Kantian Respect and Particular Persons

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 29 (3):449-477 (1999)
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Abstract

A person enters the moral realm when she affirms that other persons matter in the same way that she does. This, of course, is just the beginning, for she must then determine what follows from this affirmation. One way in which we treat other persons as mattering is by respecting them. And one way in which we respect persons is by respecting their wishes, desires, decisions, choices, ends, and goals. I will call all of these things ‘aims.’ Sometimes we respect another person's aims simply byrefrainingfrom doing certain things, such as treating her in ways that thwart her aims, or interfering with her attempt to pursue them. Other times we respect a person's aims by taking positive action to help her pursue them.But how exactly does respect forpersonstranslate into respect for theiraims?And which aims merit respect? One answer comes from Kant.

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Robert Noggle
Central Michigan University

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