Reason, Emotion, and Consequence: Moral Psychology and Kantian Ideals Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Bhardwaj, Kiran
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy
  • This project is a study of moral ideals, and particularly moral ideals as they play a role in Kantian ethics. It takes Kant’s discussions of what he identified as ideals (the virtuous person, the ethical community, the highest good, and friendship) and uses those discussions to argue that Kantian ideals help Kantians respond to various features of our moral lives: as a concrete representation of the consequences of following the moral law (elicited through the imagination) that engages the emotions in a morally appropriate way. The chapters of this dissertation provide: first, a general account of what ideals are and how they function, thanks to their employment of the imagination—explaining precisely how ideals orient and inspire us. Then within the domain of Kantian ethics, it reviews the Kantian debate about the supererogatory and provides a new account using Kantian ideals as a way to explore beyond the traditional explanation of actions that are good to do but not required. Chapters 3 through 5 each explore three of the Kantian ethical ideals: the ideal of self-perfection, the ideal of the kingdom of ends, and the ideal of friendship. These important themes in ethics—what it is to be a good individual, relationship, and community—are interestingly understood in the role of ideals, rather than solely in terms of duty.
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  • In Copyright
  • Blackburn, Simon
  • Hill, Thomas E.
  • Preston-Roedder, Ryan
  • Boxill, Bernard
  • MacLean, Douglas
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2017

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