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Kant’s contextualism

Flikschuh, Katrin (2018) Kant’s contextualism. Kantian Review, 23 (4). pp. 555-579. ISSN 1369-4154

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S1369415418000407


This article builds on David Velleman’s recent work on moral relativism to argue that Kant’s account of moral judgement is best read in a contextualist manner. More specifically, I argue that while for Kant the form of moral judgement is invariant, substantive moral judgements are nonetheless context-dependent. The same form of moral willing can give rise to divergent substantive judgements. To some limited extent, Kantian contextualism is a development out of Rawlsian constructivism. Yet while for constructivists the primary concern is with the derivation of generally valid principles of morality, Velleman’s Kant-inspired form of moral relativism demonstrates the indispensability to a Kantian approach of indexical reasons for action. I argue in turn that Velleman’s focus on the indexical nature of reasons for action must be supplemented by an account of account of agential reflexivity. The latter divides Kantian contextualism from Kantian relativism.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 Kantian Review
Divisions: Government
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2018 14:37
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2024 04:06

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