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Realism and Antirealism in Kant's Moral Philosophy

New Essays

Ed. by Santos, Robinson dos / Schmidt, Elke Elisabeth

Series:Kantstudien-Ergänzungshefte 199

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December 2017
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Moral Realism by Other Means: The Hybrid Nature of Kant’s Practical Rationalism

Bacin, Stefano


After qualifying in which sense ‘realism’ can be applied to eighteenthcentury views about morality, I argue that while Kant shares with traditional moral realists several fundamental claims about morality, he holds that those claims must be argued for in a radically different way. Drawing on his diagnosis of the serious weaknesses of traditional moral realism, Kant proposes a novel approach that revolves around a hybrid view about moral obligation. Since his solution to that central issue combines elements of realism with elements of voluntarist assent, Kant’s position can be characterized as an idealist version of moral realism or, more specifically, as the combination of a strong realism about the moral law with an idealist account of moral obligation.

Citation Information

Stefano Bacin (2017). Moral Realism by Other Means: The Hybrid Nature of Kant’s Practical Rationalism. In Robinson dos Santos, Elke Elisabeth Schmidt (Eds.), Realism and Antirealism in Kant's Moral Philosophy: New Essays (pp. 155–178). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110574517-007

Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110574517

Online ISBN: 9783110574517

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/BostonGet Permission

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