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Chapter 12 - Kant and Aristotle on ethics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 February 2013

Jon Miller
Affiliation:
Queen's University, Ontario
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Summary

The traditional view of the relationship between the moral theories of Aristotle and Kant is that the two were fundamentally opposed to each other. This chapter argues a fundamental difference between Aristotelian approaches and Kant's own view. It also concentrates on what views Kant held and what this shows about Kant's view of Aristotle. The chapter reiterates Kant's view of the problem of eudaimonism and egoism and its relation to Aristotle; and the similarities and differences between Aristotle's and Kant's virtues. Kant considered his philosophy as significantly different from that of Aristotle just because he thought Aristotle failed to realize that morality has nothing to do with perfection. While the metaphysical implications of Kant's moral philosophy are often downplayed in contemporary interpretations, one might argue that his views can only be understood against this rationalist background.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2012

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