Tag Archives: Immanuel Kant

True grit

Source: Austro-Athenian Empire
by Roderick T Long

“On Kant’s view, a moral action is worthy of respect only if it is motivated by a good will — a respect for the moral law for the moral law’s own sake. If it is motivated instead by some sort of inclination or sentiment (such as charitable acts being motivated by feelings of sympathy), the action is no longer worthy of respect, because if one’s actions depend on favourable sentiments — sentiments whose presence or absence is not under the control of the agent’s will –– then that implies that if those favourable sentiments had happened to be absent, the agent would not have performed the action, and so the agent’s having done the right thing is fortuitous and not the expression of a reliable commitment to duty. Hodgson’s narrator is making a similar point here, holding that since his act of courage was largely motivated by a feeling of revulsion at his own cowardice, it is less worthy of respect than it would have been if motivated by ‘a sheer effort of will.'” (02/12/18)


The Russian connection: Rand versus Kant

Source: Notablog
by Chris Matthew Sciabarra

“There has been a debate raging on Facebook about Rand’s antipathy to Kant as the most ‘evil’ man in the history of philosophy. I certainly am not a Kantian, but let’s just say that while Rand often gets some things right in her view of the history of philosophy, she often made sweeping generalizations that were at best, uncharitable, in her evaluation of various thinkers. ‘Uncharitable’ is partially an outgrowth of a not-very-sophisticated treatment of certain thinkers (Hegel and Marx come to mind), especially in the title essay to her book For the New Intellectual. In the meanwhile, some folks have wondered when Rand developed this rabid antipathy to Kant. For example, in the 1936 version of We the Living, Rand has the character Leo quoting Kant and Nietzsche at social gatherings. In the 1959 version, Rand airbrushed Kant from the text, substituting Spinoza for Kant in Leo’s comments.” (11/29/17)


Immanuel Kant on electoral interference

Source: CounterPunch
by Gary Leupp

“The ‘categorical imperative’ is the central concept in the ethical philosophy of Immanuel Kant. It refers to an unconditional moral obligation binding in all cases and not dependent on someone’s inclination or purpose. … It also refers to things you can’t do. So (just for another example), if it is wrong (as a matter of principle) for a government in one country to interfere in the elections of another, the rule against it applies universally. It would be wrong for a foreign country to help a candidate in the U.S. to win. But see this: ‘Yanks to the Rescue: The Secret Story of How American Advisers Helped Yeltsin Win.’ Jesus! That almost sounds like interference in the Russian election of 1996. And it looks like the U.S. was practically shouting it from the rooftops at the time, with glee.” (06/27/17)


A Kantian case for libertarianism

Source: Libertarianism.org
by Jason Kuznicki

“Kant was a classical liberal. Not only that, but even in those places where Kant diverged from what we now would call libertarianism, one might argue that he did so in spite of his deeper philosophical commitments, rather than because of them. With the help of further reflection, we might even say that a somewhat better Kantian would be significantly more libertarian than Kant himself ever was. Importantly, Kant’s own system was explicitly open to this kind of development and growth, and it is a mark of his philosophical acumen that he left the door open for those sorts of future improvements.” [editor’s note: No idea why this didn’t appear in my RSS feed for more than a month, but interesting enough to run even at this late date … – TLK] (01/03/17)


Free Thoughts Podcast, 01/06/17

Source: Libertarianism.org

“Jason Kuznicki joins us to discuss the chapter he wrote on Immanuel Kant for our new book, Arguments for Liberty. What’s Kant’s conception of the good, and what kind of government follows from that?” [various formats] (01/06/17)