[SydPhil] MQ Philosophy Seminar on Tuesday 9th of August: Toshiro Osawa (MQ)

Adam Hochman adam.hochman at mq.edu.au
Fri Aug 5 17:25:04 AEST 2016

Kant's Deduced Teleology: Why Neither 'Perfection of Others' Nor 'One's Own Happiness' Are Our Duties

Toshiro Osawa (MQ)

Date: Tuesday, 9th of August
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Venue: W6A 107, Macquarie University

ABSTRACT: In the 'Doctrine of Virtue' of the Metaphysics of Morals (1797), on the one hand, Kant identifies 'one's own perfection' and the 'happiness of others' to be duties in the teleological sense: they "are the ends that are also duties" (see Metaphysics of Morals 6:385). On the other hand, however, he argues that neither 'perfection of others' nor 'one's own happiness' are our duties. Why are they excluded from our duties? This paper aims to offer an answer to this question. This exploration is pursued, however, not merely by investigating the internal relationships among parts of Kant's work alone, as is usually the custom in Kant scholarship, but by taking into consideration the influence of Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten (1714-1762), Kant's direct predecessor, on the formation of Kant's ethics. For this purpose, I investigate the relevant sections and passages from Baumgarten's Ethica philosophica (first ed. 1740; Kant used the second and third editions of 1751 and 1763 in his lectures) and Kant's 'Doctrine of Virtue' where Baumgarten and Kant respectively discuss 'one's own perfection', 'perfection of others', 'one's own happiness', and the 'happiness of others'. I argue that it is in direct response to Baumgarten that Kant excluded 'perfection of others' and 'one's own happiness' from our duties, thereby executing a teleological deduction to derive 'one's own perfection' and 'happiness of others' as representatives of our teleological duties.

Contact: Adam Hochman (adam.hochman at mq.edu.au<mailto:adam.hochman at mq.edu.au>) or Mike Olson (michael.olson at mq.edu.au<mailto:michael.olson at mq.edu.au>)

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Adam Hochman
Macquarie University Research Fellow

Department of Philosophy | W6A, Room 733
Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia

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Personal Website | adamhochman.com

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[Macquarie University]<http://mq.edu.au/>

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