July 13, 2009

"Kant's 'Bad' Examples"

I have posted another paper to my workbench, entitled "Kant's 'Bad' Examples". This is the paper I was working on when we were discussing Kant on sexuality (follow-ups here, here, and here). Many contemporary 'Kantian' ethicists ignore or even malign Kant's applied ethics. I argue that this is misguided: when Kant's theory is properly understood, it can be shown that many of his supposedly objectionable conclusions are well supported by it. I consider five of Kant's applications and argue that each of them can be supported by means of his theory of personality and the role it plays in the derivation of moral laws. The applications I consider are: (I) the permissibility of domestic servitude; (II) the impossibility of non-marital sexual consent; (III) the denial of suffrage to women and domestic servants; (IV) the impermissibility of suicide and selling one's organs; and (V) the impermissibility of 'unnatural' sex, including masturbation and homosexuality. ((II) does not contain a typo: Kant actually claims that it is impossible to consent to non-marital sex.)

Comments, including critical ones, are greatly appreciated.

Posted by Kenny at July 13, 2009 6:37 PM
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