In this book, Allen Wood investigates Kant's conception of ethical theory, using it to develop a viable approach to the rights and moral duties of human beings. By remaining closer to Kant's own view of the aims of ethics, Wood's understanding of Kantian ethics differs from the received 'constructivist' interpretation, especially on such matters as the ground and function of ethical principles, the nature of ethical reasoning and autonomy as the ground of ethics. Wood does not hesitate to criticize and modify Kant's conclusions when they seem inconsistent with his basic principles or fail to make the best use of the resources Kantian principles make available. Of special interest are the book's treatment of such topics as freedom of the will, the state's role in securing economic justice, sexual morality, the justification of punishment, and the prohibition on lying.
Allen Wood is Ward W. and Pricilla B. Woods Professor at Stanford University. He was a John S. Guggenheim Fellow at the Free University in Berlin, and a national Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the University of Bonn. He developed parts of this book in the 2005 Isaiah Berlin Lectures at Oxford University. Along with Paul Guyer, Professor Wood is co-editor of the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant and translator of the Critique of Pure Reason. He is the author or editor of a number of other works, mainly on Kant, Hegel and Karl Marx.
Preface; 1. Reason; 2. Moral worth; 3. Ethical theory; 4. The moral law; 5. Humanity; 6. Autonomy; 7. Freedom; 8. Virtue; 9. Duties; 10. Conscience; 11. Social justice; 12. Punishment; 13. Sex; 14. Lies; 15. Consequences.
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