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norities would, contrary to what has been suggested here, be incapable of acting
from sympathy at all, even toward his fellow soldier. The idea would be that an
utter lack of sympathy toward one group is incompatible with genuine sympathy
toward another group. I suppose that this is possible, but I see no good reason
to believe it.


Chapter 7: Eliminating Rivals to the Categorical Imperative
1. See also Berys Gaut and Samuel Kerstein, “The Derivation without the Gap:
Rethinking Groundwork I,” Kantian Review 3 (1999): 18“40.
2. In the Groundwork version of this argument (GMS 444, especially the lower
half of the page), Kant does not use the term “material principle,” although
Notes to pp. 143“153 215

he does employ it earlier in the text (GMS 400). As we will see, he instead
writes of “heteronomy of the will.” Nor does Kant in the Groundwork version
explicitly invoke the notion that material principles are conditional for their
motivational force on the agent™s expectation of a hedonic payoff. At GMS 444,
however, he does suggest that the motivational force of such principles depends
on an “impulse” that the representation of an object exerts on the will.
3. Here I am following David Cummiskey who argues that not all consequentialist
principles must be considered to be “material” ones. See David Cummiskey,
Kantian Consequentialism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), 46“48.
4. At KpV 34, Kant writes: “Thus, the happiness of other beings can be the object of
the will of a rational being. But if it were the determining ground of the maxim,
one would have to presuppose that we ¬nd not only a natural satisfaction in
the well-being of others but also a need, such as a sympathetic sensibility brings
with it in human beings.”
5. Amartya Sen, “Utilitarianism and Welfarism,” Journal of Philosophy 76 (1979):
464.
6. Ibid., 464.
7. This is not an unusual conception of states of affairs. See Sen, “Utilitarianism,”
464“465; “Evaluator Relativity and Consequential Evaluation,” Philosophy and
Public Affairs 12 (1983): 128“129; and “Well-Being, Agency, and Freedom: The
Dewey Lectures 1984,” Journal of Philosophy 82 (1985): 181“182. See also Bernard
Williams, “A Critique of Utilitarianism,” in J. J. C. Smart and B. Williams, Utili-
tarianism For and Against (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973), 83.
8. Thanks to Thomas Pogge and Michael Slote for pushing me on this point.
9. An agent™s conforming to EU amounts to her performing an action that she
expects will yield as great a sum total of well-being as would any alternative action
available to her. Suppose that from duty an agent wills to conform to EU. From
duty she wills to do what she expects will yield as great a sum total of well-being as
would any alternative action available to her. From the perspective of a Kantian
conception of acting from duty, it is hard to see how, in this case, she could fail
to do what she expects will yield this result. It seems that she could only fail if
she indulged her inclinations. But since she has acted from duty, she has not
indulged them.
10. Actually, as we will see in section 8.2, arguments such as the one summarized
in this paragraph will require a modi¬cation of one of Kant™s criteria, namely
criterion iv.
11. For a concise criticism of Act Utilitarianism on the grounds that it generates a
set of duties that clashes with common sense, see Richard B. Brandt, “Toward
a Credible Form of Utilitarianism,” in Contemporary Utilitarianism, ed. M. Bayles
(New York: Doubleday, 1968), 146“147.
12. At least for advocates of the Formula of Universal Law, this seems to be a some-
what dangerous argument to make. For, as I contend in Chapter 8, it is very
doubtful whether this formula generates a set of duties that squares with ordi-
nary moral thinking.
13. For a defense of this sort of principle, see Thomas Hurka, Perfectionism (New
York: Oxford University Press, 1993), especially chaps. 2 and 4.
14. This point can also be illustrated with reference to rational perfection. An
increase in an agent™s rational perfection might not result from an agent™s
Notes to pp. 154“167
216

