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Samuel Kahn [15]Samuel J. M. Kahn [8]
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Samuel J. M. Kahn
Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis
  1.  38
    A Dilemma for Mathematical Constructivism.Samuel Kahn - 2020 - Axiomathes:01-10.
    In this paper I argue that constructivism in mathematics faces a dilemma. In particular, I maintain that constructivism is unable to explain (i) the application of mathematics to nature and (ii) the intersubjectivity of mathematics unless (iii) it is conjoined with two theses that reduce it to a form of mathematical Platonism. The paper is divided into five sections. In the first section of the paper, I explain the difference between mathematical constructivism and mathematical Platonism and I outline my argument. (...)
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  2.  36
    Positive Duties, Kant’s Universalizability Tests, and Contradictions.Samuel J. M. Kahn - forthcoming - Southwest Philosophy Review.
    In this paper I am going to raise a problem for recent attempts to derive positive duties from Kant’s universalizability tests. In particular, I argue that these recent attempts are subject to reductio and that the most obvious way of patching them renders them impracticable. I begin by explaining the motivation for these attempts. Then I describe how they work and begin my attack. I conclude by considering some patches.
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  3. Defending the Traditional Interpretations of Kant’s Formula of a Law of Nature.Samuel J. M. Kahn - 2019 - Theoria 66 (158):76-102.
    In this paper I defend the traditional interpretations of Kant’s Formula of a Law of Nature from recent attacks leveled by Faviola Rivera-Castro, James Furner, Ido Geiger, Pauline Kleingeld and Sven Nyholm. After a short introduction, the paper is divided into four main sections. In the first, I set out the basics of the three traditional interpretations, the Logical Contradiction Interpretation, the Practical Contradiction Interpretation and the Teleological Contradiction Interpretation. In the second, I examine the work of Geiger, Kleingeld and (...)
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  4. Reconsidering the Donohue-Levitt Hypothesis.Samuel Kahn - 2016 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 90 (4):583-620.
    According to the Donohue-Levitt hypothesis, the legalization of abor- tion in the United States in the 1970s explains some of the decrease in crime in the 1990s. In this paper, I challenge this hypothesis. First, I argue against the intermediate mechanisms whereby abortion in the 1970s is supposed to cause a decrease in crime in the 1990s. Second, I argue against the correlations that sup- port this causal relationship.
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  5. The Problem of the Kantian Line.Samuel Kahn - 2019 - International Philosophical Quarterly 59 (2):193-217.
    In this paper I discuss the problem of the Kantian line. The problem arises because the locus of value in Kantian ethics is rationality, which (counterintuitively) seems to entail that there are no duties to groups of beings like children. I argue that recent attempts to solve this problem by Wood and O’Neill overlook an important aspect of it before posing my own solution.
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  6. Kant’s Post-1800 Disavowal of the Highest Good Argument for the Existence of God.Samuel Kahn - 2018 - Kant Yearbook 10 (1):63-83.
    I have two main goals in this paper. The first is to argue for the thesis that Kant gave up on his highest good argument for the existence of God around 1800. The second is to revive a dialogue about this thesis that died out in the 1960s. The paper is divided into three sections. In the first, I reconstruct Kant’s highest good argument. In the second, I turn to the post-1800 convolutes of Kant’s Opus postumum to discuss his repeated (...)
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  7. Kant and the Duty to Promote One’s Own Happiness.Samuel Kahn - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-12.
    In his discussion of the duty of benevolence in §27 of the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant argues that agents have no obligation to promote their own happiness, for ‘this happens unavoidably’ (MS, AA 6:451). In this paper I argue that Kant should not have said this. I argue that Kant should have conceded that agents do have an obligation to promote their own happiness.
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  8. Kant’s Theory of Conscience.Samuel J. M. Kahn - 2015 - In Pablo Muchnik & Oliver Thorndike (eds.), Rethinking Kant: Volume IV. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 135-156.
    In this paper I discuss Kant’s theory of conscience. In particular, I explicate the following two claims that Kant makes in the Metaphysics of Morals: (1) an erring conscience is an absurdity and (2) if an agent has acted according to his/her conscience, then s/he has done all that can be required of him/her. I argue that (1) is a very specific claim that does not bear on the problem of moral knowledge. I argue that (2) rests on a strongly (...)
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  9. Positive Duties, Maxim Realism and the Deliberative Field.Samuel Kahn - 2017 - Philosophical Inquiry 41 (4):2-34.
    My goal in this paper is to show that it is not the case that positive duties can be derived from Kant’s so-called universalizability tests. I begin by explaining in detail what I mean by this and distinguishing it from a few things that I am not doing in this paper. After that, I confront the idea of a maxim contradictory, a concept that is advanced by many com- mentators in the attempt to derive positive duties from the universalizability tests. (...)
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  10.  10
    Kant, the Practical Postulates, and Clifford.Samuel J. M. Kahn - forthcoming - Contemporary Pragmatism 17 (1).
    In this paper I argue that Kant would have endorsed Clifford’s principle. The paper is divided into four sections. In the first, I review Kant’s argument for the practical postulates. In the second, I discuss a traditional objection to the style of argument Kant employs. In the third, I explain how Kant would respond to this objection and how this renders the practical postulates consistent with Clifford’s principle. In the fourth, I introduce positive grounds for thinking that Kant would have (...)
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  11. Freedom, Morality, and the Propensity to Evil.Samuel J. M. Kahn - 2014 - Kantian Studies Online:65-90.
    In Book I of the Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason Kant offers an explanation of freedom and moral good and evil that is different from that offered in the Groundwork for a Metaphysics of Morals. My primary goal in this paper is to analyze and elucidate this new theory. My secondary goal is to contrast this new theory with the older one that it is replacing. I argue that the new theory, which centers on the idea that evil (...)
