How to Use Someone ‘Merely as a Means’

Kantian Review 25 (3):389-414 (2020)
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The prohibition on using others ‘merely as means’ is one of the best-known and most influential elements of Immanuel Kant’s moral theory. But it is widely regarded as impossible to specify with precision the conditions under which this prohibition is violated. On the basis of a re-examination of Kant’s texts, the article develops a novel account of the conditions for using someone ‘merely as a means’. It is argued that this account has not only strong textual support but also significant philosophical advantages over alternative conceptions.

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Pauline Kleingeld
University of Groningen


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