The idea of autonomy, presented as Kant’s main achievement in the Groundwork and the second Critique, is hardly present in the ethics of the “Doctrine of Virtue”. Against Pauline Kleingeld’s recent interpretation, I argue that this does not amount to a disappearance of the Principle of Autonomy, but to an important development of the notion of autonomy. I first show that Kant still advocated the Principle of Autonomy in the 1790s along with the thought of lawgiving through one’s maxims. I then argue that the role of autonomy in Kant’s later ethics has a different focus than in the previous works, which requires to connect autonomy with autocracy. Conversely, in the “Doctrine of Virtue”, autocracy, which Kant had employed before as an independent notion, is construed as a new layer of autonomy. What Kant there calls subjective autonomy is thereby considered as reason’s self-government in the maxims of each rational agent.

The Fate of Autonomy in Kant’s "Metaphysics of Morals" / S. Bacin. - In: BRITISH JOURNAL FOR THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY. - ISSN 0960-8788. - 30:1(2022), pp. 90-108. [10.1080/09608788.2021.1995323]

The Fate of Autonomy in Kant’s "Metaphysics of Morals"

S. Bacin
2022

Abstract

The idea of autonomy, presented as Kant’s main achievement in the Groundwork and the second Critique, is hardly present in the ethics of the “Doctrine of Virtue”. Against Pauline Kleingeld’s recent interpretation, I argue that this does not amount to a disappearance of the Principle of Autonomy, but to an important development of the notion of autonomy. I first show that Kant still advocated the Principle of Autonomy in the 1790s along with the thought of lawgiving through one’s maxims. I then argue that the role of autonomy in Kant’s later ethics has a different focus than in the previous works, which requires to connect autonomy with autocracy. Conversely, in the “Doctrine of Virtue”, autocracy, which Kant had employed before as an independent notion, is construed as a new layer of autonomy. What Kant there calls subjective autonomy is thereby considered as reason’s self-government in the maxims of each rational agent.
autocracy; autonomy; Kant; self-government
Settore M-FIL/06 - Storia della Filosofia
Settore M-FIL/03 - Filosofia Morale
21-nov-2021
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/888664
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