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  12.  42
    Review of Papish, Laura. Kant on Evil, Self-Deception and Moral Reform. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. Pp. 280. $74.13 (Cloth). [REVIEW]Samuel J. M. Kahn - forthcoming - Ethics.
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  13. Can Positive Duties Be Derived From Kant's Formula of Universal Law?Samuel Kahn - 2014 - Kantian Review 19 (1):93-108.
    According to the standard reading of Kant's formula of universal law (FUL), positive duties can be derived from FUL. In this article, I argue that the standard reading does not work. In the first section, I articulate FUL and what I mean by a positive duty. In the second section, I set out an intuitive version of the standard reading of FUL and argue that it does not work. In the third section, I set out a more rigorous version of (...)
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  14. Kant and the Foundations of Morality. [REVIEW]Samuel Kahn - 2018 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (2):403-405.
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  15. Defending the Possible Consent Interpretation From Actual Objections.Samuel J. M. Kahn - 2014 - Journal of Early Modern Studies 3 (2):88-100.
    In this paper, I defend the possible consent interpretation of Kant’s formula of humanity from objections according to which it has counterintuitive implications. I do this in two ways. First, I argue that to a great extent, the supposed counterintuitive implications rest on a misunderstanding of the possible consent interpretation. Second, I argue that to the extent that these supposed counterintuitive implications do not rest on a misunderstanding of the possible consent interpretation, they are not counterintuitive at all.
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  16.  42
    Samuel J. Kerstein, How to Treat PersonsOxford: Oxford University Press, 2013 Pp. 240 ISBN 9780199692033 $65.00.Samuel Kahn - 2014 - Kantian Review 19 (2):319-323.
    Samuel Kerstein’s recent (2013) How To Treat Persons is an ambitious attempt to develop a new, broadly Kantian account of what it is to treat others as mere means and what it means to act in accordance with others’ dignity. His project is explicitly nonfoundationalist: his interpretation stands or falls on its ability to accommodate our pretheoretic intuitions, and he does an admirable job of handling carefully a range of well fleshed out and sometimes subtle examples. In what follows, I (...)
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  17. A Kantian Responds to Santayana.Samuel J. M. Kahn - 2015 - SOCRATES 3 (1):66-79.
    In this paper, I have argued that whatever might be said about his attack on other German philosophers, Santayana’s attack on Kant, despite its subtlety, its force and its intelligence, is fundamentally misguided. Teasing out where Santayana’s attack rests on misunderstandings of Kant’s philosophy is a useful exercise: it is useful for Kantians, for it gives us a chance to show Kant at his best; it is useful for Santayana scholars, for it reminds us that Santayana, for all his brilliance, (...)
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  18. The Guise of the Objectively Good.Samuel Kahn - 2013 - Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (1-2):87-99.
    According to one influential version of the derivation of Kant’s Formula of Humanity, the following claim is true: Agents necessarily represent their ends as objectively good. In this paper I argue that there is good reason to regard GOG as false. The paper is divided into four sections. In the first, I explain what is at stake in arguing that GOG is false. In the second, I explicate the terminology in this claim. I also contrast the claim with other possible (...)
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  19. Is the Final Chapter of the Metaphysics of Morals Also the Final Chapter of the Practical Postulates?Samuel Kahn - 2015 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 89 (2):309-332.
    In this paper I trace the arc of Kant’s critical stance on the belief in God, beginning with the Critique of Pure Reason (1781) and culminating in the final chapter of the Metaphysics of Morals (1797). I argue that toward the end of his life, Kant changed his views on two important topics. First, despite his stinging criticism of it in the Critique of Pure Reason, by the time of the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant seems to endorse the physico-theological argument. (...)
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  20.  35
    Freedom, Morality, and the Propensity to Evil.Samuel Kahn - 2014 - Kant Studies Online 2014 (1).
    In Book I of the Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason Kant offers an explanation of freedom and moral good and evil that is different from that offered in the Groundwork for a Metaphysics of Morals. My primary goal in this paper is to analyze and elucidate this new theory. My secondary goal is to contrast this new theory with the older one that it is replacing. I argue that the new theory, which centers on the idea that evil (...)
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  21. Reconsidering RGV, AA 06: 26n and the Meaning of ‘Humanity’.Samuel Kahn - 2013 - In Margit Ruffing, Claudio La Rocca, Alfredo Ferrarin & Stefano Bacin (eds.), Kant Und Die Philosophie in Weltbürgerlicher Absicht: Akten des Xi. Kant-Kongresses 2010. De Gruyter. pp. 307-316.
    At 6:26n Kant famously (or infamously) claims that humanity and personality are not necessarily coextensional. This claim has been characterized in the secondary literature as Kant's worst mistake and as an unnecessary repudiation of his earlier (and more plausible) ethical thought. I argue that this characterization of 6:26n rests on a misinterpretation of the term `humanity'. I try to show that Kant's claim at 6:26n not only is not problematic; it constitutes a powerful reminder of the kind of epistemic modesty (...)
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  22. How to Treat Persons. [REVIEW]Samuel Kahn - 2014 - Kantian Review 19 (2):319-323.
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  23. The Interconnection Between Willing and Believing for Kant’s and Kantian Ethics.Samuel Kahn - 2014 - International Philosophical Quarterly 54 (2):143-157.
    In this paper I look at the connection between willing and believing for Kant’s and Kantian ethics. I argue that the two main formulations of the categorical imperative are relativized to agents according to their beliefs. I then point out three different ways in which Kant or a present-day Kantian might defend this position. I conclude with some remarks about the contrast between Kant’s legal theory and his ethical theory.
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