Respect for the Moral Law: the Emotional Side of Reason

Philosophy 89 (1):31-62 (2014)
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Abstract

Respect, as Kant describes it, has a duality of nature that seems to embody a contradiction – i.e., it is both a moral motive and a feeling, where these are thought to be mutually exclusive. Most solutions involve eliminating one of the two natures, but unfortunately, this also destroys what is unique about respect. So instead, I question the non-cognitive theory of emotion giving rise to the contradiction. In its place, I develop the cognitive theory implicit in Kant's work, one in which emotions take the form of evaluative judgments that determine the will. I then show that, as a purely rational emotion, respect is perfectly suited to be a moral motive.

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Janelle DeWitt
University of California, Los Angeles

Citations of this work

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