Provides a challenging new interpretation of Kant's moral philosophy, and argues that it can enrich our understanding of a central problem in contemporary ethical debate: the problem of rationality.
In this bold and innovative new work, Adrian Moore poses the question of whether it is possible for ethical thinking to be grounded in pure reason. In order to understand and answer this question, he takes a refreshing and challenging look at Kant's moral and religious philosophy. Identifying three Kantian Themes - morality, freedom and religion - and presenting variations on each of these themes in turn, Moore concedes that there are difficulties with the Kantian view that morality can be governed by `pure' reason. He does however defend a closely related view involving a notion of reason as socially and culturally conditioned. In the course of doing this, Moore considers in detail, ideas at the heart of Kant's thought, such as the categorical imperative, free will, evil, hope, eternal life and God. He also makes creative use of the ideas in contemporary philosophy, both within the analytic tradition and outside it, such as `thick' ethical concepts, forms of life and `becoming those that we are'. Throughout the book, a guiding precept is that to be rational is to make sense, and that nothing is of greater value to use than making sense.
Table of Contents
Analytical table of contents xiii
Introduction 1 (19)
First theme: morality 20 (19)
First set of variations 39 (51)
Second theme: freedom 90 (23)
Second set of variations 113 (34)
Third theme: religion 147 (23)
Third set of variations 170 (27)
Notes 197 (25)
Bibliography 222 (17)