SOC101Y1 Lecture Notes - Political Philosophy, Public Sphere, Practical Reason
13 views6 pages
Oct. 25, 2012
Pg. 4.435-6 (42-43) starts with “morality is the condition along rational being can be an ed itself…law
giving member?.....hence morality….capapble of morality is that which alone has dignity?...inner worth…
but law giving itself determines..unconditional incomparable worth. Autonomy is the ground for
- Person who was crazy about chocolate. Decide they choose. I eat too much. Give myself a rule
and give one chocolate bar a week and tries to stick by the rule. Made a decision. Made a choice
and they are saying… I have made a decision and abide by my decision. They stick to it. They
have will power. They stick by this decision no matter what. We admire ppl with willpower
because external roles. When follow laws. No ones going to sanction it. (also being a motivating
- Theres external force out there as a back up.
- What if you give yourself own rule? There are no external sanction. Cant sanction yourself
because you need externality
- Weakness of will….stick to own deiciosn= sticking to principle not because of sanction but you
have willed it. Internal form of legislation*
- In the case of chocolate these are relative goods.
- Being a self-legislator.. only human can step outside and make it an assessment. And willing it
you self legislate. You give rules to yourself. Some form of sanction and moral principles are
“self-legislative”** you govern yourself. Normative self government*
- You give yourself a law and you stick to that law to the extent that you willed it yourself.
- Simply because its right.
- 1. This capacity to self govern – to figure out what is right and to do it and stick by it simply by
their own will is a capacity that all human beings have 2. Capacity that’s excersied economy-
imam follow my choices.
- Self determining! Only your own will!
- This gives you dignity because you are a self-governing agent.
- You take responsibility for your life and moral action being autonomous.
- This is both huge responsibility and capcity that should be respect and which is why we should
allow ppl to make their own choices*
- Kant wants to draw pictures of human beings deserving respect because they can self-
governmnt. Realization that something is right and wrong and stick by principle no matter what
happens outside the rule
- Animals cant but only through human rationality!
- This idea of dignity respect and autonomy is kant’s characterization of what its like to be human
and confer respect.
- We confer respect to everybody regardless hehterh they act right or wrong…
- Respecting everyone no matter what who choose not to act morally… still included in the
- The answer is that for kant, its everyone have that potential. For people who don’t exercise that
potential, they stil actually have that potential. Because they don’t exercesrise It doesn’t mean
ywe cant respect them.
- Peope are not shraes… cant use them
- Even if they chosen not to excersie that, and for some reason that capacity in the past doesn’t
work (accident, coma, etc)
- Kantians don’t have to work hard about is why you would respect someone who is morally evil
and whos in a coma or mental deficiency.
- Sets limits on how you can treat the person
- Someone who is morally evil- don’t respect them at a prasial sense but still cant enslave them
- Many are based on notion of dignity of a human person that sets limits.
- Every person in principle- member f humanity has the capacity to govern themselves morally
which deserves respect even if ppl don’t exercise it.
- **for kantThis is the concept of equality. Arugment for why all human beings have some kind
of first order equal status. No human beings may be treated merely as a thing or as means **
- Reason cant exaggerate. REASON is the center. He is a rationalist. Important of rational
faculty. Distinct and in need of opposition- appeitite, desires, inclination. At the level of
philosophy mind/ level of indiviulal person. Kant has a dualist view. We are reason and appeitite.
Just follow reason to be good. Just following appeitite is bad. Secular raiontla philosoohy. But
it’s a reoccuring theme. Reason for kant- notion of practical reason (reason to figure out what
we OUGHT to do) kant gives answers to what is right.) he is distinguished… conception f reason
in the modern world, prolly most widely accepted concept of reason is INSTRUMENTAL reason.
To be rational is to be consistent and follow rules of logic and to be able to use deduction and
safety. Reason itself has no subsitivie content. (hume)Reason is simple rule of logic. It’s a
structure of rules and functions that cant tell you whats good or bad… once you put content in
reason, its more complicated. Kant rejects full instrumental view but fully subsitive view. Kant
rejects tht reason can give you good. Reason can give minimal content…. Reason will tell you
that morally right principles- reason alone will tell you you cannot use human being as a mean.
All you have to use your reason. Not other ppl * this for him is a moral content. Using reason in
everyday sense of advancing ourself/think critically wil make the world a better place. This leads
to action of progress.
- Religion committed to a articulating moral and political philosophy that doesn’t principle rely
on god. He is famous of a book (religion and bounds of reason) one of his objects in life was to
layout what reason is and what limits are. He is quite clear that reason cannot tell you and leave
to full religious faith. Reason cant prove existence of god outside the bounds of reason. Which is
a reason why its important to able an instructure moral theory NOT to depend on god** in his
basic articulation in his moral philosophy, its outside. Its clear and modern attempt to ground
moral/philosophy on purely rational theme.
