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Studies in German Idealism

Kant on Maxims and Moral Motivation

A New Interpretation

Authors: Herissone-Kelly, Peter

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  • Is an in-depth and carefully argued account of the model of rational agency underlying Kant’s moral philosophy
  • Takes a wholly new slant on Kant’s moral thought
  • Compares Kant’s moral philosophy with the work of Aristotle, John Searle, Iris Murdoch, Elizabeth Anscombe, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Brian O’Shaughnessy
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-05572-1
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About this book

This book outlines and circumvents two serious problems that appear to attach to Kant’s moral philosophy, or more precisely to the model of rational agency that underlies that moral philosophy: the problem of experiential incongruence and the problem of misdirected moral attention. The book’s central contention is that both these problems can be sidestepped. In order to demonstrate this, it argues for an entirely novel reading of Kant’s views on action and moral motivation.

In addressing the two main problems in Kant’s moral philosophy, the book explains how the first problem arises because the central elements of Kant’s theory of action seem not to square with our lived experience of agency, and moral agency in particular. For example, the idea that moral deliberation invariably takes the form of testing personal policies against the Categorical Imperative seems at odds with the phenomenology of such reasoning, as does the claim that all our actions proceed from explicitly adopted general policies, or maxims. It then goes on to discuss the second problem showing how it is a result of Kant’s apparent claim that when an agent acts from duty, her reason for doing so is that her maxim is lawlike. This seems to put the moral agent’s attention in the wrong place: on the nature of her own maxims, rather than on the world of other people and morally salient situations. The book shows how its proposed novel reading of Kant’s views ultimately paints an unfamiliar but appealing picture of the Kantian good-willed agent as much more embedded in and engaged with the world than has traditionally been supposed.

About the authors

Peter Herissone-Kelly is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK, where he teaches ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of language. In addition to his work on Kant, he has published widely in bioethics, and in particular on the ethics of new reproductive technologies.

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-05572-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-05571-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide. COVID-19 shipping restrictions apply.
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Kant on Maxims and Moral Motivation
Book Subtitle
A New Interpretation
Authors
Series Title
Studies in German Idealism
Series Volume
21
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-05572-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-05572-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-05571-4
Series ISSN
1571-4764
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 212
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics

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