Making Sense of the Relationship of Reason and Sensibility in Kant's Ethics

Kantian Review 16 (3):461-472 (2011)


In this essay, I look at some claims Anne Margaret Baxley makes, in her recent book Kant's Theory of Virtue: The Value of Autocracy, about the relationship between reason and sensibility in Kant's theory of virtue. I then reflect on tensions I find in these claims as compared to the overall goal of her book: an account of Kant's conception of virtue as autocracy. Ultimately, I argue that interpreters like Baxley who want to welcome a more robust role for feeling in Kantian ethics must, in order to achieve our purposes, move beyond the general account of the limits for the role of the moral feeling of respect in the grounding of Kant's ethics which Henry Allison established in his influential Kant's Theory of Freedom

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Jeanine Grenberg
St. Olaf College

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