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Kant's Theory of Virtue
The Value of Autocracy

$32.99 (C)

Part of Modern European Philosophy

  • Date Published: February 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107491977

$ 32.99 (C)
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About the Authors
  • Anne Margaret Baxley offers a systematic interpretation of Kant's theory of virtue, whose most distinctive features have not been properly understood. She explores the rich moral psychology in Kant's later and less widely read works on ethics, and argues that the key to understanding his account of virtue is the concept of autocracy, a form of moral self-government in which reason rules over sensibility. Although certain aspects of Kant's theory bear comparison to more familiar Aristotelian claims about virtue, Baxley contends that its most important aspects combine to produce something different – a distinctively modern, egalitarian conception of virtue which is an important and overlooked alternative to the more traditional Greek views which have dominated contemporary virtue ethics.

    • Explains the relation between Kant's more widely read texts in ethics and his later works
    • Demonstrates how the moral psychology central to Kant's account of virtue marks a significant development in his ethics
    • Shows the distinctive features of Kant's theory of virtue which provide an important alternative to the more traditional Greek views usually found in contemporary virtue ethics
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "....this contribution by Baxley (Washington Univ. in St. Louis) is noteworthy in its meticulous analysis of autocracy as the linchpin for understanding Kantian virtue.... For dedicated Kant scholars (and perhaps Schiller scholars) this book is a worthy addition, but it may be too advanced for most readers.... Recommended...."
    --L.A. Wilkinson, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, CHOICE

    "...lucid, levelheaded and (from a Kantian perspective at least) deeply interesting book.... an impressive achievement and everyone who is interested in Kantian ethics and moral psychology ought to read Baxley's book..."
    --Carsten Fogh Nielsen, Ph.D., University of Aarhus, Metapsychology Online Review

    "...Anne Margaret Baxley’s book, Kant’s Theory of Virtue, is the most informative and comprehensive discussion of the nature and role of virtue in Kant’s ethics currently available..."
    --Robert B. Louden, University of Southern Maine, Journal of the History of Philosophy

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107491977
    • length: 206 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 11 mm
    • weight: 0.28kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgments
    List of abbreviations
    Introduction
    1. The good will, moral worth, and duty: concerns about Kant's rationalist moral psychology
    2. Kant's Conception of Virtue and the autocracy of Pure Practical Reason
    3. Virtue, human nature, and moral health: Kant's dispute with Schiller
    4. The moral psychology of Kantian virtue
    Conclusion: Kant's considered account of moral character and the good will reconsidered.

  • Author

    Anne Margaret Baxley, Washington University, St Louis
    Anne Margaret Baxley is Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Philosophy at Washington University in St Louis and the author of a number of journal articles on Kant.

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