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The role of vulnerability in Kantian ethics

In Catriona Mackenzie, Wendy Rogers & Susan Dodds (eds.), Vulnerability: New Essays in Ethics and Feminist Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 88-109 (2014)

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  1. Vulnerability: What Kind of Principle is It?Michael H. Kottow - 2004 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 7 (3):281-287.
    The so-called European principles of bioethicsare a welcome enrichment of principlistbioethics. Nevertheless, vulnerability, dignityand integrity can perhaps be moreaccurately understood as anthropologicaldescriptions of the human condition. Theymay inspire a normative language, but they donot contain it primarily lest a naturalisticfallacy be committed. These anthropologicalfeatures strongly suggest the need todevelop deontic arguments in support of theprotection such essential attributes ofhumanity require. Protection is to beuniversalized, since all human beings sharevulnerability, integrity and dignity, thusfundamenting a mandate requiring justice andrespect for fundamental human (...)
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  • Human Functioning and Social Justice: In Defense of Aristotelian Essentialism.Martha C. Nussbaum - 1992 - Political Theory 20 (2):202-246.
    It will be seen how in place of the wealth and poverty of political economy come the rich human being and rich human need. The rich human being is simultaneously the human being in need of totality of human life-activities — the man in whom his own realization exists as an inner necessity, as need. Marx, Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 Svetaketu abstained from food for fifteen days. Then he came to his father and said, `What shall I say?' (...)
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  • Kant on the Radical Evil of Human Nature.Paul Formosa - 2007 - Philosophical Forum 38 (3):221–245.
    In ‘Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason’ Kant presents his thesis that human nature is ‘radically evil’. To be radically evil is to have a propensity toward moral frailty, impurity and even perversity. Kant claims that all humans are ‘by nature’ radically evil. By presenting counter-examples of moral saints, I argue that not all humans are morally corrupt, even if most are. Even so, the possibility of moral failure is central to what makes us human.
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  • Patient Autonomy, Assessment of Competence and Surrogate Decision‐Making: A Call for Reasonableness in Deciding for Others.Kristine Bærøe - 2010 - Bioethics 24 (2):87-95.
    ABSTRACTIn this paper, I address some of the shortcomings of established clinical ethics centring on personal autonomy and consent and what I label the Doctrine of Respecting Personal Autonomy in Healthcare. I discuss two implications of this doctrine: 1) the practice for treating patients who are considered to have borderline decision‐making competence and 2) the practice of surrogate decision‐making in general. I argue that none of these practices are currently aligned with respectful treatment of vulnerable individuals. Because of ‘structural arbitrariness’ (...)
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  • Patient Autonomy, Assessment of Competence and Surrogate Decision-Making: A Call for Reasonableness in Deciding for Others.Kristine Baerøe - 2010 - Bioethics 24 (2):87-95.
    In this paper, I address some of the shortcomings of established clinical ethics centring on personal autonomy and consent and what I label the Doctrine of Respecting Personal Autonomy in Healthcare. I discuss two implications of this doctrine: 1) the practice for treating patients who are considered to have borderline decision-making competence and 2) the practice of surrogate decision-making in general. I argue that none of these practices are currently aligned with respectful treatment of vulnerable individuals. Because of ‘structural arbitrariness’ (...)
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  • The Vulnerable and the Susceptible.Michael H. Kottow - 2003 - Bioethics 17 (5-6):460-471.
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  • Dignity and Respect: How to Apply Kant's Formula of Humanity.Paul Formosa - 2014 - Philosophical Forum 45 (1):49-68.
    Kant’s Formula of Humanity (FH) is considered by many, Kant included, to be the most intuitively appealing formulation of the categorical imperative. FH tells us that to treat persons with dignity and respect we must always treat them as ends in themselves and never as mere means. One set of issues raised by FH revolves around how FH is to be justified or grounded and how it relates to the other formulations of the categorical imperative. This set of issues, though (...)
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  • The Value of Humanity in Kant's Moral Theory.Richard Dean - 2006 - Oxford University Press.
