Kant Essay

Jump to Content Jump to Main Navigation

OSO version 0.4.3 build 1
University Press Scholarship Online
  • Sign in .
  • Not registered? Sign up.
  • About

  • News

  • Partner Presses

  • Subscriber Services

  • Contact Us

  • Take a Tour

  • Help

Oxford Scholarship Online

  • Browse by Subject
      

  • My Content (0)

  • My searches (0)

  • Biology
  • Business and Management
  • Classical Studies
  • Economics and Finance
  • History
  • Law
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Neuroscience
  • Palliative Care
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Public Health and Epidemiology
  • Religion
  • Social Work
  • Sociology

Close

Essays on Kant

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

  • Find in Worldcat

Essays on Kant

Henry E. Allison

Abstract

This volume contains a collection of seventeen essays which have been previously published on Kant and an addendum to one of these essays that is here published for the first time. Although these essays cover virtually the full spectrum of the author’s work on Kant, ranging from his epistemology, metaphysics, and moral theory to his views on teleology, political philosophy, the philosophy of history, and the philosophy of religion, most of them revolve around three basic themes: the nature of transcendental idealism, freedom of the will, and the purposiveness of nature. The first two of these … More

This volume contains a collection of seventeen essays which have been previously published on Kant and an addendum to one of these essays that is here published for the first time. Although these essays cover virtually the full spectrum of the author’s work on Kant, ranging from his epistemology, metaphysics, and moral theory to his views on teleology, political philosophy, the philosophy of history, and the philosophy of religion, most of them revolve around three basic themes: the nature of transcendental idealism, freedom of the will, and the purposiveness of nature. The first two of these have been the foci of the author’s work on Kant since its inception and the essays dealing with them in this volume are intended as clarifications, elaborations, and further developments of what the author has said on these topics elsewhere. Among their major new elements is the introduction of a significant comparative dimension, which is intended both to place Kant’s views in their historical context and to explore their contemporary relevance. To this end, Kant’s views are contrasted with those of his major predecessors and immediate successors, as well as present‐day philosophers. The concept of the purposiveness of nature is the major contribution of the third Critique (Critique of the Power of Judgment) to Kant’s “critical” philosophy and one the main concerns of the essays dealing with it is to demonstrate its central place in Kant’s thought.

Keywords:

critical philosophy ,

Critique of the Power of Judgment ,

freedom of the will ,

purposiveness of nature ,

transcendental idealism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012Print ISBN-13: 9780199647033
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199647033.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Henry E. Allison, author

University of California, San Diego, and Boston University (Emeritus)

More
Less

  • Print

  • Save

  • Cite

  • Email


  • Share

    Share



Forgotten your password?

  • Login with your Library Card

  • Login with Athens/Access Management Federation

  • Login with Athens

Don’t have an account?

Subject(s) in Oxford Scholarship Online

  • History of Philosophy
  • Metaphysics/Epistemology
  • Philosophy

Show Summary Details

subscribe
or login to access all content.

Subscriber Login

Forgotten your password?

  • Login with your Library Card

  • Login with Athens/Access Management Federation

  • Login with Athens

Don’t have an account?

Contents

View:

  • no detail
  • some detail
  • full detail

Front Matter

Title Pages

Dedication

Acknowledgments

Note on sources and key to abbreviations and translations

Introduction

Part I

Essay One: The Antinomy of Pure Reason Section Nine (A515–67/B543–95)

Essay Two: Where Have all the Categories Gone? Reflections on Longuenesse’s Reading of Kant’s Transcendental Deduction

A Response to a Response: An Addendum to “Where Have all the Categories Gone?”

Essay Three: Kant and the Two Dogmas of Rationalism

Essay Four: Transcendental Realism, Empirical Realism, and Transcendental Idealism

Part II

Essay Five: We Can Act Only Under the Idea of Freedom

Essay Six: On the Very Idea of a Propensity to Evil

Essay Seven: Kant’s Practical Justification of Freedom

Essay Eight: The Singleness of the Categorical Imperative

Essay Nine: Kant on Freedom of the Will

Part III

Essay Ten: Is the Critique of Judgment “Post‐Critical”?

Essay Eleven: Reflective Judgment and the Application of Logic to Nature: Kant’s Deduction of the Principle of Purposiveness as an Answer to Hume

Essay Twelve: The Critique of Judgment as a “True Apology” for Leibniz

Essay Thirteen: Kant’s Antinomy of Teleological Judgment

Part IV

Essay Fourteen: The Gulf between Nature and Freedom and Nature’s Guarantee of Perpetual Peace

Essay Fifteen: Kant’s Conception of Aufklärung

Essay Sixteen: Teleology and History in Kant: The Critical Foundations of Kant’s Philosophy of History

Essay Seventeen: Reason, Revelation, and History in Lessing and Kant

End Matter

Bibliography

Index

Oxford University Press

Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy ).date: 29 August 2018

  • Cookie Policy

  • Privacy Policy

  • Legal Notice

  • Credits

Powered by:

Safari Books Online

  • [94.181.67.90]
  • 94.181.67.90

  • Fair Use Policy
  • Help Centre
  • Loading…
  • Sign In

UKEssays logo

UKEssays
Trusted by students since 2003
0115 966 7955
Today’s Opening Times 10:00 – 20:00 (BST)


Banner ad for Viper plagiarism checker

Kant Versus Mill On Morality Philosophy Essay

Print

Reference this

Published:

Disclaimer: This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers. You can view samples of our professional work here .

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays.

Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher born in 1724 and died in 1804. His philosophical writings influenced people, not only in Europe but the world over. Centuries later, his works still form a major point of reference in studies carried out in the modern world. His writings were such that they brought a new dimension in religion, law and history. Among his many works was the ‘Metaphysics of Morals’ which form the basis for this paper. His view of morals is that our desires and emotions are categorically imperative, meaning that they are conscience driven. His philosophy is closely related to the golden rule which states that one should always act in accordance to the outcome that will give him the best outcome, while the categorical imperative rule of Kant seems to suggest that actions must be universal for them to be classified as either moral or immoral (Thomas, p10)

John Stuart Mill on the other hand was a British philosopher born in 1806 and died in 1873. He also strongly contributed to the development of philosophical views that have continued to influence different aspects in different disciplines like sociology, politics and economy. Among his many developments is the utilitarianism theory that explains morality. Mill argues that the usefulness or moral worth of an action is determined by its utility (pleasure or satisfaction derived from the consequences of the action). Mill seems to suggest that our emotions and desires form a great basis on which we should judge our morals. For example, if telling lies to another person will ensure that the desire to live in harmony with other people is fulfilled, the act of lying will be considered moral, guided by that desire. On the other hand, Kant’s argument in metaphysics of moral, would view this as lack of standards because it compromises the true value of lies, which in his view should be universalized as immoral, whether there is gratification derived from it or not. This view forms the basis of the contrasting argument between him and Kant (John, p 17).

Roles played by desires and emotions in our moral choices

According to Kant, desires and emotions are insignificant in our choice to uphold or reject morality. He argues that morality is a matter of common sense of duty, regardless of what one feels at the time they are called to that duty. Kant says that there is nothing that can be considered to be good, apart from good will, which he says is the moral compass that is always on the lookout for good. He says that actions guided by morality are not out to seek for rewards, but to fulfill a duty, which is the intrinsic sense of right or wrong, whether there is gratification and pleasure or not, whether our desires are met and our emotions soothed or not. In his view, morals are superior to emotions and desires. His theory is more of a virtue ethics approach or deontological ethics that are based on character (Kant, p 44).

Mill, on the principle of utilitarianism on the other strongly feels that the happiness and pleasure derived from the consequences of an action should always be the guiding factor in doing something. For example, in the pursuit of happiness, if the result of an action is that t leaves the biggest number of people gratified and happy then the action does not really matter, the bottom line is that it brought happiness and harmony. This is what is known as the hedonic calculus, which is marked by some rules and codes as to what is supposed to be done in each occasion in order to please the biggest number of people. In his view, desires and morals are superior to morals. Thus, according to Mill, moral is relative, based on ones emotions and desires and the utility derived from an action is dependent on the intensity of the action, the duration, the certainty or lack of it, its propinquity, fecundity; consistency in derived utility, purity and extent in term of number of people affected. To support his view, Mill was quoted saying ‘…better be a human dissatisfied than a pig satisfied…’ and in this he was driving to the different levels of pleasure derivable from different set of actions (John, p 57).

Mill, according to his theoretical proponents, seems to suggest that desires and emotions should be placed above reason. In an example given in his book, if bullying a lonely child produces pleasure as opposed to happiness which is a result of virtues, then the bully is justified to do so. His theory hence seems to suggest that people should not be held responsible for their actions, but their emotions should. Emotions and reason do not co-exist, hence, since actions are guided by emotions, people should not be held responsible for their emotions because more often than not, people act out of emotion, more than out of reason. For example, it is common to hear people say’ ‘I could not help feeling the way I did about him’ (John, p34).

Similarities between Kant and Mill

One of the similarities between the two philosophers is that they both seem to agree that morality is always stimulated by something, it does not just happen. What they feel is the driving force behind morality is what differs because while Mill feels morality is all about gratification, Kant feels that morality is all about duty to humanity, which is a difference between the two in itself.

The differences is that while Kant advocates for morality to be a conscious driven force at all times, Mill advocates for morality to be a situation/circumstance-driven force, which should not be based on reason or cognitive factors. Kant supports the notion that duty to humanity is more crucial than derivation of pleasure from out actions. Mill on the other hand supports that gratification of desires and emotions is more important than duty to humanity. While Mill regards emotions as a human’s driving force to good or bad, Kant disregards emotions and says they have no place in upholding what is good or bad. Mill is egoistic in that he lives for the here and now, while Kant is more realistic in that he stretches the here and now into the future to see what worth there is in doing what we do. Kant’s reasoning is at the ID level of personality development (Lara, p 86).

Most convincing philosopher

The most convincing philosopher in my opinion is Kant. This is because, in explaining the basis for morality, he says that morals should be universalized and this in my opinion forms a very good basis for judgment of what is wrong or right. How would we be able to judge whether committing murder is morally upright or not, if we subjected it to emotions and the desire to seek gratification? If this was the basis on which we judged wrong doers, then I think everyone would go scot free because if they derived pleasure for doing whatever wrong they did, then we have no reason to judge or punish them because in their eyes, they have done nothing wrong, they just sought pleasure and gratification. After all there are no legal punishments for having emotions, all we get are non legal sanctions like isolation for harboring feelings such as jealousy or anger, but they are not punishable by law.

Work cited

Immanuel Kant, Thomas Kingsmill Abbott and Lara Denis, Groundwork for the metaphysics of morals, London, Broadview Press, 2005

John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism, Indianapolis, Hackett Publishing, 2001


Cite This Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

  • APA
  • MLA
  • MLA-7
  • Harvard
  • Vancouver
  • Wikipedia
  • OSCOLA


Reference Copied to Clipboard.


Reference Copied to Clipboard.


Reference Copied to Clipboard.


Reference Copied to Clipboard.


Reference Copied to Clipboard.


Reference Copied to Clipboard.


Reference Copied to Clipboard.