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Kant's Theory of Action

Richard McCarty

Abstract

The theory of action underlying Immanuel Kant's moral theory is the subject of this book. What “maxims” are, and how we act on maxims, are explained here in light of both the historical context of Kant's thought, and his classroom lectures on psychology and ethics. Arguing against the current of much recent scholarship, a strong case is made for interpreting Kant as having embraced psychological determinism, a version of the “belief-desire model” of human motivation, and a literal, “two-worlds” metaphysics. On this interpretation, actions in the familiar, sensible world are always effects of p ... More

Keywords: Kant, action, maxim, psychological determinism, freedom, two worlds, character, moral psychology, motivation, motive of dut

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780199567720
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199567720.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Richard McCarty, author
East Carolina University