    The humanity formulation of Kant's Categorical Imperative demands that we treat humanity as an end in itself. Because this principle resonates with currently influential ideals of human rights and dignity, contemporary readers often find it compelling, even if the rest of Kant's moral philosophy leaves them cold. Moreover, some prominent specialists in Kant's ethics have recently turned to the humanity formulation as the most theoretically central and promising principle of Kant's ethics. Nevertheless, it has received less attention than many other (...)
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  • Kant's Ethics and Duties to Oneself.Lara Denis - 1997 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (4):321–348.
    This paper investigates the nature and foundation of duties to oneself in Kant's moral theory. Duties to oneself embody the requirement of the formula of humanity that agents respect rational nature in them-selves as well as in others. So understood, duties to oneself are not subject to the sorts of conceptual objections often raised against duties to oneself; nor do these duties support objections that Kant's moral theory is overly demanding or produces agents who are preoccupied with their own virtue. (...)
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  • Kant on Conscience, “Indirect” Duty, and Moral Error.Jens Timmermann - 2006 - International Philosophical Quarterly 46 (3):293-308.
    Kant’s concept of conscience has been largely neglected by scholars and contemporary moral philosophers alike, as has his concept of “indirect” duty. Admittedly, neither of them is foundational within his ethical theory, but a correct account of both in their own right and in combination can shed some new light on Kant’s moral philosophy as a whole. In this paper, I first examine a key passage in which Kant systematically discusses the role of conscience, then give a systematic account of (...)
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  • “All Politics Must Bend Its Knee Before Right”: Kant on the Relation of Morals to Politics.Paul Formosa - 2008 - Social Theory and Practice 34 (2):157-181.
    Kant argues that morals should not only constrain politics, but that morals and politics properly understood cannot conflict. Such an uncompromising stance on the relation of morals to politics has been branded unrealistic and even politically irresponsible. While justice can afford to be blind, politics must keep its eyes wide open. In response to this charge I argue that Kant’s position on the relation of morals to politics is both morally uncompromising and yet politically flexible, both principled and practical. Kantian (...)
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  • Kant on the Limits of Human Evil.Paul Formosa - 2009 - Journal of Philosophical Research 34:189-214.
    Kant has often been accused of being far too “optimistic” when it comes to the extremes of evil that humans can perpetrate upon one another. In particular, Kant’s supposed claim that humans cannot choose evil qua evil has struck many people as simply false. Another problem for Kant, or perhaps the same problem in another guise, is his supposed claim that all evil is done for the sake of self-love. While self-love might be a plausible way to explain some instances (...)
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  • Relational Autonomy, Normative Authority and Perfectionism.Catriona Mackenzie - 2008 - Journal of Social Philosophy 39 (4):512-533.
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  • Value Without Regress: Kant's ‘Formula of Humanity’ Revisited.Jens Timmermann - 2006 - European Journal of Philosophy 14 (1):69-93.
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  • Value Without Regress: Kant's 'Formula of Humanity' Revisited.Jens Timmermann - 2006 - European Journal of Philosophy 14 (1):69–93.
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  • The Practice of Moral Judgment.Barbara Herman - 1985 - Journal of Philosophy 82 (8):414-436.
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  • The Practice of Moral Judgment.Barbara Herman - 1985 - Journal of Philosophy 82 (8):414.
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  • The Practice of Moral Judgment.Thomas E. Hill - 1995 - Journal of Philosophy 92 (1):47.
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  • Critique of Practical Reason.Immanuel Kant - 1788 - Hackett Publishing Company.
    With this volume, Werner Pluhar completes his work on Kant's three Critiques, an accomplishment unique among English language translators of Kant. At once accurate, fluent, and accessible, Pluhar's rendition of the Critique of Practical Reason meets the standards set in his widely respected translations of the _Critique of Judgment_ and the _Critique of Pure Reason_. Stephen Engstrom's Introduction discusses the place of the second Critique in Kant's critical philosophy, its relation to Kant's ethics, and its practical purpose and provides an (...)
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  • Rationality in Action.John R. Searle - 2001 - MIT Press.
    The study of rationality and practical reason, or rationality in action, has been central to Western intellectual culture. In this invigorating book, John Searle lays out six claims of what he calls the Classical Model of rationality and shows why they are false. He then presents an alternative theory of the role of rationality in thought and action. A central point of Searle's theory is that only irrational actions are directly caused by beliefs and desires—for example, the actions of a (...)
