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Deriving Actions from Laws

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

Abstract

This chapter offers an interpretation of Kant’s claim that reason derives actions from laws, and that the will is therefore identical to reason in its practical application. I endeavour in two stages to show how this derivation is achieved. First, I claim that an act is derived from a maxim of action, by means of what I call a Kantian practical syllogism, or KPS. Secondly, I present an account of how Kant might think that maxims are derived from laws, or objective practical principles, both hypothetical and categorical. This involves my introducing the notions of a meta-maxim, or a second-order maxim that controls action on other maxims, and, relatedly, a Kantian practical polysyllogism, or KPPS. It will emerge from the notion of a KPPS that maxims of action are the principles that ideally link our understanding of what we ought to do (morally or prudentially, or given some purpose of ours), with what we actually go on to do.

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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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