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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
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Volume 109, Issue 4


A Tale of Two Conflicts

On Pauline Kleingeld’s New Reading of the Formula of Universal Law

Jens Timmermann
Published Online: 2018-12-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/kant-2018-4003


Pauline Kleingeld’s “Contradiction and Kant’s Formula of Universal Law”, published in this journal in 2017, presents a powerful challenge to what has become the standard (‘practical’) reconstruction of the categorical imperative. In this response to Kleingeld, I argue that she is right to emphasise the ‘simultaneity requirement’ - that we must be able to will a proposed maxim and ‘simulataneously’, ‘also’ or ‘at the same time’ the maxim in its universalised form - but I deny that this removes the categorical imperative test from the world of universalisation because the agent must be understood as part of that world. There are two distinct types of conflict: a contradiction that results from non-universalisability and Kleingeld’s ‘volitional’ conflict, located within the will of the immoral agent. The standard ‘practical’ reconstruction of the categorical imperative remains largely intact.

Keywords: Formula of Universal Law; categorical imperative; volitional contradictions; universalisation; maxims


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About the article

Published Online: 2018-12-11

Published in Print: 2018-12-19

Citation Information: Kant-Studien, Volume 109, Issue 4, Pages 581–596, ISSN (Online) 1613-1134, ISSN (Print) 0022-8877, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/kant-2018-4003.

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