Kant's Emptiness Charge Analysis

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The Emptiness Charge in Kant’s Moral Philosophy Introduction: The Emptiness Charge in Kant’s Moral Philosophy Chapter One: The Formalistic Expressions in Kant’s Writings 1.1. The Groundwork of Metaphysics of Morals- The Equivalence Thesis 1.2. The Critique of Practical Reason- The Universal Will Chapter Two: Kant’s Formalism and Its Emptiness Charge 2.1. Hegel’s Empty Formalism Objection 2.1.1. A Restatement of Categorical Imperative 2.1.2. The Limited Interpretation of Hegel’s Emptiness Charge 2.1.3. The Systematic Interpretation of Emptiness Charge 2.2. Mill’s Utilitarianism Charge 2.2.1. Mill’s Utilitarianism 2.2.2. Mill’s Consequentialism Chapter Three: Rethinking the Emptiness Charge-The Formalists Reconstruction 3.1. Silber’s…show more content…
Kant’s first formulation of the CI is also named universalizability, all moral maxims must be universalizable. According to Kant, it is not rational to choose a world in which you cannot will the maxim of your action to be a universal law. This is where CI (moral maxims apply to everyone, for example, if you expect other people to keep their promises, then you are obligated to keep your own promises) are different from merely hypothetical ones which command conditionally on your having a relevant desire, the example would be an ‘ought’ statement of the form, ‘if you want A, then you ought to do B’. This is a hypothetical imperative, such as ‘Jack sees a cake, Jack ought not to eat it, as it is a means to keep healthy’. Such thinking appeals to our rationality and can be found in every major world religion most typically summarized in ‘The Golden Rule’ – treat other people as you want to be treated. Since the golden rule does not actually specify what we should do, this vagueness of the golden rule points to the reciprocity of considering people. For example, it would also not make sense for me to criticize someone else for, say, breaking the speed limit if I then went and broke it myself, for Kant, it is a sure sign of its subjectivism, it does not indicate the essence or the content of morality, therefore its inadequacy as a foundation of moral philosophy. In this thesis, I will explicate CI2 expresses Kant’s genuinely universal moral system requires that I do not break speed limit, not because of the psychological concerning or consequences, but I treat others as humanity or ends, not merely means. (See my further discussion in
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