Kant’s Contextualism

Kantian Review 23 (4):555-579 (2018)
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Abstract

This article builds on David Velleman’s recent work on moral relativism to argue that Kant’s account of moral judgement is best read in a contextualist manner. More specifically, I argue that while for Kant the form of moral judgement is invariant, substantive moral judgements are nonetheless context-dependent. The same form of moral willing can give rise to divergent substantive judgements. To some limited extent, Kantian contextualism is a development out of Rawlsian constructivism. Yet while for constructivists the primary concern is with the derivation of generally valid principles of morality, Velleman’s Kant-inspired form of moral relativism demonstrates the indispensability to a Kantian approach of indexical reasons for action. I argue in turn that Velleman’s focus on the indexical nature of reasons for action must be supplemented by an account of agential reflexivity. The latter divides Kantian contextualism from Kantian relativism.

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Citations of this work

What Should we Hope?Seniye Tilev - 2022 - Philosophia 50 (5).
Kant-Bibliographie 2018.Margit Ruffing - 2020 - Kant Studien 111 (4):647-702.

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References found in this work

Kantian constructivism in moral theory.John Rawls - 1980 - Journal of Philosophy 77 (9):515-572.
Kantian Dilemmas? Moral Conflict in Kant’s Ethical Theory.Jens Timmermann - 2013 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 95 (1):36-64.
Lectures on the History of Moral Philosophy.John Rawls & Barbara Herman - 2002 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):178-179.

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