The Normativity of Kant's Formula of the Law of Nature

Romanian Journal of Analytic Philosophy (2):57-81 (2013)
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Many Kantian scholars have debated what normative guidance the formula of the law of nature provides. There are three ways of understanding the role of FLN in Kant’s ethics. The first line of interpretation claims that FLN and FLU are logically equivalent. The second line claims that there are only subjective differences, meaning that FLN is easier to apply than the abstrct method of FUL. The third line of interpretation claims that there are objective differences between FLN and FUL in the sense that each formula has an irreducible role in Kant’s ethics. In this article I will show that the first and second lines of interpretation cannot fully explain Kant’s account of FLN and I will propose a new interpretation which pertains to the third type. I will explore the schematism model to understand the role of FLN and argue that it is an intermediary principle that fills in a practical gap between the moral law and action. In the end, I will consider a possible objection against this understanding which claims that the schematism model is not applicable to practical judgment since nothing is given in experience.

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Emilian Mihailov
University of Bucharest


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