European Journal of Philosophy 24 (2):375-396 (2016)

Authors
Owen Ware
University of Toronto, Mississauga
Abstract
This paper offers a new interpretation of Kant's relationship with skepticism in the Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. My position differs from commonly held views in the literature in two ways. On the one hand, I argue that Kant's relationship with skepticism is active and systematic (contrary to Hill, Wood, Rawls, Timmermann, and Allison). On the other hand, I argue that the kind of skepticism Kant is interested in does not speak to the philosophical tradition in any straightforward sense (contrary to Forster and Guyer). On my reading, Kant takes up a skeptical method in the Groundwork as a way of exposing certain obstacles in our ordinary and philosophical thinking about morality. The central obstacle he is interested in is practical in character, arising from a natural tendency we have to rationalize against the moral law. In attempting to resolve this tendency, I argue, the Groundwork turns out to have a profoundly educative task.
Keywords Ethics  Kant  Kantian Ethics  Skepticism  Moral Justification
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Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.1111/ejop.12078
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References found in this work BETA

Kant's Transcendental Idealism.Henry E. Allison - 1988 - Yale University Press.
Kant’s Ethical Thought.Allen W. Wood - 1999 - Cambridge University Press.
Kant.Paul Guyer - 2006 - Routledge.

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Citations of this work BETA

Kant's Moral Philosophy.Robert N. Johnson - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Kant’s Deductions of Morality and Freedom.Owen Ware - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (1):116-147.

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Similar books and articles

Comments on Guyer.R. Sebastian - 2007 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 50 (5):489 – 496.
Kant, Skepticism, and Moral Sensibility.Owen Ware - 2010 - Dissertation, University of Toronto
The Idea of Freedom and Moral Cognition in Groundwork III.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3):555-589.
Comments on Guyer.Allen W. Wood - 2007 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 50 (5):465 – 479.
Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785 - In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Late Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell.

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