Philosophische Zeitschrift der Kant-Gesellschaft
Ed. by Baum, Manfred / Dörflinger, Bernd / Klemme, Heiner F.
CiteScore 2018: 0.37
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.193
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.972
The justification for Kant’s dictum to treat oneself and others never merely as a means can be read in very different ways. In this article I respond to comments made by Dieter Schönecker, Jochen Bojanowski, Heiner Klemme and Stefano Bacin on the justification I offer in my book Kant on Human Dignity. In the book I argue against the most popular reading of Kant’s justification, which tries to base the respect one owes to others on a value they possess. In contrast, my view ties Kant’s justification more closely to his theoretical philosophy, and argues that it is based on an a priori law. In my response I clarify several points I made in the book: I spell out how Kant conceives of value as a prescription of reason, why value cannot be the foundation of Kant’s moral philosophy as well as whether it needs a special end to motivate moral actions, and what Kant means by ‘end in itself.’ In this article I also enlarge upon the positive account of why one should respect others, and how Kant conceives of this requirement to be based in pure reason. Finally, I offer a modified reading of the traditional paradigm of dignity to which Kant also adheres. Unlike the account I give in the book, I do not believe any longer that in this conception dignity is always connected to a duty to oneself, and I grant that this conception has often been used as an intuitively plausible but incomplete shorthand argument for the requirement to respect others.