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5.1l.5.7. Moral Character, Misc (Moral Character, Misc on PhilPapers)

Denis, Lara (2008). Animality and Agency: A Kantian Approach to Abortion. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (1):117-37.   (Google)
Abstract: This paper situates abortion in the context of women’s duties to themselves. I argue that Kant’s fundamental moral requirement (found in the formula of humanity) to respect oneself as a rational being, combined with Kant’s view of our animal nature, form the basis for a view of pregnancy and abortion that focuses on women’s agency and moral character without diminishing the importance of their bodies and emotions. The Kantian view of abortion that emerges takes abortion to be morally problematic, but sometimes permissible, and sometimes even required. I first sketch Kant’s account to duties to oneself, highlighting duties to oneself as an animal and moral being. Next, I discuss pregnancy and the challenges it poses to women’s self-preservation, development, and efficacy as rational human agents. I then give my main argument: that abortion is morally problematic because it is antagonistic to an important subset of morally useful emotions that we have self-regarding duties to protect and cultivate. I argue that self-regarding moral considerations ground a rebuttable deliberative presumption against maxims of abortion for inclination-based ends. Finally, I consider three objections to this account of abortion: that it rests on implausible assumptions about the effects of abortion on women’s morally useful sentiments; that it portrays the virtuous agent’s reasoning about abortion as objectionably self-regarding; and that it fails adequately to recognize the moral significance of the fetus as a potential rational being.
Hardwig, John (1983). Action from duty but not in accord with duty. Ethics 93 (2):283-290.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In thc Foundations, Kant draws a distinction bctwccn action which is in accord with duty and action which is done from the motive of duty. This is 21 famous distinction, of course, and thcrc arc many interesting issues concerning it and its implications for ethical thcory. In this paper, I wish t0 focus on just 0nc noteworthy feature of K2mt’s usc of this distinction. Likc any distinction bctwccn logical compatiblcs, this 0nc yields four logically possible classes of action: (1) actions which are both in accord with duty and from duty; (2) actions which arc neither from duty nor in accord with duty; (3) actions which are in accord with duty but not from duty; and (4) actions which are from duty but not in accord with duty. What intcrcsts mc about these four possibilities is that, to thc best of my knowledge, Kant never considers or even mentions the last 0f these possibilities: action from duty but not in accord with duty. This is perhaps surprising in a philosopher with Kant’s intcrcst in logic and passion for thoroughness. Onc would have thought that hc would mention this logical possibility, cvcn if only in order to discount it as not really possible. Beginning with the idea that there arc cases of action from duty but not in accord with duty, I argue in this paper that Kant could not have admitted that thcrc can be actions of this kind, for their cxistcncc un-
Jauss, Steven A. (2008). What's wrong with moralism? Edited by C. A. J. Coady. Metaphilosophy 39 (2):251–256.   (Google | More links)
LaFollette, Hugh (2005). Living on a slippery slope. Journal of Ethics 9 (3-4).   (Google)
Abstract: Our actions, individually and collectively, inevitably affect others, ourselves, and our institutions. They shape the people we become and the kind of world we inhabit. Sometimes those consequences are positive, a giant leap for moral humankind. Other times they are morally regressive. This propensity of current actions to shape the future is morally important. But slippery slope arguments are a poor way to capture it. That is not to say we can never develop cogent slippery slope arguments. Nonetheless, given their most common usage, it would be prudent to avoid them in moral and political debate. They are often fallacious and have often been used for ill. They are normally used to defend the moral status quo. Even when they are cogent, we can always find an alternate way to capture their insights. Finally, by accepting that the moral roads on which we travel are slippery, we become better able to successfully navigate them
O’Hagan, Emer (2009). Moral self-knowledge in Kantian ethics. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (5):525-537.   (Google)
Abstract: Kant’s duty of self-knowledge demands that one know one’s heart—the quality of one’s will in relation to duty. Self-knowledge requires that an agent subvert feelings which fuel self-aggrandizing narratives and increase self-conceit; she must adopt the standpoint of the rational agent constrained by the requirements of reason in order to gain information about her moral constitution. This is not I argue, contra Nancy Sherman, in order to assess the moral goodness of her conduct. Insofar as sound moral practice requires moral self-knowledge and moral self-knowledge requires a theoretical commitment to a conception of the moral self, sound moral agency is for Kant crucially tied to theory. Kant plausibly holds that self-knowledge is a protection against moral confusion and self-deception. I conclude that although his account relies too heavily on the awareness of moral law to explain its connection to moral development, it is insightful and important in Kantian ethics
Perrett, Roy W. (2002). Evil and Human Nature. The Monist 85:304-19.   (Google)
Ware, Owen (2009). The duty of self-knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (3):671-698.   (Google)
Abstract: Kant is well known for claiming that we can never really know our true moral disposition. He is less well known for claiming that the injunction "Know Yourself" is the basis of all self-regarding duties. Taken together, these two claims seem contradictory. My aim in this paper is to show how they can be reconciled. I first address the question of whether the duty of self-knowledge is logically coherent (§1). I then examine some of the practical problems surrounding the duty, notably, self-deception (§2). Finding none of Kant's solutions to the problem of self-deception satisfactory, I conclude by defending a Kantian account of self-knowledge based on his theory of conscience (§3)