Chapter

What Should we Treat as an End in Itself?

Richard Dean

in The Value of Humanity in Kant's Moral Theory

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780199285723
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603938 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199285721.003.0002
 What Should we Treat as an End in Itself?

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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

Chapter.  8620 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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