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Degrees of Responsibility in Kant’s Practical Philosophy

  • Claudia Blöser (a1)

Abstract

It has been argued that Kant’s practical philosophy cannot allow for degrees of responsibility for one’s actions. However, it would be uncompromising to allow for only two possibilities: either full responsibility or none. Moreover, in the Metaphysics of Morals Kant himself claims that there can be degrees of responsibility, depending on the magnitude of the obstacles that have to be overcome when acting. I will show that this claim is consistent with Kant’s theory as a whole and thereby make transparent how degrees of responsibility are possible for Kant. The solution is based on the distinction between two senses of responsibility: taking oneself to be an accountable person is an all-or-nothing affair, whereas praise- or blameworthiness for a particular action can still be a matter of degree.

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References

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