willing to develop his rational capacities. For example, in an attempt to develop
these capacities, the agent might take an experimental “brain-enhancing” drug
that ends up diminishing them.
15. For Cummiskey™s claim that the “¬rst proposition” is consistent with conse-
quentialism, see Kantian Consequentialism, 27; for his claim that the “second
proposition” is also consistent with it, see 39.
16. This is nearly a direct quotation from ibid., 99. Cummiskey™s detailed statement
of his principle spans four paragraphs, 98 to 99.
17. Cummiskey denies that this requirement entails that we ought to maximize the
number of rational beings. See ibid., 91.
18. Ibid., 150.
19. Cummiskey suggested this sort of reading of his principle in a paper presented at
the annual Paci¬c Division meeting of the American Philosophical Association,
Berkeley, California, March 1997.
20. See Cummiksey, Kantian Consequentialism, 4, 79, 156.
21. See ibid., 6, 16.
22. See ibid., 11“12.
23. Cummiskey discusses this argument at length in chapter 4 of his book. See ibid.,
62“83.
24. As did we, Cummiskey examines Kant™s argument as reconstructed by
Korsgaard. See ibid., 81, n. 11.
25. See ibid., 156.
26. TC would have to be rephrased to accommodate Kant™s view that a viable can-
didate for the supreme principle of morality must be capable of being bind-
ing on all rational agents, including perfectly rational ones such as angels.
Instead of “You ought to honor your father and mother; you ought not to
kill; you ought not to commit adultery . . . ,” the principle would have to read
something like “Honor your father and mother; do not kill; do not commit
adultery. . . . ” Presumably, angels would, by virtue of their perfect rationality,
necessarily act in accordance with whatever principle was the supreme principle
of morality. Therefore, with respect to angels, the “ought” in TC would be out of
place.


Chapter 8: Conclusion: Kant™s Candidates for the Supreme
Principle of Morality
1. This is an argument Kant suggests in his discussion of his “second proposition”
at GMS 399“400.
2. Recalling an argument we discussed (and criticized) in Chapter 3, one might
suspect that Kant himself implies that the principles could not ful¬ll the cri-
terion. To summarize this argument, if an agent holds there to be a supreme
principle of morality, then she must also hold there to be something uncon-
ditionally good, claims Kant. For if she did not take there to be something
unconditionally good, then she might ¬nd herself without suf¬cient motive to
conform to the principle and thus, for reasons that require no repeating here,
the principle could not be the supreme principle of morality. In light of this ar-
gument, it might appear that Kant (perhaps without being aware of it) commits
Notes to pp. 168“169 217

himself to the view that the representation of a principle as a law does not pro-
vide an agent with suf¬cient incentive to abide by it. After all, according to the
argument, to have suf¬cient incentive, an agent must (at least in some cases?)
take conforming to the principle to promote or secure something uncondition-
ally valuable. In response, note that for Kant it is an agent™s representing a
principle as universally and unconditionally binding that gives rise to her con-
ception of the good. So ultimately her incentive for acting lies nevertheless in
this representation.
3. Kant, of course, actually tests the maxim of false promising using the Formula of
the Law of Nature, stated in the third full paragraph at GMS 421.
4. Christine M. Korsgaard, “Kant™s Formula of Universal Law,” in Creating the Kingdom
of Ends (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 80, 92“93. Baron joins
Korsgaard in holding the Practical Contradiction Interpretation to offer the most
plausible account of how, precisely, a maxim such as that of false promising fails
the Formula of Universal Law test. See Marcia W. Baron, “Kantian Ethics,” in
Marcia W. Baron, Philip Petit, and Michael Slote, Three Methods of Ethics (Oxford:
Blackwell, 1997), 69“70.
5. According to Korsgaard, on the Practical Contradiction Interpretation, “the con-
tradiction is that your maxim would be self-defeating if universalized: your action
would become ineffectual for the achievement of your purpose if everyone (tried
to) use it for that purpose”; see Korsgaard, “Kant™s Formula of Universal Law,” 78
(emphasis added).
6. Here one might object that at an early stage in the imagined world, that is,
before everyone has realized that money borrowed simply on a promise will not be
repaid, an agent acting on FPM may well attain her end. Perhaps Korsgaard would
respond to this objection by saying that, nevertheless, in willing the imagined
world, the agent would be willing a world in which her chances of getting money
on a false promise were severely diminished. And that would be enough to render
practically irrational willing the imagined world at the same time as acting on
FPM.
7. As Korsgaard acknowledges, one might also read the Formula of Universal Law
to land a person acting on such a maxim of false promising in a logical con-
tradiction. According to (what Korsgaard calls) the Logical Contradiction Inter-
pretation, the universalization of the maxim would be as follows: from self-love,
when anyone believes himself to be in need of money, he borrows (rather than
tries to borrow) money on a promise to repay it, even though he knows that this
will never happen. In order to be able to will this world, an agent needs to be
able to conceive of it. However, she cannot really conceive of the world, suggests
Kant. For not everyone in ¬nancial need could get a loan based simply on a
promise if no such person ever repaid a loan she received in this way. Credi-
tors would not part with their money. In other words, the practice of lending
money to those in need based simply on their promise to repay would cease
to exist if none of them ever repaid their loans. There simply is no world in
which when each and every agent ¬nds herself in ¬nancial need, she gets money
through false promising. The agent considering the false promising maxim has
been forced into a logical contradiction. The Formula of Universal Law requires
her to hold that she can conceive of the world of her universalized maxim, since
Notes to pp. 170“174
218

