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The Value of Humanity in Kant's Moral Theory$
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Richard Dean

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199285723

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199285721.001.0001

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What Should we Treat as an End in Itself?

What Should we Treat as an End in Itself?

Chapter:
(p.17) 2 What Should we Treat as an End in Itself?
Source:
The Value of Humanity in Kant's Moral Theory
Author(s):

Richard Dean (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199285721.003.0002

This chapter first explains that Kant defines a good will as the will of a being who is committed to moral principles, or committed to regulating her power of choice (Willkür) with the principles legislated by her Wille. It then surveys the divergent views that prominent commentators have offered of what should be treated as an end in itself. Other commentators have generally identified the end in itself as some more minimal form of rational nature, such as just Willkür itself, just the power to legislate moral principles, or just the capacity for morality. Even if one does not accept the claim that good will is the end in itself, it is still important to distinguish between the different readings that others have offered of ‘humanity’ in the humanity formulation.

Keywords:   moral capacity, end in itself, good will, rational nature, Wille, Willkür

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