Reply to Adrian Piper & Jeppe von Platz

 

KATERINA DELIGIORGI | The Scope of Autonomy: Kant and the Morality of Freedom | Oxford University Press 2012


 

By Katerina Deligiorgi

I am immensely grateful to both my critics for the care and seriousness with which they have treated the arguments in my book The Scope of Autonomy. Their criticisms helped me think both about the detail of the argument and about the structure and implications of the position I defend.

I start with Jeppe von Platz’s comments because they present me with the opportunity to explain the motivation for the overall project. Setting out briefly the aims of the book will help explain my strategy and go some way towards answering von Platz’s broader concerns. I then seek to deal with the specific questions he poses.

The second part of my response is devoted to Adrian Piper’s comments. Besides offering a critical appraisal of a key thesis in the book, namely that distributive universality can adequately capture the demand for moral objectivity, Piper extends the argument of the book and offers an original contribution on the nature and scope of autonomy. Her discussion presents me with the opportunity to clarify certain features of my own position. Read more

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Jeppe von Platz on Katerina Deligiorgi’s “The Scope of Autonomy”

 

KATERINA DELIGIORGI | The Scope of Autonomy: Kant and the Morality of Freedom | Oxford University Press 2012


 

By Jeppe von Platz

As with other work on key figures in the history of philosophy, work on Kant’s ethics comes in three genres. First, there are works that pursue the scholarly interest of understanding Kant’s ethics. Second, there are works that pursue the philosophical interest of finding the better ethical theory and look to Kant for inspiration. While such ‘Kantian ethics’ should stay true to some core principles of Kant’s philosophy, the defended position need not be the same as Kant’s ethics, and the defence can succeed without possessing all the scholarly virtues required by the first genre. Third is the genre of ‘interpretation and defence’, which combines scholarly and philosophical pursuits in the service of defending Kant’s ethics. It is hard to succeed in this genre of interpretation and defence. One’s interpretation must possess all the virtues of scholarship, and one must show that Kant’s ethics thus interpreted has advantages over other ethical theories. Yet, why study Kant, if not to understand morality? And why defend Kantian ethics, if Kant was not right? To succeed in this third venture would be a very fine achievement. Read more

Adrian Piper on Katerina Deligiorgi’s “The Scope of Autonomy”

 

KATERINA DELIGIORGI | The Scope of Autonomy: Kant and the Morality of Freedom | Oxford University Press 2012


 

By Adrian Piper

Deligiorgi’s erudite and wide-ranging study The Scope of Autonomy. Kant and the Morality of Freedom situates the core concepts of Kantian ethics—autonomy, freedom, reason, universalizability—squarely within the context of contemporary debates in ethics, philosophy of mind and language, metaethics and moral psychology. The discussion brings the exegetical dialogues among Kant scholars into pertinent lines of communication between Kant and contemporary philosophers who may not even have realized that they were in conversation, or whence came the arguments and theories that preoccupy them. It expands and deepens the shared argumentative resources available to Kant scholars, Kantians, and philosophers in other specialties alike. In this essay, I scrutinize a circumscribed section of the territory revealed and mapped by Deligiorgi’s subtle exploration, and suggest some means by which some of its resources might be thrown into even sharper relief. Read more