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  • Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785/2002 - Oxford University Press.
    In this classic text, Kant sets out to articulate and defend the Categorical Imperative - the fundamental principle that underlies moral reasoning - and to lay the foundation for a comprehensive account of justice and human virtues. This new edition and translation of Kant's work is designed especially for students. An extensive and comprehensive introduction explains the central concepts of Groundwork and looks at Kant's main lines of argument. Detailed notes aim to clarify Kant's thoughts and to correct some common (...)
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  • On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    This is a major work in moral philosophy, the long-awaited follow-up to Parfit's 1984 classic Reasons and Persons, a landmark of twentieth-century philosophy. Parfit now presents a powerful new treatment of reasons and a critical examination of the most prominent systematic moral theories, leading to his own ground-breaking conclusion.
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  • Basic Ethical Principles in European Bioethics and Biolaw: Autonomy, Dignity, Integrity and Vulnerability – Towards a Foundation of Bioethics and Biolaw.Jacob Dahl Rendtorff - 2002 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 5 (3):235-244.
    This article summarizes some of the results of the BIOMED II project “Basic Ethical Principles in European Bioethics and Biolaw” connected to a research project of the Danish Research Councils “Bioethics and Law”. The BIOMED project was based on cooperation between 22 partners in most EU countries. The aim of the project was to identify the ethical principles of respect for autonomy, dignity, integrity and vulnerability as four important ideas or values for a European bioethics and biolaw. The research concluded (...)
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  • The Chinese Rune Argument.Barry Smith - 2001 - Philosophical Explorations 4 (2):66-74.
    Searle’s tool for understanding culture, law and society is the opposition between brute reality and institutional reality, or in other words between: observer-independent features of the world, such as force, mass and gravitational attraction, and observer-relative features of the world, such as money, property, marriage and government. The question posed here is: under which of these two headings do moral concepts fall? This is an important question because there are moral facts – for example pertaining to guilt and responsibility – (...)
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  • Constructions of Reason: Explorations of Kant's Practical Philosophy.Onora O'Neill - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
    Two centuries after they were published, Kant's ethical writings are as much admired and imitated as they have ever been, yet serious and long-standing accusations of internal incoherence remain unresolved. Onora O'Neill traces the alleged incoherences to attempt to assimilate Kant's ethical writings to modern conceptions of rationality, action and rights. When the temptation to assimilate is resisted, a strikingly different and more cohesive account of reason and morality emerges. Kant offers a `constructivist' vindication of reason and a moral vision (...)
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  • Creating the Kingdom of Ends.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
    Christine Korsgaard has become one of the leading interpreters of Kant's moral philosophy. She is identified with a small group of philosophers who are intent on producing a version of Kant's moral philosophy that is at once sensitive to its historical roots while revealing its particular relevance to contemporary problems. She rejects the traditional picture of Kant's ethics as a cold vision of the moral life which emphasises duty at the expense of love and value. Rather, Kant's work is seen (...)
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  • Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785 - In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Late Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell.
    Immanuel Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals ranks alongside Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics as one of the most profound and influential works in moral philosophy ever written. In Kant's own words its aim is to search for and establish the supreme principle of morality, the categorical imperative. Kant argues that every human being is an end in himself or herself, never to be used as a means by others, and that moral obligation is an expression of the (...)
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  • The Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1797/1996 - Cambridge University Press.
    The Metaphysics of Morals is Kant's major work in applied moral philosophy in which he deals with the basic principles of rights and of virtues. It comprises two parts: the 'Doctrine of Right', which deals with the rights which people have or can acquire, and the 'Doctrine of Virtue', which deals with the virtues they ought to acquire. Mary Gregor's translation, revised for publication in the Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy series, is the only complete translation of the (...)
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  • Dignity and Vulnerability: Strength and Quality of Character.Elinor Mason - 2002 - Mind 111 (443):680-683.
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  • Kant’s Ethical Thought.Allen W. Wood - 1999 - Cambridge University Press.
