, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 487-489
Date: 01 May 2011

Peter Schaber, Instrumentalisierung und Würde

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In his latest book, Peter Schaber attempts to examine the relationship between the moral prohibition of using someone merely as a means to an end and human dignity. This fits well into some of his recent research about dignity and duties towards others in general. However, the intention of the book at hand is straightforward: it aims at showing how we can make sense of the well-known principle not to use other humans as mere means to one’s ends (PMM). Therefore, the main question for Schaber is: what does it mean and what is the justification for conceiving of this principle as a fundamental moral truth?

In the first chapter, Schaber tries to make sense of PMM by referring to Kant’s famous second formula of the Categorical Imperative. According to this formula, you should never use others (and yourself) as mere means, but always as ends in themselves. Schaber claims that the only way to understand what this latter notion means is to pay attention to the difference between merely treatin ...