There is general agreement among commentators that in the "Philosophy of Right" Hegel misunderstands important aspects of Kant's practical philosophy. It is often claimed that Hegel entirely misses the point of Kant's universal law test and the mode of its application. We argue that these charges rest on misreadings of the "Philosophy of Right" in which Hegel's conception of the will is not taken into account. We show that Hegel's critique of Kant can be defended if it is interpreted as (...) arising in response to Kant's own question of how the self-determination of a rational will can have determinate content. (shrink)
Nach kurzen Ausführungen zur Interpretation der Goldenen Regel und ihrer Probleme als Moralkriterium wird untersucht, welche Handlungsweise in Gefangenendilemma-Situationen (speziell in Gefangenendilemma-Superspielen) von der Goldenen Regel nahegelegt wird. Anhand eines spieltheoretischen Modells wird gezeigt, daß es Situationen geben kann, in denen sich die der Goldenen Regel entsprechende unbedingt kooperative Strategie für Gefangenendilemma-Superspiele als moralisch fragwürdig erweist. Es werden Bedingungen spezifiziert, unter denen in solchen Situationen nicht ein Handeln nach der Goldenen Regel, sondern nach einer Vergeltungsmaxime moralisch gerechtfertigt erscheint.
The merchant's toil, the sage's indolence,The monk's humility, the hero's pride,All, all alike, find Reason on their side.Hume's moral philosophy is often interpreted as an example of a naturalistic approach to ethics. J.L. Mackie, for instance, writes that in Hume the questions of moral philosophy are answered ‘in sociological and psychological terms, by constructing and defending a causal hypothesis.’ Similarly, Páll S. Árdal claims that Hume ‘is concerned with an attempt to discover those psychological laws that explain human emotions and (...) the behaviour of people in society.’ I argue in this essay that if Hume is read in this way as developing a general explanatory theory of moral sentiments, he faces an inescapable dilemma. Section I presents the dilemma. In sections II and ill, I argue why for Hume — interpreted as a proponent of general psychological laws — there is no way out of this dilemma. (shrink)
Abstract:Taking as a starting point a thesis of David Gauthier's about the status of Rational Choice Theory. I discuss the relation between a subjectivist theory of value and an account of rational agency that leaves room for autonomy. I argue that if autonomy presupposes an activity of practical reason, the maximization of subjective expected utility (as prescribed by Rational Choice Theory) cannot serve as the principle of practical reason.
In recent attempts at deriving morality from rationality expected utility theory has played a major role. In the most prominent such attempt, Gauthier'sMorals by Agreement, a mode of maximizing utility calledconstrained maximization is defended. I want to show that constrained maximization or any similar proposal cannot be coherently supported by expected utility theory. First, I point to an important implication of that theory. Second, I discuss the question of what the place of constrained maximization in utility theory might be. Third, (...) I argue that no matter how we answer this question, expected utility theory cannot provide the reason why a moral disposition like constrained maximization is to be preferred to its rivals. (shrink)