it requires her to will this world and (as she must acknowledge) she could not
will this world without being able to conceive of it. However, she concludes that
she cannot conceive of this world. There is obviously a logical contradiction in
holding, as the agent would (presumably) have to, that something both is and
is not conceivable. Korsgaard grants that this interpretation is well supported
by Kant™s text. (See Korsgaard, “Kant™s Formula of Universal Law,” 81“82.) It is
worth mentioning that a philosophical dif¬culty seems to arise in connection
with the Logical Contradiction Interpretation. It is not obvious that the world
of the universalized maxim is inconceivable. Granted, it is very unlikely that
people would continue to lend money simply on a promise that they would be
repaid, even though whenever they did lend it, they were not repaid. But this
unlikely scenario is (arguably) not inconceivable. Thanks to Thomas Pogge for
this point.
8. See Korsgaard, “Kant™s Formula of Universal Law,” 93, and Barbara Herman, The
Practice of Moral Judgment (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993),
138.
9. This maxim and my analysis of it stem from Herman, Practice, 138“139.
10. See Baron, “Kantian Ethics,” 73.
11. This maxim stems from Pogge. See Thomas W. Pogge, “The Categorical Imper-
ative,” in Kant™s “Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals”: Critical Essays, ed. Paul
Guyer (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Little¬eld, 1998), 190.
12. Moreover, in this world it is questionable whether anyone would be earning a
comfortable living (as Jack conceives of one). With everyone trying to become
a professor to earn a living, who would do the work necessary to sustain an
economy in which it is possible for (many) people to have their own houses,
cars, and computers?
13. See Pogge, “The Categorical Imperative,” 189“196.
14. Ibid., 190.
15. See ibid., 191.
16. Ibid.
17. Ibid., 192.
18. Ibid.
19. Ibid., 191.
20. As Korsgaard acknowledges, the Practical Contradiction Interpretation also
faces dif¬culties regarding maxims of violence. See Korsgaard, “Kant™s Formula
of Universal Law,” 100. On this interpretation, it is not obvious that acting on
the one we have been discussing “ that of killing for revenge “ turns out to be
morally impermissible. And a maxim such as “In order to release my anger, I
will punch anyone who offends me” seems to sail through.
21. See Pogge, “The Categorical Imperative,” 196.
22. We have already noted Korsgaard™s reservations as to whether, on the inter-
pretation she champions, the Formula of Universal Law generates adequate
results regarding certain maxims of violence (see Korsgaard, “Kant™s Formula
of Universal Law,” 100). Pogge, it appears, does not think that the Formula of
Universal Law itself produces an adequate set of duties; for, in his view, it fails to
generate a duty of bene¬cence (see Pogge “The Categorical Imperative,” 196).
According to Herman, if we read the Formula of Universal Law as “a method
Notes to pp. 175“184 219