    This is a major new study of Kant's ethics that will transform the way students and scholars approach the subject in future. Allen Wood argues that Kant's ethical vision is grounded in the idea of the dignity of the rational nature of every human being. Undergoing both natural competitiveness and social antagonism the human species, according to Kant, develops the rational capacity to struggle against its impulses towards a human community in which the ends of all are to harmonize and (...)
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  • Constructions of Reason: Explorations of Kant's Practical Philosophy.Onora O'Neill - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
    Two centuries after they were published, Kant's ethical writings are as much admired and imitated as they have ever been, yet serious and long-standing accusations of internal incoherence remain unresolved. Onora O'Neill traces the alleged incoherences to attempts to assimilate Kant's ethical writings to modern conceptions of rationality, action and rights. When the temptation to assimilate is resisted, a strikingly different and more cohesive account of reason and morality emerges. Kant offers a "constructivist" vindication of reason and a moral vision (...)
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  • Autonomy and Trust in Bioethics.Onora O'Neill - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.
    Why has autonomy been a leading idea in philosophical writing on bioethics, and why has trust been marginal? In this important book, Onora O'Neill suggests that the conceptions of individual autonomy so widely relied on in bioethics are philosophically and ethically inadequate, and that they undermine rather than support relations of trust. She shows how Kant's non-individualistic view of autonomy provides a stronger basis for an approach to medicine, science and biotechnology, and does not marginalize untrustworthiness, while also explaining why (...)
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  • Kant’s Impure Ethics: From Rational Beings to Human Beings.Robert B. Louden - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
    This is the first book-length study in any language to examine in detail and critically assess the second part of Kant's ethics- -an empirical, impure part, which determines how best to apply pure principles to the human situation. Drawing attention to Kant's under-explored impure ethics, this revealing investigation refutes the common and long-standing misperception that Kants ethics advocates empty formalism. Making detailed use of a variety of Kantian texts never before translated into English, author Robert B. Louden reassesses the strengths (...)
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  • Kant's System of Nature and Freedom: Selected Essays.Paul Guyer - 2005 - Oxford University Press, Clarendon ;.
    The essays in this volume, including two published here for the first time, explore various aspects ofKant's conception of the system of nature, the system of ...
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  • From Discipline and Autonomy: Kant's Theory of Moral Development.Paul Formosa - 2011 - In Klas Roth & Chris W. Surprenant (eds.), Kant and Education: Interpretations and Commentary. New York: Routledge. pp. 163--176.
    In this paper I argue that Kant develops, in a number of texts, a detailed three stage theory of moral development which resembles the contemporary accounts of moral development defended by Lawrence Kohlberg and John Rawls. The first stage in this process is that of physical education and disciplining, followed by cultivating and civilising, with a third and final stage of moralising. The outcome of this process of moral development is a fully autonomous person. However, Kant’s account of moral development (...)
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  • Treating Others Merely as Means.Samuel Kerstein - 2009 - Utilitas 21 (2):163-180.
    In the Formula of Humanity, Kant embraces the principle that it is wrong for us to treat others merely as means. For contemporary Kantian ethicists, this Mere Means Principle plays the role of a moral constraint: it limits what we may do, even in the service of promoting the overall good. But substantive interpretations of the principle generate implausible results in relatively ordinary cases. On one interpretation, for example, you treat your opponent in a tennis tournament merely as a means (...)
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  • Treating Oneself Merely as a Means.Samuel J. Kerstein - 2008 - In Monika Betzler (ed.), Kant's Ethics of Virtues. De Gruyter. pp. 201-218.
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  • Elucidating the Concept of Vulnerability: Layers Not Labels.Florencia Luna - 2009 - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 2 (1):121-139.
    In this article I examine several criticisms of the concept of vulnerability. Rather than rejecting the concept, however, I argue that a sufficiently rich understanding of vulnerability is essential to bioethics. The challenges of international research in developing countries require an understanding of how new vulnerabilities arise from conditions of economic, social and political exclusion. A serious shortcoming of current conceptions of vulnerability in research ethics is the tendency to treat vulnerability as a label fixed on a particular subpopulation. My (...)
