Loyola University Chicago

Department of Philosophy

PHIL 462: Kant's Moral Philosophy

PHIL 462: Kant's Moral Philosophy

The Generic Catalog Description

This course is an examination of Kant's moral philosophy. It is based on such texts as the Critique of Practical Reason and the Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, and considers the situation of the moral theory within Kant's critical theory, as well as the foundations of morality.

PHIL 462: Kant's Moral Philosophy

Victoria Wike

We will approach Kant’s moral philosophy by first reviewing Kant’s critical project as it is laid out in the Critique of Pure Reason (1781).  Then we will read his major works on ethics: Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals [Grundlegung] (1785), Critique of Practical Reason (1788), and “The Doctrine of Virtue” [Tugendlehre] from the Metaphysics of Morals (1797).  There will also be several articles to read as well as Kant’s essay, “On a supposed right to lie from philanthropy” (1797).

Our overarching concern will be to understand the structure and the capabilities of practical reason.  Topics central to our discussions include:  happiness, autonomy, freedom, the categorical imperative, respect, religion, and moral education.  We will also look at the practical applications of Kant’s ethics as it considers questions of lying and friendship, and so on.  We will pay special attention to several objections raised against Kantian ethics, such as rigorism, the exclusion of feelings, and the focus on action rather than character.