Ethics Vindicated: Kant's Transcendental Legitimation of Moral Discourse

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Can we regard ourselves as having free will? What is the place of values in a world of facts? What grounds the authority of moral injunctions, and why should we care about them? Unless we provide satisfactory answers to these questions, ethics has no credible status and is likely to be subsumed by psychology, history, or rational decision theory. According to Ermanno Bencivenga, this outcome is both common and regrettable.

Bencivenga points to Immanuel Kant for the solution. Kant's philosophy is a sustained, bold, and successful effort aiming at offering us the answers we need. Ethics Vindicated is a clear and thorough account of this effort that builds on Bencivenga's previous interpretation of transcendental philosophy (as articulated in his Kant's Copernican Revolution) and draws on the entire Kantian corpus.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195307351
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/16/2006
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 5.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ermanno Bencivenga is Professor of Philosophy, University of California, Irvine. He is the author of thirty books in three languages and of over seventy research articles. A world authority in free logic, he has also contributed extensively to the philosophy of language, to moral and political philosophy, and to the history of philosophy. He is the founding editor of the international philosophy journal Topoi and of the Topoi Library.

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Table of Contents

Note on Texts     xiii
Problems for Ethics     3
The Framework     6
Transcendental Philosophy     6
Transcendental Idealism     13
Appearances     16
Apperception     20
Freedom     23
Overdetermination     23
Autonomy     29
Rationality     34
(Un)intelligib]e Mysteries     43
Relentless Criticism     49
Values     57
A Spectator     57
Evil     62
Responsibility     68
The Geography of (Non)sense     76
Imperatives     85
Laws for Imperfect Beings     85
Virtue and Goodness     96
The Dynamics of Hope     101
Ordinary Morality     111
Analytic and Synthetic Methods     111
The Problems Resolved     113
Philosophy and Freedom     115
Notes     123
Index     191
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