Generating General Duties from the Universalizability Tests

Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy 31 (1):21-32 (2023)
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Abstract

In this paper, I argue that Kant gives a philosophically plausible derivation of the general duty of benevolence and that this derivation can be used to show how to derive other general duties of commission with the universalizability tests.The paper is divided into four sections. In the first, I explain Kant’s notion of a general duty. In the second, I introduce the universalizability tests. In the third, I examine and argue against an account in the secondary literature of how to derive general duties from these tests. In the fourth, I look at Kant’s derivation of the duty of benevolence in the Metaphysics of Morals, and I suggest how this reasoning can be extended to other duties.

Author's Profile

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

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