Autonomy 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:
 Autonomy as an End in Itself?

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The idea that autonomy is the end in itself deserves more careful examination, since it captures an idea that many readers of Kant find intuitively appealing about the central importance of freedom in Kant’s overall philosophical system. Paul Guyer has defended the idea that the value of freedom is actually the foundation of Kant’s moral philosophy, and other commentators have pointed out texts in which Kant seems to identify the more specifically defined free and autonomous self-legislation of moral principles as the end in itself. It is argued that most of the case for these readings depends either on ambiguous texts or on identifiable misunderstandings of Kant’s statements.

Keywords: autonomy; end in itself; freedom; Paul Guyer; self-legislation

Chapter.  8753 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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