Kantian Normative Ethics

Thomas E. Hill

in The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780195325911
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Kantian Normative Ethics


This article focuses on how certain basic normative questions are addressed by Kant and various contemporary Kantians who interpret and extend Kant's theory. Kant's ethical writings are open to different interpretations, and the literature devoted to interpreting and extending his ideas is vast, diverse, and of mixed quality. When illustrating the action-guiding use of Kant's basic principles, this article limits its discussion by concentrating primarily on cases of beneficence and mutual aid rather than addressing a full range of moral problems. Its primary aim is to call attention to a variety of different ways in which contemporary Kantians are attempting to develop Kant's normative ethics. A secondary aim is to illustrate these different developments by relating them to a particular task that any normative ethical theory needs to address.

Keywords: Kant's theory; ethical writings; mutual aid; moral problems; normative ethics

Article.  17288 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy

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