Immanuel Kant Criticism - Essay

Friedrich Paulsen (essay date 1902)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: An introduction, and "The Practical Philosophy," in Immanuel Kant: His Life and Doctrine, translated by J. E. Creighton and Albert LeFevre, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1902, pp. 1-21, 294-342.

[In the following excerpt from his Immanuel Kant: His Life and Doctrine (1902), Paulsen discusses the sources and historical importance of Kant's philosophy and outlines the central tenets of his practical philosophy.]


I. Kant's Significance in the General History of Thought

There are three attitudes of the mind towards reality which lay claim to truth,—Religion, Philosophy, and Science. Although...

(The entire section is 23127 words.)

John Rawls (essay date 1980)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Kantian Constructivism in Moral Theory," in The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. LXXVII, No. 9, September, 1980, pp. 515-72.

[In this essay, originally presented as three lectures at Columbia University in April, 1980, Rawls explores Kantian constructivism in moral theory (as illustrated by justice as fairness and adopted in A Theory of Justice, by which objectivity is established through "a suitably constructed social point of view."]

Rational and Full Autonomy

In these lectures I examine the notion of a constructivist moral conception, or, more exactly, since there are different kinds of constructivism, one Kantian...

(The entire section is 25610 words.)

Christine Korsgaard (essay date 1985)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Kant's Formula of Universal Law," in Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 66, 1985, pp. 24-47.

[In the following essay, Korsgaard evaluates different interpretations regarding the kind of contradiction referred to in Kant's first formulation of the Categorical Imperative.]

Kant's first formulation of the Categorical Imperative, the Formula of Universal Law, runs:

Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law. (G 421/39)1

A few lines later, Kant says that this is equivalent to acting as though your maxim were by your...

(The entire section is 12193 words.)

Andrews Reath (essay date 1989)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Categorical Imperative and Kant's Conception of Practical Rationality," in The Monist, Vol. 72, No. 3, July, 1989, pp. 384-410.

[In this essay, Reath traces Kant's derivation of the moral law from his conception of practical rationality.]

1. Introduction

The primary concern of this paper is to outline an explanation of how Kant derives morality from reason. We all know that Kant thought that morality comprises a set of demands that are unconditionally and universally valid (valid for all rational beings). In addition, he thought that to support this understanding of moral principles, one must show that they originate in reason...

(The entire section is 13268 words.)

J. B. Schneewind (essay date 1992)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Autonomy, Obligation, and Virtue: An Overview of Kant's Moral Philosophy," in The Cambridge Companion to Kant, edited by Paul Guyer, Cambridge University Press, 1992, pp. 309-41.

[In the following essay, Schneewind discusses Kant's conception of autonomy and the moral agent, and the ground of his obligation to the moral law.]

Kant invented a new way of understanding morality and ourselves as moral agents. The originality and profundity of his moral philosophy have long been recognized. It was widely discussed during his own lifetime, and there has been an almost continuous stream of explanation and criticism of it ever since. Its importance has not diminished...

(The entire section is 13346 words.)