Kant, Moral Overdemandingness and Self-Scrutiny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Abstract

This paper contributes to the debate about how the overdemandingness objection applies to Kant’s ethics. I first look at the versions of the overdemandingness objections Kant himself levels against other ethicists and ethical principles and I discuss in what sense he acknowledges overdemandingness as a problem. Then I argue that, according to Kant’s own standards, introspection about the moral worthiness of one’s actions can constitute forms of moral overdemandingness. Self-scrutiny and Kant’s well-known claim that we can never be certain that we acted for the right reason jeopardize agents’ deserved happiness. Furthermore, self-scrutiny can constitute an activity Kant himself criticizes under the labels of “micrology” and “fantastic virtue”. The demandingness of critical self-scrutiny has not yet received due attention in the overdemandingness debate since this debate is focused on duties we have towards others.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalNoûs
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2019

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