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Kantian Consequentialism$
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David Cummiskey

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195094534

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195094530.001.0001

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Formal Principles and Objective Ends

Formal Principles and Objective Ends

Chapter:
(p.46) 3 Formal Principles and Objective Ends
Source:
Kantian Consequentialism
Author(s):

David Cummiskey (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195094530.003.0003

Kant argued at length against the idea that moral principles could be “material” principles, but consequentialist principles presuppose a theory of the good and thus seem to be material principles. After a careful explication of Kant's distinction between formal principles and material principles, especially as it is developed in The Critique of Practical Reason, we see that a consequentialist principle can indeed be a formal principle, and that they can even pass the universalizability test for moral principles. The formula of universal law is compatible with consequentialism.

Keywords:   consequentialism, formal principle, material principle, principles, the good, universal law, universalizability

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