Kant’s Doctrine of Virtue


Categories: ,
Author(s): Mark Timmons

Series: Oxford Guides to Philosophy

Publisher: Oxford University Press, Year: 2021

ISBN: 2020052410,2020052411,9780190939229,9780190939236,9780190939250

This book is a reader’s guide to Kant’s final work in moral philosophy, The Doctrine of Virtue, Part II of the 1797 Metaphysics of Morals. The guide has five parts plus a conclusion. Part I, “Background,” includes two chapters: 1. “Life and Work” and 2. “Philosophical Background.” Part II, “General Introduction to The Metaphysics of Morals,” covers the introduction to the entire work and includes three chapters: 3. “On the Idea of and Necessity for a Metaphysics of Morals,” 4. “Mental Faculties, the Moral Law, and Human Motivation,” and 5. “Preliminary Concepts and Division of the Metaphysics of Morals.” Part III, “Introduction to The Doctrine of Virtue,” includes four chapters covering Kant’s dedicated introduction to the Doctrine of Virtue: 6. “The Doctrine of Virtue as a Doctrine of Ends,” 7. “General Ends that Are Also Duties,” 8. “Radical Evil and the Nature of Virtue,” and 9. “The Science of Ethics.” Part IV, “The Doctrine of Elements,” is devoted to Kant’s system of duties of virtue that represents his normative ethical theory. It contains six chapters: 10. “Perfect Duties to Oneself as an Animal Being,” 11. “Perfect Duties to Oneself Merely as a Moral Being,” 12. Imperfect Duties to Oneself,” 13. “Duties of Love to Other Human Beings,” 14. “The Vices of Hatred and Disrespect,” and 15. “Friendship.” Part V, “The Doctrine of Methods of Ethics and Conclusion,” includes chapter 16 “Moral Education and Practice.” The book’s conclusion reflects on the significance of The Doctrine of Virtue for understanding Kant’s ethics.

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