Nonaccidental Rightness and the Guise of the Objectively Good

Journal of Early Modern Studies:Vol. 13, Issue 2, 2024 (forthcoming)
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My goal in this paper is to show that two theses that are widely adopted among Kantian ethicists are irreconcilable. The paper is divided into four sections. In the first, I briefly sketch the contours of my own positive view of Kantian ethics, concentrating on the issues relevant to the two theses to be discussed: I argue that agents can perform actions from but not in conformity with duty, and I argue that agents intentionally can perform actions they take to be contrary to duty. In the second, I focus on Barbara Herman’s non-accidental rightness condition from “On the Value of Acting from Duty.” In the third, I focus on Christine Korsgaard’s guise of the objectively good from “Formula of Humanity.” In the fourth, I explain why the positions developed by Herman and Korsgaard are irreconcilable and I make a suggestion about how to move forward.

Author's Profile

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


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