of judgment to be used by agents in determining the permissibility of their own
maxims” (and we have read the formula in this way), then it is not effective. See
Herman, Practice, 143. Herman (147“157) offers an innovative account of what
the Formula of Law procedure might actually accomplish, but I do not discuss
this here.
23. Herman, Practice, 143.
24. Here I am following Allen W. Wood, “Humanity as End in Itself,” in Proceedings
of the Eighth International Kant Congress, vol. 1, ed. Hoke Robinson and Gordon
Brittan (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1995), 317, n. 2.
25. I am assuming here (and I take Kant to hold) that there is no way of treating
humanity such that one is treating it neither as a means nor as an end.
26. Here I am following Thomas E. Hill Jr., Dignity and Practical Reason in Kant™s
Moral Theory (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992), 41“42.
27. That for Kant in the Formula of Humanity “end” is equivalent to “end in itself”
is clearly implied at GMS 428.
28. See Hill, Dignity and Practical Reason, 47“49.
29. See Thomas W. Pogge, “Kant on Ends and the Meaning of Life,” in Reclaiming
the History of Ethics, ed. Andrews Reath, Barbara Herman, and Christine M.
Korsgaard (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 361“362.
30. Here “reason” refers to a Kantian motivating reason.
31. In the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant seems to derive the duty of bene¬cence from
the Formula of Universal Law. See MS 393, 453.
32. According to Kant, we can safely presuppose that each human agent has this
end by a necessity of nature (GMS 415).
33. For discussion of how demanding a duty of bene¬cence Kant endorses (or is
compelled by his own views to endorse), see Marcia W. Baron, Kantian Ethics
Almost without Apology (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1995), chaps. 1“3;
Cummiskey, Kantian Consequentialism, chap. 6; Hill, Dignity and Practical Reason,
chap. 8.
34. Allen W. Wood, Kant™s Ethical Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
1999), 153 (emphasis added).
35. There is something very odd about setting oneself to pursue the end of being
deceived. It would seem that pursuing the end would likely involve knowing (at
least roughly) in what circumstances one is to be deceived (e.g., by a card shark
in Las Vegas). But if one knows (even roughly) in which circumstances one is
to be deceived, then there is a sense in which one is not entirely deceived.
36. For far more detailed discussion of some of the practical implications of the
Formula of Humanity, see Thomas E. Hill Jr. “Respect for Humanity,” in The
Tanner Lectures on Human Values, vol. 18, ed. Grethe B. Peterson (Salt Lake City:
University of Utah Press, 1997), 3“76.
37. For an interesting discussion of this issue, see Cummiskey, Kantian Consequen-
tialism, chap. 8.
38. Thomas Hill makes this point. See Hill, Dignity and Practical Reason, 49, 206.
39. Hill discusses grounds Kant might offer for destroying the humanity in one
person in circumstances in which this would preserve the humanity in others.
However, it is questionable whether these grounds are limited to ones implicitly
endorsed in the Formula of Humanity. To locate the grounds, Hill invokes
Notes to p. 190
220

Kant™s views on justice and the “kingdom of ends.” See Hill, Dignity and Practical
Reason, 207“225.
40. Granted, the agent™s view that in order to have suf¬cient incentive to conform
to EU she must rely on the prospect of maximizing aggregate well-being does
seem a bit odd. In some circumstances, might not she derive suf¬cient incentive
for abiding by EU from another source “ for example, from the notion that
doing so would promote her own happiness?
Index




