Kant and the Second Person

Journal of the American Philosophical Association 7 (4):494-513 (2021)
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According to Darwall’s Second-Personal Account, moral obligations constitutively involve relations of authority and accountability between persons. Darwall takes this account to lend support to Kant’s moral theory. Critics object that the Second-Personal Account abandons central tenets of Kant’s system. I respond to these critics’ three main challenges by showing that they rest on misunderstandings of the Second-Personal Account. Properly understood, this account is not only congenial to Kant’s moral theory, but also illuminates aspects of that theory which have hitherto received scant attention. In particular, it motivates a fresh perspective on the relationship between respect, persons, and the law.

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Janis David Schaab
Utrecht University


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