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Donald Wilson
Kansas State University
  1. Murder and Violence in Kantian Ethics.Donald Wilson - 2018 - In Violetta L. Waibel, Margit Ruffing & David Wagner (eds.), Natur Und Freiheit. Akten des Xii. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses. De Gruyter. pp. 2257-2264.
    Acts of violence and murder have historically proved difficult to accommodate in standard accounts of the formula of universal law (FUL) version of Kant’s Categorical Imperative (CI). In “Murder and Mayhem,” Barbara Herman offers a distinctive account of the status of these acts that is intended to be appropriately didactic in comparison to accounts like the practical contradiction model. I argue that while Herman’s account is a promising one, the distinction she makes between coercive and non-coercive violence and her response (...)
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  2. Kant and the Marriage Right.Donald Wilson - 2004 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 85 (1):103–123.
    The provision of a marriage right is a distinctive aspect of Kant ’s political philosophy and seems, initially, difficult to reconcile with the general concern with ensuring external freedom of action apparent in the universal principle of Right and the sole innate right said to follow from this principle. I claim that this provision can be regarded as consistent with this general focus and that Kant ’s treatment of issue suggests an interesting secular argument for the institution of marriage.
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  3.  55
    Middle Theory, Inner Freedom, and Moral Health.Donald Wilson - 2007 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 24 (4):393 - 413.
    In her influential book, The Practice of Moral Judgment, Barbara Herman argues that Kantian ethics requires a “middle theory” applying formal rational constraints on willing to the particular circumstances and nature of human existence. I claim that a promising beginning to such a theory can be found in Kant’s discussion of duties of virtue in The Metaphysics of Morals. I argue that Kant’s distinction between perfect and imperfect duties of virtue should be understood as a distinction between duties concerned with (...)
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  4. Abortion, Persons, and Futures of Value.Donald Wilson - 2007 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 14 (2):86-97.
    Don Marquis argues that his “future of value” account of the ethics of killing affords us a persuasive argument against abortion that avoids difficult questions about the moral status of the fetus. I argue that Marquis’ account is missing essential detail required for the claimed plausibility of the argument and that any attempt to provide this needed detail can be expected to undercut the claim of plausibility. I argue that this is the case because attempts to provide the missing detail (...)
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  5.  62
    Balancing Commitments: Own-Happiness and Beneficence.Donald Wilson - 2017 - Contemporary Studies in Kantian Philosophy 2017.
    There is a familiar problem in moral theories that recognize positive obligations to help others related to the practical room these obligations leave for ordinary life, and the risk that open-ended obligations to help others will consume our lives and resources. Responding to this problem, Kantians have tended to emphasize the idea of limits on positive obligations but are typically unsatisfactorily vague about the nature and extent of these limits. I argue here that aspects of Kant’s discussion of duties of (...)
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  6. Moral Deliberation and Desire Development: Herman on Alienation.Donald Wilson - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (2):283-308.
    In Chapter 9 of The Practice of Moral Judgment and her later article Making Room for Character, Barbara Herman offers a distinctive response to a familiar set of concerns with the room left for character and personal relationships in Kantian ethics. She begins by acknowledging the shortcomings of her previous response on this issue and by distancing herself from a standard kind of indirect argument for the importance of personal commitments according to which these have moral weight in virtue of (...)
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  7. Moral Health, Moral Prosperity and Universalization in Kant's Ethics.Donald Wilson - 2004 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 23 (1):17.
    Drawing on an analysis of the distinction between perfect and imperfect duties suggested by The Metaphysics of Morals, I argue that Kant’s Categorical Imperative (CI) requires that maxims be universalizable in the sense that they can be regarded as universal laws consistent with the integrity and effective exercise of rational agency. This account, I claim, has a number of advantages over Korsgaard’s practical contradic-tion interpretation of the CI both in terms of the criteria of assessment that Korsgaard uses and in (...)
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  8. Norms of Truthfulness and Non-Deception in Kantian Ethics.Donald Wilson - 2015 - In Pablo Muchnik Oliver Thorndike (ed.), Rethinking Kant Volume 4. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 111-134.
    Questions about the morality of lying tend to be decided in a distinctive way early in discussions of Kant’s view on the basis of readings of the false promising example in his Groundwork of The metaphysics of morals. The standard deception-as-interference model that emerges typically yields a very general and strong presumption against deception associated with a narrow and rigorous model subject to a range of problems. In this paper, I suggest an alternative account based on Kant’s discussion of self-deception (...)
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