nonmoral action, 23; and
absolute necessity (unconditional
overdetermined actions, 103, 210 n22;
bindingness): aim of proving in
Groundwork, 4, 5; and the a priori, 90; radically hedonistic interpretation, 23,
and categorical imperative, 10; and 25, 29“32; Reath™s interpretation, 23“24,
26“30, 32; see also incentive,
further criterion for supreme principle of
morality, 111“112; and ought implies can, Incorporation Thesis, material practical
162“164; of supreme principle of principles
morality, 2“3; and universal scope, 41, action, see will
188; see also basic concept of supreme agency, Kant™s theory of, see acting from
principle of morality inclination, capacity of desire,
absolute value, see unconditional goodness determining grounds of the will, end,
acting from duty (see also duty, good will, incentive, inclination, Incorporation
moral worth): and acting contrary to Thesis, maxims, will
duty, 96“98, 119“130, 208 n6; and acting agent-neutral value, see good
from inclination, 101“103; and acting in agent-relative value, see good
accordance with duty, 96; and best effort, agreeableness, see pleasure
129“130; and conscientious re¬‚ection, Allison, Henry, 18, 193 n8, 194 n14, 196“197
130; with inclination, 101, 209 n16; n15, 198 n28, 207 n25, 208 n4, 209
jointly suf¬cient conditions for, 129“130, nn12,16, 211 n9; and Groundwork
138; as limiting condition, 100“101; and derivation, 9“10, 74, 77“78, 194 n22; and
moral requiredness, 99; and moral worth, second Critique derivation, 11, 33“45, 158,
104“110, 114“124, 129“132, 164“165; 188, see also derivation of Formula of
necessary conditions for, 98“104, Universal Law, Allison™s reconstruction
129“130; and overdetermined actions, Ameriks, Karl, 67, 68, 194 n14, 201 n14
103; and perfectly rational beings, 205 animals, 60, 105“106, 108, 114“115, 134,
n45; as primary motive, 100“101; and 184“185
propositions (in Groundwork I), 79, 81, Arendt, Hannah, 129
84, 109, 147, 207 n20; and Aune, Bruce, 8“9, 74, 78“80, 82, 85“87, 94
representation of law as suf¬cient motive,
99“104; as secondary motive, 100“101; Baron, Marcia W., 206 n14, 209 nn10,16,
unconditionally valuable, 81 210 n22, 211 nn2,7, 217 n4, 219 n33
acting from inclination (see also inclination): basic concept of supreme principle of
and acting from duty, 99, 100“103; and morality: and Act Utilitarianism, 146; and
acting from sympathy, 133“134; categorical imperative, 47, 92; criteria
alternative interpretation, 24, 25“26, 29, contained in, 1“3, see also absolute
30“32, 198 n28; and animality, 105“106; necessity, practical principle, supreme
importance of account, 22“23; and norm for moral evaluation of action,
material practical principles, 30; and universal scope; and Formula of
moral worth, 106“108, 115, 134; and Humanity, 162“165; and Formula of


