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Understanding Hegel's Mature Critique of Kant$
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John McCumber

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804785457

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804785457.001.0001

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Hegel’s Critique of Kant’s Moral Theory

Hegel’s Critique of Kant’s Moral Theory

Chapter:
(p.147) Chapter 5 Hegel’s Critique of Kant’s Moral Theory
Source:
Understanding Hegel's Mature Critique of Kant
Author(s):

John Mccumber

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804785457.003.0006

This chapter enumerates and illustrates eight distinct critiques of Kant’s moral philosophy from Hegel’s perspective. These critiques include both explicit and implicit—or “buried”—arguments. These “buried” criticisms include Kant’s failure to define morality’s most basic principle, the will, and insofar as Kant does provide an account of the will it is non-naturalistic (not empirical). Hegel’s other implicit criticisms arise from the overly abstract quality of Kant’s moral theory. Namely, Kant’s account does not tell us how we can strengthen our moral agency by integrating it with other drives and duties, and he also lacks an account of moral action altogether. Hegel also criticizes Kant explicitly for being too formalistic and rigoristic; for the emptiness of the categorical imperative, and for the social philosophy, which emerges from it, which is based not on freedom, but coercion.

Keywords:   Kant, Hegel, morality, ethics, will, categorical imperative, formalism, rigorism

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