Kant on Conscience

A Unified Approach to Moral Self-Consciousness


In Kant on Conscience Emre Kazim offers the first systematic treatment of Kant’s theory of conscience. Contrary to the scholarly consensus, Kazim argues that Kant’s various discussions of conscience - as practical reason, as a feeling, as a power, as a court, as judgement, as the voice of God, etc. - are philosophically coherent aspects of the same unified thing (‘Unity Thesis’). Through conceptual reconstruction and historical contextualisation of the primary texts, Kazim both presents Kant’s notion of conscience as it relates to his critical thought and philosophically evaluates the coherence of his various claims. In light of this, Kazim shows the central role that conscience plays in the understanding of Kantian ethics as a whole.

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Biographical Note
Emre Kazim, Ph.D. (2016), King’s College London, is currently researching the development of Early Modern ethical thought. His interests also include the history of secularism and political normativity.
Table of contents
Key to Abbreviations and Translations of Kant
Chapter 1 Introduction
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Outline of Chapters
Chapter 2 Conscience: The Judgement and its Feeling
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Moral Feelings
2.3 Intellectual Conscience and Moral Feeling
2.4 Conscience as Judgement
2.5 The Motivation of Conscience
2.6 Moyar: Conscience as Constitutive of Moral Judgement
2.7 Conclusion
Chapter 3 The Errors and Failures of Conscience
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Absurdity Thesis
3.3 Subjective Certainty
3.4 Conscientiousness
3.5 Conscience and Moral Failures and Errors
3.6 Conclusion
Chapter 4 Conscience and Internal Lies
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Lying as intentional untruth
4.3 Lying: Violation of Duty to Oneself and to Others
4.4 Lying: Right and Virtue
4.4.1 Lying qua Right
4.4.2 Lying qua Virtue: Internal and External Lies
4.5 Internal Lies and Conscience
4.6 Conclusion
Chapter 5 The Cultivation of Conscience and Moral Self-Improvement
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Moral Self-Improvement
5.3 Pragmatic Perfection
5.4 The Cultivation of Conscience as an Indirect Duty
5.5 Moral Ideals: the Moral World and the Ideal of Holiness
5.6 The Rational Religious Representation of the Internal Court of Conscience
5.7 Why have Religious Representations at all?
5.8 Conclusion
Chapter 6 Conclusion
All interested in Kantian ethics, the History of Ethics and Early Modern Philosophy.