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  • Dementia and Dignity: Towards a New Method of Surrogate Decision Making.Elysa R. Koppelman - 2002 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 27 (1):65 – 85.
    Autonomous decisions are decisions that reflect the self who makes them. Since patients in need of surrogate decision making can no longer enjoy the dignity of being free to express who they are through choice and action, surrogates should strive to, at least, make sure that decisions on behalf of the patient reflects that patient's self. Concepts of the self, then, underlie views about the role autonomy should play in surrogate decision making. Alzheimer's disease (AD) complicates the situation because it (...)
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  • Kant on the Highest Moral-Physical Good: The Social Aspect of Kant's Moral Philosophy.Paul Formosa - 2010 - Kantian Review 15 (1):1-36.
    Kant identifies the “highest moral-physical good” as that combination of “good living” and “true humanity” which best harmonises in a “good meal in good company”. Why does Kant privilege the dinner party in this way? By examining Kant’s accounts of enlightenment, cosmopolitanism, love and respect, and gratitude and friendship, the answer to this question becomes clear. Kant’s moral ideal is that of an enlightened and just cosmopolitan human being who feels and acts with respect and love for all persons and (...)
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  • Constructions of Reason: Explorations of Kant's Practical Philosophy.Daniel M. Farrell - 1991 - Philosophical Quarterly 41 (164):372-374.
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  • A Theory of Wrongful Exploitation.Mikhail Valdman - 2009 - Philosophers' Imprint 9:1-14.
    My primary aims in this paper are to explain what exploitation is, when it’s wrong, and what makes it wrong. I argue that exploitation is not always wrong, but that it can be, and that its wrongness cannot be fully explained with familiar moral constraints such as those against harming people, coercing them, or using them as a means, or with familiar moral obligations such as an obligation to rescue those in distress or not to take advantage of people’s vulnerabilities. (...)
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  • Constructions of Reason: Explorations of Kant's Practical Philosophy.Nelson Potter - 1993 - Noûs 27 (3):386-388.
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  • Creating the Kingdom of Ends.James Lenman - 1996 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 1 (4):487-488.
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  • The Practice of Moral Judgment.Paul Guyer - 1993 - Ethics 106 (2):404-423.
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  • The Not Unreasonable Standard for Assessment of Surrogates and Surrogate Decisions.Rosamond Rhodes & Ian Holzman - 2004 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 25 (4):367-386.
    Standard views on surrogate decision making present alternative ideal models of what ideal surrogates should consider in rendering a decision. They do not, however, explain the physician''s responsibility to a patient who lacks decisional capacity or how a physician should regard surrogates and surrogate decisions. The authors argue that it is critical to recognize the moral difference between a patient''s decisions and a surrogate''s and the professional responsibilities implied by that distinction. In every case involving a patient who lacks decisional (...)
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  • Autonomy, Vulnerability, Recognition, and Justice.Joel Anderson & Axel Honneth - 2005 - In John Christman & Joel Anderson (eds.), Autonomy and the Challenges to Liberalism: New Essays. New York: pp. 127-149.
    One of liberalism’s core commitments is to safeguarding individuals’ autonomy. And a central aspect of liberal social justice is the commitment to protecting the vulnerable. Taken together, and combined with an understanding of autonomy as an acquired set of capacities to lead one’s own life, these commitments suggest that liberal societies should be especially concerned to address vulnerabilities of individuals regarding the development and maintenance of their autonomy. In this chapter, we develop an account of what it would mean for (...)
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  • Vulnerability: Too Vague and Too Broad?Doris Schroeder & Eugenijus Gefenas - 2009 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 18 (2):113.
    Imagine you are walking down a city street. It is windy and raining. Amidst the bustle you see a young woman. She sits under a railway bridge, hardly protected from the rain and holds a woolen hat containing a small number of coins. You can see that she trembles from the cold. Or imagine seeing an old woman walking in the street at dusk, clutching her bag with one hand and a walking stick with the other. A group of male (...)
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  • Lectures on Ethics.Immanuel Kant - 1932 - International Journal of Ethics 43 (1):104-106.
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  • Protecting the Vulnerable: A Reanalysis of Our Social Responsibilities.R. E. GOODIN - 1985
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