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Self-KnowledgeA History$
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Ursula Renz

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190226411

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190226411.001.0001

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Kant’s Ideal of Self-Knowledge

Kant’s Ideal of Self-Knowledge

(p.183) Chapter ten Kant’s Ideal of Self-Knowledge

Dina Emundts

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with the role of the ideal of self-knowledge in Kant’s philosophy. The main thesis of the chapter is that Kant must integrate the ideal of self-knowledge into his moral philosophy. Kant claims that there is always the possibility of self-deception. However, if we are not able to know the motives of our actions, we cannot say that we acted from duty. Thus, in order to use the categorical imperative as a kind of evaluative principle for real moral actions, we must become better at judging ourselves. Therefore we have to strive for self-knowledge. The chapter discusses this thesis with respect to the relevant passages of the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals and of the Metaphysics of Morals.

Keywords:   self-knowledge, Kant, self-deception, categorical imperative, motive

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