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Maxims, Ends, and Incentives

  • Peter Herissone-Kelly
Chapter
Part of the Studies in German Idealism book series (SIGI, volume 21)

Abstract

In this chapter, I further defend the account of a maxim of action’s form that emerged in Chap.  2. I argue that, despite widespread opinion to the contrary amongst commentators, maxims of action do not contain essential references either to ends or to incentives as proper constituents; rather, ends and incentives function as what I call ‘conative correlates’ of maxims. In other words, wherever an agent has a maxim Mn, she has a related end and incentive, but neither that end and incentive, nor a reference to that end and incentive, ought to be thought of as part of Mn. There are a number of reasons for taking this to be the case, not least of which is that, if ends and/or incentives were proper constituents of maxims of action, no such maxim would ever survive being tested in the light of the Categorical Imperative. My account involves, amongst other things, the drawing of a clear distinction between the form and role of maxims of action on the one hand, and the form and role of maxims of ends on the other.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Herissone-Kelly
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Humanities and the Social SciencesUniversity of Central LancashirePrestonUK

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