PHIL 3/429: Kant's Ethics (Winter 2020)

Course Textbook:

Other Course Links:


Course Announcements

  • **NOTE: This page has been discontinued due to the cancellation of regular classes until (at least) the end of the term. Everything has moved to: URCourses

  • March 10: Reviewed the Phenomenology of Mind and Philosophy of Right (Hegel); started to overview Schopenhauer's ideas about ethics. Next: Schopenhauer's Critique of Kant's Ethics.

  • March 3: Next class: Hegel readings, Phenomenology of Spirit, sections 429-437; Philosophy of Right sections 129-137. Next week will start Schopenhauer.

  • I have also announced that if it is convenient, students may submit their first assignment during the first week back from Reading Week (Feb. 24-28) without late penalty.

  • Feb 11: We are currently reading through the Metaphysics of Morals. Today we finished the Introduction (to the Doctrine of Virtue) and will begin looking at Part I (Doctrine of the Elements) p. 543f (6:417f).

  • Jan 30: Today we discussed the transition in Kant's argument from the Formula of Universal to the Formula of Humanity as an End In Itself (in Section II). Next class: finish Section II and discuss the article "On the supposed right to lie from philanthropy". If time, we will start looking at "Part II: Metaphysical principles of the doctrine of virtue," of the Metaphysics of Morals (p. 509ff.)

  • Note in the links above that a tentative course reading list has been posted.

  • Please note that some suggestions for the first reading analysis (and perhaps the first essay for students in 429) has been posted in above link.

  • For Tuesday, January 28: We will continue in Section II and discuss the four examples and the CI formula of the end in itself. If we have time, I also start talking about Kant's account of human freedom. (This will take us briefly into section III---up to 4:454).

  • January 21: For Thursday (Jan 23) read Section II of the Groundwork up to just after the second set of four examples that Kant gives of the application of the Categorical Imperative (4:431). If you are pressed for time, focus on 4:421 to 4:431 (the two sets of four examples).

  • January 14 (Tuesday): For Thursday this week we will be looking at Section I (and if time Section II) of the Groundwork. Read---if you haven't already---at least Section I (4:393 - 4:405).

  • If you have not been able to get the course textbook, here is a recent, public doman translation of the Goundwork. It includes the Academy page numbering which might make it easier to follow along than other public domain etexts which tend not to have this feature.

  • January 7: Next class we will continue with my introduction. Also, it would be good to start reading the Preface and Section I (pp. 43-49ff, Academy page numbers 4:387 - 4:393ff) of the Groundwork. We may start discussing this toward the end of next class (Thursday). We will start looking at this next Tuesday (Jan. 14).