Rational Nature as an End‐In‐Itself

David Cummiskey

in Kantian Consequentialism

Published in print April 1996 | ISBN: 9780195094534
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833146 | DOI:
Rational Nature as an End‐In‐Itself

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Kant maintains that “rational nature exists as end‐in‐itself” and thus you must “act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of another, always at the same time as an end and never simply as a means.” As Korsgaard has emphasized, Kant presents a transcendental argument for the unconditional value of rational nature. According to Kant, happiness is indeed also valued as an end, but its value is nonetheless conditioned by the value‐conferring power of rational nature. In this chapter, Kant's conceptions of intrinsic value, the goodness of ends and means, and the idea of an end‐in‐itself are explained. Problems for the argument for the priority of rationality are also explored.

Keywords: end‐in‐itself; goodness; happiness; humanity; intrinsic value; Korsgaard; rational; rationality; transcendental argument; unconditional value

Chapter.  11013 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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