Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Acting for a reason: to deliberate is to decide what ends are valuable

Kantian self-legislation: formal laws and ontological narcissism June 6th, 2007 One very common way to read Kant’s moral philosophy is with a heavy emphasis on the self-legislative activity of the subject...Grundlegung
For Kant, as for Socrates, to deliberate is to decide what ends are valuable, and insofar as we do decide to do something then we take this end as valuable. (Although akrasic factors might intervene before performing the action.) In performing an action pursuant of such an end, as distinct from a reflex reaction occurring or engaging in incoherent behaviour, we must be able to take ourselves to be acting for a reason: this is constitutive of actions (at least for Kant, if not Freud, say). So, given all the details of the particular situation that we find ourselves in, acting at all requires of us to be able to be able to produce reasons as to why we acted as we did in this situation.

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