Character, Liberty and Law: Kantian Essays in Theory and by J.G. Murphy

By J.G. Murphy

Jeffrie G. Murphy's 3rd selection of essays additional pursues the themes of punishment and retribution that have been explored in his earlier collections: Retribution, Justice and Therapy and Retribution Reconsidered. Murphy now explores those themes within the gentle of reflections on matters which are quite often linked with faith: forgiveness, mercy, and repentance. He additionally explores the overall factor of thought and perform and discusses various issues in utilized ethics - e.g., freedom of inventive expression, the morality of playing, and the price of forgiveness in mental counseling. As continually, his point of view will be defined as Kantian; and, certainly, this assortment includes the 1st prolonged piece of Kant scholarship that he has performed in years: an extended essay on Kant on conception and perform.

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Extra info for Character, Liberty and Law: Kantian Essays in Theory and Practice (Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy)

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Judith Jarvis Thomson (Thomson 1986, pp. ) Suppose I see an injured stranger suffering and perhaps dying at the side o f the path where I am walking. On most theories o f rights (certainly on Kant's), this stranger has no rights against me at all. Thus, even i f I could save him with minimal effort and sacrifice on my part (perhaps no more than a telephone call), I will Copyrighted material Human Decency and the Limitations o f Kantianism 35 not be acting unjustly or failing to respect his rights even i f I ignore him utterly and g o on my way.

G.. that a particular class of subjects has the hereditary privilege of being a ruling class), it is not just; however, if only it is possible that a people could agree to it, it is a duty to regard that law as just, even if the people are presently in such a position or disposition of mind [Denkungsart] that if asked it would probably withhold its consent (297, 77-78). Kant is, I think, outlining some very important ideas here—setting the groundwork for the constructivist methodology o f Rawls and the related conversational methodologies o f Habermas and others.

In short, if liberal societies must rank liberties (some more fundamental than others), then strong forms of the neutrality principle advocated by Ronald Dworkin and others must be rejected. 31 Kant seems officially committed to a neutrality principle (290, 72), in part because he finds it difficult to articulate a complex account of the human good. Either he sees it simply in terms of our moral powers (much too narrow—too moralistic—an account) or he thinks that it cannot be distinguished merely from the desire to be happy—a value on which he pours (as usual) a large dose o f contempt: The concept of external right in general derives entirely from the concept of freedom in the external relations among men and has nothing whatsoever to do with the ends that men have from nature (the objective of obtaining happiness), or with setting out the See Ronald Dworkin's "Liberalism" in his A Matter of Principle (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1985), 181-204.

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