Kantian Review 2:14-50 (1998)

One usual understanding of Kant's moral theory identifies agents as solitary individuals who reflect on the moral quality of actions ‘in the loneliness of their souls’. Their reflection is autonomous, independent and ‘monological’, with the result that ‘by presupposing autonomy’ Kant ‘expels moral action from the very domain of morality itself’. Instead of an ‘interplay of an intersubjectivity’ in which moral issues arise and are resolved, the autonomous solitary individual seems to derive rules for action from a categorical imperative. Yet this imperative itself is only a statement of the formal character of reason independent of particular contexts, and so cannot clearly guide actual actions and choices. From another direction, Iris Murdoch has maintained that, ‘confronted even with Christ’, the Kantian moral agent ‘turns away to consider the judgment of his own conscience and to hear the voice of his own reason’. He insists on being ‘free, independent, lonely, powerful, rational, responsible, brave, [and] heroic'; and, Murdoch contends, the proper name of this individual ‘is Milton's Lucifer’. This moral agent is individualistic to the point of being damnably isolated
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DOI 10.1017/S1369415400000182
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The Sovereignty of Good.Iris Murdoch - 1970 - New York: Schocken Books.
Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action.David M. Rasmussen - 1993 - Philosophical Quarterly 43 (173):571.
The Practice of Moral Judgment.Barbara Herman - 1985 - Journal of Philosophy 82 (8):414-436.

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