Humans-Only Norms: An Unexpected Kantian Story

Humans-Only Norms: An Unexpected Kantian Story


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Chapter in Kant on Morality, Humanity, and Legality: Practical Dimensions of Normativity. Ed. Ansgar Lyssy Christopher Yeomans

CHAPTER DESCRIPTION: According to official Kantian doctrine, genuine moral norms are “pure” or a priori—viz., nonempirical, and marked by “necessity and strict universality.” And Kant interprets “strict universality” to mean that such norms apply not merely to all human beings but to “all rational beings in general.” But Louden draws attention to a second kind of norm in Kant’s philosophy—“humans-only norms.” These norms are impure, a posteriori, and empirical. After giving several examples of humans-only norms found in Kant’s own writings, Louden attempt to show both that some of these norms are genuine moral norms (even though they are not pure), and that they play a necessary and important role in Kant’s ethical theory. Louden concludes with some (not-quite-strictly Kantian) arguments in favor of a humans-only morality.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Explores the different conceptions of humanity, morality and legality in Kant as main ‘manifestations’ or ‘dimensions’ of normativity Maps out the conceptual geography in which the concept of normativity is articulated and evaluated Written for scholars and students working on Kant, as well as ethics, value theory and legal theory



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Palgrave MacMillan

Humans-Only Norms: An Unexpected Kantian Story