Kant and the demandingness of the virtue of beneficence

Paul Formosa, Martin Sticker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

We discuss Kant's conception of beneficence against the background of the overdemandingness debate. We argue that Kant's conception of beneficence constitutes a sweet spot between overdemandingness and undemandingness. To this end, we defend four key claims that together constitute a novel interpretation of Kant's account of beneficence: (1) For the same reason that we are obligated to be beneficent to others, we are permitted to be beneficent to ourselves; (2) we can prioritise our own ends; (3) it is more virtuous to do more rather than less when it comes to helping others; and (4) indifference to others is vicious. Finally, we explain how this represents a system of duties that gives our personal ends a moral standing without unacceptably moralising them.

LanguageEnglish
Pages625-642
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Philosophy
Volume27
Issue number3
Early online date25 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

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Beneficence
Immanuel Kant
Demandingness
Conception
Moral Standing
Indifference

Cite this

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Kant and the demandingness of the virtue of beneficence. / Formosa, Paul; Sticker, Martin.

In: European Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 27, No. 3, 09.2019, p. 625-642.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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