Nonaccidental Rightness and the Guise of the Objectively Good

Journal of Early Modern Studies:Vol. 13, Issue 2, 2024 (forthcoming)
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Abstract

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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