221
Index
222

consequentialist principles, 146“155; as
basic concept (cont.)
Universal Law 162“165; and further basis for eliminating nonconsequentialist
criteria, 3, 88“89, 112; and material principles, 155“159; as developed in
practical principles, 141; necessity of Groundwork I“II (additional criteria),
modifying, 164“165; and principle akin 80“86, 87“89, 91“93; and Kant™s
to Ten Commandments, 156“157; candidates for supreme principle of
provenance, 1, 3“4; relations between morality, 162“167; list, preliminary, 95;
list, revised, 139“140
criteria contained in,188; relations to
derivation and deduction, 14; role in criteria for supreme principle of morality,
book, 4; and unconditional goodness, 71 criticism: in basic concept of supreme
Beck, Lewis White, 197 n17, 198 n29 principle of morality, 164“165, 188;
bene¬cence, 8, 26“27, 44, 45, 116“119, 158, external, of ¬rst additional criterion, 115,
159, 177“178, 185, 218 n22, 219 nn31,33 116“119, 132“138, 190; internal, of ¬rst
Bennett, Jonathan, 214 n24 additional criterion, 119“132; of third
Benson, Paul, 209 n19 additional criterion (representation of
Bittner, R¨ diger, 6, 16“17,194 n14, 195 n3, law as suf¬cient motive), 189“190
u
196“197 n15 criteria for supreme principle of morality,
bizarre principle (BP), 45, 76, 158“159 interpretation (see also basic concept of
Blum, Lawrence, 132 supreme principle of morality, criteria for
Brandt, Richard B., 215 n11 supreme principle of morality): in basic
concept of supreme principle of morality,
capacity of desire, 24“25, 27, 28“29, 48, 50, 1“3; ¬rst additional criterion, 96“109;
51, 198“199 nn29,30, 199“200 nn37,39; fourth additional criterion, 88“89, 95,
167; relations between, 112“113, 188;
see also acting from inclination, will
second additional criterion, 109“110;
Categorical Imperative (see also Formula of
third additional criterion, 110“112
Universal Law): and proving validity of,
6“7; usage of term, 10, 140, 162; see also criterial reading of derivation of Formula of
categorical imperative, fact of pure Universal Law (see also criteria for
reason, supreme principle of morality supreme principle of morality): and
categorical imperative (see also Categorical apriority of supreme principle of
Imperative): and act utilitarianism, 146; morality, 89“91; conditions for success,
and good ends, 56“57; ground of, 54“55; 80; contrast with Aune™s reading, 79“80;
main usage of term in book, 10, 194 n27; and derivation of Formula of Humanity,
15, 160; development of criteria in
and material practical principles,
141“142; mere concept of, 86“87; and Groundwork I, 80“86, 88; and Groundwork
practical law, 10; and principle of II, 86“88, 91“93; main steps, 12, 73; and
happiness, 40, 41; and supreme principle ordinary moral reason, 87“89
of morality, 12, 47, 89; thick concept of, Critique of Practical Reason: and deduction,
92“93; and unconditional goodness, 6“7; and derivation, 33“34, 140“144, see
47“54; see also absolute necessity, supreme also derivation of Formula of Universal
principle of morality, universal scope Law, Allison™s reconstruction
character (see also good will): 66“67, 137, 213 Cummiskey, David, 153“155, 206 n53, 215
n3, 219 nn33,37
n20
conscience, 124“126, 163, 212 n19; postulate Curzer, Howard, 208 n5
of, 131“132, 214 n27
deduction (of Categorical Imperative), 5“7,
conscientious re¬‚ection (see also acting from
duty): 130, 135, 136, 137, 138, 190 90“91, 161
consequentialism (see also Kantian derivation (see also criterial reading of
consequentialism, perfectionism, derivation of Formula of Universal Law;
utilitarianism): 14, 94, 140, 143, 145, 153 derivation of Formula of Humanity;
criteria for supreme principle of morality derivation of Formula of Universal Law,
(see also basic concept of supreme Allison™s reconstruction; derivation of
principle of morality; criteria for Formula of Universal Law, in
Groundwork): and aims of book, 11“15,
supreme principle of morality, criticism;
187; and deduction, 4“6; and moral
criteria for supreme principle of morality,
particularism, 5, 6; and moral skepticism,
interpretation; criterial reading of
5, 6; use of term, 4
derivation of Formula of Universal Law):
in basic concept of supreme principle of derivation of Formula of Humanity:
morality, 1“3, 160; as basis for eliminating argument in outline, 47; categorical
Index 223

imperative and good ends, 56“59; 55“56; humanity as capacity to set, 46; in
maxims, 18; objective 47, 48; subjective,
categorical imperative and unconditional
goodness, 47“54; Korsgaard™s 48
reconstruction, 55“56; regressive end in itself (see also dignity): 175“176
argument (criticism), 65“71; regressive environmentalism, 62, 68“69, 70
argument (summary), 59“65; evaluator relativity, see good
unconditional goodness and
incomparable value, 72; see also Formula fact of pure reason: moral law as, 6“7
false promising, 9, 18, 168“169, 172“173,
of Humanity, humanity, incomparable
178“183, 217“218, nn6,7
value, unconditional goodness

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