Readings List: PHIL 3/429 Kant's Ethics

Kant's Writings

All of the following are from the course textbook: Kant, Immanuel. Practical Philosophy. Cambridge University Press, 1996.

  • Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. Preface, Sections 1, 2 and 3 (only up to 4:454).

  • "On the supposed right to lie from philanthropy" (1797).

  • "On the common saying: That may be correct in theory, but it is of no use in practice" (1793).

  • Selections from "Part II: Metaphysical principles of the doctrine of virtue," Metaphysics of Morals. (1793). pp. 509-603.

Historical Reactions

  • Hegel, G.W.F. "Reason as Testing Laws," from Phenomenology of Spirit. Sections 429-437 (tr. J.B. Baillie) Harper, 1910. (Public domain.) Offsite Link. See also J.N.D. Findlay's analysis of 429-437 here.

  • Hegel, G.W.F. "Good and Conscience," from Philosophy of Right. Sections 129-137 (tr. S.W. Dyde). George Bell and Sons, 1896. (Public domain.) Offsite Link. Internet Archive Link.

  • Sedgwick, Sally S. "Hegel's Critique Of The Subjective Idealism Of Kant's Ethics," Journal of the History of Philosophy. Vol. 26 (1988) pp. 89-105. UofR Library Link.

  • Schopenhauer, Arthur. "Criticism of the Basis of Kant's Ethics," from The Basis of Morality, tr. Arthur Brodrick Bullock, , 1903. This is in the public domain. Internet Archive Link. The UofR has an ebook version of a more recent version. See "Critique of the Foundation Given to Ethics by Kant," Section II of The Two Fundamental Problems of Ethics. Cambridge University Press, 2009. UofR Link.

    • Also of interest might be:
  • Young, Julian. "Schopenhauer's Critique Of Kantian Ethics," Kantstudien. 75 (1984) 191-212. See this link

  • Marx, Karl and Friedrick Engels. "Political Liberalism," from German Ideology, Chapter 3, from Marx-Engels Collected Works, Volume 5. (Public domain.) Offsite link. (Read only the first 3 or 4 paragraphs of this section.)

  • Brentano, Franz. "The Principles of Ethical Knowledge: Kant," chapter 2, section 13 in The Foundation and Construction of Ethics. Routledge, 1973, pp. 30-37. Link to Google Books.

  • Mill, J.S. "General Remarks" Chapter 1 from Utilitarianism. (Public domain.) Offsite Link.

  • Sidgwick, Henry. "Intuitionism," from The Methods of Ethics. Macmillan, 1907 [7th Edition]. (Public domain.) Offsite Link.

  • Sidgwick, Henry. "The Kantian Conception of Free Will," Appendix to The Methods of Ethics. Macmillan, 1907 [7th Edition]. (Public domain.) Offsite Link.

  • Ross, W.D. "What Makes Right Acts Right?" Chapter 2 from The Right and the Good. Oxford University Press, 1930.


(This section is under construction...)

Animals and Other Moral Patients

  • Denis, Lara; Kant's Conception of Duties regarding Animals--Reconstruction and Reconsideration; History of Philosophy Quarterly; v17n4(2000)p405-423

  • Kain, Patrick. "Duties regarding animals," in Lara Denis (ed.), Kant's Metaphysics of Morals: A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press, 2010.

  • Chadwick, Ruth F. "The Market For Bodily Parts: Kant And Duties To Oneself," Journal of Applied Philosophy. 6 (1989) 129-139.

  • O'Neill, Onora. "Children's Rights and Children's Lives," from Constructions of Reason: Explorations of Kant's Practical Philosophy. Cambridge University Press, 1989. [B2799.E8054]


  • Hill, Thomas E. Jr. "Making Exceptions Without Abandoning the Principle: Or How a Kantian Might Think about Terrorism," in Dignity and Practical Reason in Kant's Moral Theory. Cornell University Press, 1992. (pp. 196-225.) [B2799.E8H55]


  • Hill, Thomas E. Jr. "Kant on Punishment: A Coherent Mix of Deterrence and Retribution?" in Thomas E. Hill Jr., Respect, Pluralism, and Justice. Oxford University Press, 2000.

Honesty and Lying

  • Korsgaard, Christine. "Two arguments against lying," in Christine Korsgaard, Creating the Kingdom of Ends. Cambridge University Press, 1996.

  • Varden, Helga. "Kant and Lying to the Murderer at the Door... One More Time: Kant's Legal Philosophy and Lies to Murderers and Nazis," Journal of Social Philosophy, Vol. 41, No. 4 (2010) pp. 403-421. UofR Link

Sex and Marriage

  • Herman, Barbara. "Could It Be Worth Thinking About Kant on Sex and Marriage?" from A Mind of One's Own: Feminist Essays on Reason and Objectivity. Westview Press, 1993, pp 49-67. [HQ1190.M56]

  • Wood, Allen W. "Sex," chapter 13 of Kantian Ethics. Cambridge University Press, 2008.


  • O'Neill, Onora. "The Moral Perplexities of Famine and World Hunger," from New Introductory Essays in Moral Philosophy. Random House, 1986, pp. 294-336. [BJ1012.M37]

Moral Luck

  • Nagel, Thomas. "Moral Luck," from Mortal Questions. Cambridge University Press, 1979, pp. 24-38. [BD431.N32]

  • Moore, A.W. "A Kantian View of Moral Luck," Philosophy. 65 (1990) pp. 297-321.

Suicide and Euthanasia

  • Gunderson, Martin. "A Kantian View of Suicide and End-of-Life Treatment," Journal of Social Philosophy, Vol. 35, No. 2 (2004) pp. 277-287.

  • Seidler, Michael J. "Kant And The Stoics On Suicide," Journal of the History of Ideas. Vol. 44 (1983) pp. 429-454.