- Public sphere enlightenment…. (short reading) ***responsible for test!!!**** “englithenment
emergence from self imposed maturity… this immatureity is self imposed lies not in lack of
understanding but resoelve courage without guidance of another” arugment here is that
intellectual not able to make deiciosn isn’t because ppl are incapacble but don’t have courage to
use their own undesrtnaidng. Eventually veryone has that and society should encourage! To
encourage ppl to mae deiciosn for themselves. Age of englightenment! In his society capable but
didn’t develop the skills. So enocruage all ppl to use their own reason. One of the most
important* mecahsnim was freedom of press/ thought/active public sphere** “it is difficult for
man..nature” if you grown up whre ppl told you what to do, not enocuarge to think for
yourself… ex. Parents, ministers, etc. its hard to deciide to be indepdnetn and have resources to
critically deciede on what youre doing. Public sphere that is governed by freedom. Beginning of
third paragraph..”individual cant do it themsevels… 4th paragraph” open debate to everything!
Was the MOST important mechanism to bring about general enlgihtenmnet and bring about
progress and better society. What would happen is take darkness off and expose to superstition,
corruption, publicit of deep injustice that’s going on. Theres an optimism when you have
progress for reason into enlgihtnement.
- Progress kant believed in progress as a modern thinker.****
- Rights kant is a fathero f rights. Idea of limits. Free beings to puruse our own life plans.
Internalism is guidicance from the government. We need toact for ourselves and need rights to
- Liberty kant is a philosopher of liberty. Difference between liberty and autonomy. Autonomy
there is an individual an dcoolective. Autonomy means self government. Making shcoices for
yourself. For kant autonomy… just acts on reason (wht is right thig to do) autonomy in public is
run like reosueeau. Liberty in the other hand, moderr notion of liberty, really rather than looking
at internal soruce of self motiviation, liberty is source of right. Space/freedom ofwhat you want
- Equality we are all equal in dignity…
- Fraternity community/ solidarity/ thick ties that ppl can have in political communities and so
on. Not associated with philosopher of fraternity…. Because basis of moral obligation and
political obligation are affections/feeling. Thses are however udependeable. We need
something everyone can act on* stresses humanity and obligation <universal> obligation and
idea of effective ties between humans. Individutalistic. Human becomes individual atoms?
- Athenticitythere is a certain type of authenticity in kant. Meaning expressing really who you
are. Kant thinks that we are all individuals and beign individuals we puruse own ends. Different
ends from everyone else… l.ivein world to puruse those ends. In that sense, he does encourage
ppl who they want to be but really mean to be human is not what makes us different but what
makes us same********* authentically in human way is to act human way how other human
beings own act the same* ex. Moral situation- need to keep our promise, in acting on duty and
saying it is right thing to do this not because I want to do it becaue it makes me feel good but it’s
a duty. This is expressing your universal command. Authenticity for kant doesn need to
differeniaion. We act as human beings- act as any other human being. Promote romantic
movement. Expressing who you are as an individual. Independent in society.
- Autonomy it ends with reason and autonomy******* mega concept for kant.* autonomus=
self governingperson who chooses to act in a certain way. Radical autonomy is ration of free will.
Mostly talking about autonomous person who thinks for themselves. Ex. They think of traditions
rather than thinking to tradition they think saying if those traditions are good or not. Live
through own value. I chose this life. Im a self-legistlative person. Collective autonomy-
community gives itself. Ollective auonotmy (didn’t go through in lecture because we did
Johann Gottfried Herder 1744-1803*
- His writing is all over the place. Impossible to contain the overview of important concept that
herder introduced for western tradition.
- Text is important and lecture is the accompaniment for the text.
- Herder was described as an inquiet guest in the 18th C. he didn’t fit in well… herder wont directly
reject enlightenment but didn’t feel comfortable with ti
- Influence was kant (student of kant), kant influenced him but at certain point, moved apart.
Kant thought herder was…>.< first thought was unclear. He was fuzzy…lacked anaylstical figure.
4. 435-6 (42-43) starts with morality is the condition along rational being can be an ed itself law giving member?hence morality . capapble of morality is that which alone has dignity?inner worth but law giving itself determinesunconditional incomparable worth. Give myself a rule and give one chocolate bar a week and tries to stick by the rule. Made a choice and they are saying i have made a decision and abide by my decision. They stick by this decision no matter what. We admire ppl with willpower because external roles. No ones going to sanction it. (also being a motivating source) Theres external force out there as a back up. Weakness of will . stick to own deiciosn= sticking to principle not because of sanction but you have willed it. In the case of chocolate these are relative goods. Being a self-legislator only human can step outside and make it an assessment. Some form of sanction and moral principles are.