and argues that we cannot make sense of the position that an agent can hold multiple motives (...)
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  40. Hamann and Kant on the good will.Manfred Kuehn - 2012 - In Lisa Marie Anderson (ed.), Hamann and the Tradition. Northwestern University Press.
  41. Wood's Kantian Ethics: A Hermeneutics of Freedom - Allen W. Wood, Kantian Ethics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008, Pp. 342, pbk. [REVIEW]Silviya Lechner - 2011 - Kantian Review 16 (1):141-150.
  42. Moral Worth and Inclinations in Kantian Ethics.Christian Onof - 2011 - Kant Studies Online 2011 (1).
    This paper addresses the issue of making sense of Kant’s notion of moral worth. Kant’s identification in GMM1 I of the good will as the unconditional good leads to understanding the moral worth of human agency in ways which, some critics claim, is at odds with our moral intuitions. By first focusing upon how Kant singles out action out of duty as characteristic of the good will, we shall show that a covert assumption about our nature potentially weakens the force (...)
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  43. Humanity, Obligation, and the Good Will: An Argument against Dean's Interpretation of Humanity.Lara Denis - 2010 - Kantian Review 15 (1):118-141.
    Humanity is an important notion within Kant's moral theory. The humanity formulation of the categorical imperative commands: ‘So act that you use humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end, never merely as a means’ . Kant's analysis of ethical obligation and his expositions of rights and duties in the Metaphysics of Morals refer frequently to humanity. How we understand this concept, then, has signifcant implications for how (...)
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  44. Impermissibility and Kantian Moral Worth.Jill Graper Hernandez - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (4):403-419.
    Samuel Kerstein argues that an asymmetry between moral worth and maxims prevents Kant from accepting a category of acts that are impermissible, but have moral worth. Kerstein contends that an act performed from the motive of duty should be considered as a candidate for moral worth, even if the action's maxim turns out to be impermissible, since moral worth depends on the correct moral motivation of an act, rather than on the moral lightness of an act. I argue that Kant (...)
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  45. Acting for the right reasons.Julia Markovits - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (2):201-242.
    This essay examines the thought that our right actions have moral worth only if we perform them for the right reasons. It argues against the view, often ascribed to Kant, that morally worthy actions must be performed because they are right and argues that Kantians and others ought instead to accept the view that morally worthy actions are those performed for the reasons why they are right. In other words, morally worthy actions are those for which the reasons why they (...)
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  46. Effort and Moral Worth.Kelly Sorensen - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (1):89-109.
    One of the factors that contributes to an agent’s praiseworthiness and blameworthiness — his or her moral worth — is effort. On the one hand, agents who act effortlessly seem to have high moral worth. On the other hand, agents who act effortfully seem to have high moral worth as well. I explore and explain this pair of intuitions and the contour of our views about associated cases.
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  47. Thomas Scanlon, moral dimensions: Permissibility, meaning, blame. [REVIEW]Kevin Vallier - 2010 - Journal of Value Inquiry 44 (4):561-565.
  48. Kant's Anatomy of Evil.Sharon Anderson-Gold & Pablo Muchnik (eds.) - 2009 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
    Kant infamously claimed that all human beings, without exception, are evil by nature. This collection of essays critically examines and elucidates what he must have meant by this indictment. It shows the role which evil plays in his overall philosophical project and analyses its relation to individual autonomy. Furthermore, it explores the relevance of Kant's views for understanding contemporary questions such as crimes against humanity and moral reconstruction. Leading scholars in the field engage a wide range of sources from which (...)
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  49. Kant's moral excluded middle.Claudia Card - 2009 - In Sharon Anderson-Gold & Pablo Muchnik (eds.), Kant's Anatomy of Evil. Cambridge University Press.
  50. What is pure, what is good? Disinterestedness in fénelon and Kant.Sr Mary Bernard Curran - 2009 - Heythrop Journal 50 (2):195-205.
    Two philosophers, Robert Spaemann and Henri Gouhier, have identified a similarity between Fénelon and Kant in the prominence of motive in their thought: disinterestedness in Fénelon's pure love and in Kant's good will. Spaemann emphasizes their common detaching of the ethical in terms of motivation from the context of happiness. In this article I explore further similarities and differences under the topics of perfectionism, pure love, good will, happiness, and disinterestedness, as these are pertinent to their thought. On perfectionism there (...)
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