XI KANT KONGRESS, XI Congresso Kantiano Internazionale

Puzzle Maxims and the Formula of Universal Law

Lenval Alan Callender

Edificio: Palazzo dei Congressi
Sala: sala Torricelli
Data: 23 maggio 2010 - 14:30
Ultima modifica: 13 aprile 2010

Abstract

Puzzle maxims are precepts said to produce immoral, absurd or trivial rules of conduct when tested by Kant‘s original formulation of the categorical imperative [4:402]: “I ought never to act except in such a way that I can also will that my maxim should become a universal law”: “Persecute all those who hold false religious beliefs” (MacIntyre:1990), “I will give a larger percentage of my income to charity than the average person does” (Wood:2008), and “To always be first through the door” (Herman:1993) are typical examples. Attempts have been made to exclude precepts of this kind as illegitimate in one respect or another, but it is argued here that some anomalies arise not from the maxims themselves but from a testing procedure inconsistent with the method employed by Kant in the Groundwork, the second Critique and The Metaphysics of Morals.