Chapter

Self-Respect and Self-Improvement

Robert N. Johnson

in Self-Improvement

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199599349
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731556 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599349.003.0005
Self-Respect and Self-Improvement

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If there is a case to be made for an obligation of self-improvement, it will likely need to appeal to some elements of the so-called Humanity formulation of the Categorical Imperative. It is argued that in order to get meaningful action-guiding conclusions out of the Humanity formula, we must have some sort of substantive account of what it means to respect humanity as an end in itself, what it means, in particular, for humanity to have the special value Kantians attribute to it. The case is put forward that the value of humanity should not be taken as a foundational value, but rather as reducible to the necessary end of an autonomous rational will. That yields a more in the way of substantive guidance for action.

Keywords: constructivism; deontology; ends; Euthyphro; Hill; humanity; Kant; Mackie; objectivism; realism; self-respect; subjectivism; Wood

Chapter.  16818 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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