The Reflection Condition: Aristotle and Kant

Mark Rowlands

in Can Animals Be Moral?

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199842001
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979844 | DOI:
The Reflection Condition: Aristotle and Kant

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The influential work of Aristotle and Kant is examined in this chapter. Common to both is the idea that animals cannot act for moral reasons because to do so they would require the ability to reflect on their motivations and assess whether these motivations are good ones. The possibility of moral action requires the possibility of moral reflection. It is argued that this idea ultimately rests on an unexamined concept of control: to act morally requires control over one's motivations, and this is what moral reflection is supposed to provide. The argument of the contemporary philosopher Dixon is also examined—and is seen to comprise a combination of Aristotelian and Kantian elements.

Keywords: Aristotle; Kant; reflection; control; Dixon; practical wisdom; Korsgaard

Chapter.  7959 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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