A reply to Bencivenga, “Consequences in Kantian Ethics.”

American Dialectic (1):285-288 (2013)
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In Bencivenga’s “Consequences in Kantian Ethics,” he offers a version of Kant’s ethics according to which the most rational approach to living one’s life is “to always imagine what might follow from one’s moves and to choose moves accordingly” (284), but according to which agents always nevertheless must be modest in their judgments about what they ought to do because the actual consequences of their actions might not turn out as they imagined. In this way, he tries to foreground the role of consequences in Kant's ethics. In this paper, I argue against Bencivenga and, in particular, against the idea that according to Kant, to determine whether an agent’s action is good we must wait for its consequences to unfold in time.

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Samuel J. M. Kahn
Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis


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