New York: Cambridge University Press (1999)
This is a major new study of Kant's ethics that will transform the way students and scholars approach the subject in future. Allen Wood argues that Kant's ethical vision is grounded in the idea of the dignity of the rational nature of every human being. Undergoing both natural competitiveness and social antagonism the human species, according to Kant, develops the rational capacity to struggle against its impulses towards a human community in which the ends of all are to harmonize and coincide. The distinctive features of the book are twofold. First, it focuses for the first time on the central role played in Kant's ethical theory by the value of rational nature as an end itself. Second, it shows the importance of Kant's systematic theory of human nature and history, and its implications for the structure, formulation, and application of Kant's moral principles. This comprehensive study will be of critical importance to students of moral philosophy, the history of ideas, political theory, and religious studies.