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On What MattersVolume Two$
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Derek Parfit

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572816

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199572816.001.0001

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Humanity as End in Itself

Humanity as End in Itself

(p.58) Humanity as End in Itself
On What Matters

Allen Wood

Oxford University Press

This chapter comments on the author's interpretation of Immanuel Kant's demand that we treat humanity as an end in itself. It considers Kant's idea in relation to issues surrounding hypothetically rational consent, along with the author's previous remarks about the relation of possible rational consent to actual consent and how each bears on the morality of actions. It also examines what the author calls a ‘value-based’ theory of reasons; a rejection of ‘desire-based’ theories; a thesis that ‘no reasons are provided by our desires and aims’; and a method in ethical theory. Finally, it discusses the system of moral philosophy, following the Kantian conception, and the claim that the ‘humanity’ which has dignity cannot refer to non-moral rationality.

Keywords:   humanity, Immanuel Kant, rational consent, morality, value-based theory of reasons, desires, moral philosophy, dignity, non-moral rationality

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