Krause’s Ethics as a Precursor to Capability Theory

European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 14 (2):83-107 (2022)
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There are striking parallels between current capability theories and the moral philosophy of Karl Christian Friedrich Krause. This article reconstructs central arguments of Krause’s ethics and correlates them with passages from the works of Martha Nussbaum, showing that such similarities extend not only to what, substantially, is being professed in either philosophy but also, procedurally, to the question of how the respective moral conclusions are reached. As Krause correlates responsibility with capability, the article begins with an examination of Krause’s idea of human — as compared to animal — freedom and their respective normative implications. Next, the argument is extended to the social responsibilities of personal freedom, before widening the scope to the cosmopolitan plane. The paper then briefly examines historical links between Krause and current capability theorists, before concluding.


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