Contradiction and Kant’s Formula of Universal Law

Kant Studien 108 (1):89-115 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Kant’s most prominent formulation of the Categorical Imperative, known as the Formula of Universal Law (FUL), is generally thought to demand that one act only on maxims that one can will as universal laws without this generating a contradiction. Kant's view is standardly summarized as requiring the 'universalizability' of one's maxims and described in terms of the distinction between 'contradictions in conception' and 'contradictions in the will'. Focusing on the underappreciated significance of the simultaneity condition included in the FUL, I argue, by contrast, that the principle is better read as requiring that one be able to will two things simultaneously without self-contradiction, namely, that a maxim be one's own and that it be a universal law. This amounts to a new interpretation of the FUL with significant interpretive and philosophical advantages.

Similar books and articles

Kant's Universal Law Formula Revisited.Sven Nyholm - 2015 - Metaphilosophy 46 (2):280-299.
Two Dogmas of Kantian Ethics.Scott Forschler - 2013 - Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (3):255-269.
Abortion and Kant’s Formula of Universal Law.Lara Denis - 2007 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (4):547-579.
On the Universal Law and Humanity Formulas.Sven Nyholm - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Michigan
Reason Alone Cannot Identify Moral Laws.Noriaki Iwasa - 2013 - Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (1-2):67-85.
Moral Health, Moral Prosperity and Universalization in Kant's Ethics.Donald Wilson - 2004 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 23 (1):17.

Analytics

Added to PP
2017-02-07

Downloads
1,294 (#4,949)

6 months
183 (#3,116)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Pauline Kleingeld
University of Groningen