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The concept of autonomy is one of Kant's central legacies for contemporary moral thought. We often invoke autonomy as both a moral ideal and a human right, especially a right to determine oneself independently of foreign determinants; indeed, to violate a person's autonomy is considered to be a serious moral offence. Yet while contemporary philosophy claims Kant as the originator of its notion of autonomy, Kant's own conception of the term seems to differ in important respects from our present-day interpretation. Kant on Moral Autonomy brings together a distinguished group of scholars who explore the following questions: what is Kant's conception of autonomy? What is its history and its influence on contemporary conceptions? And what is its moral significance? Their essays will be of interest both to scholars and students working on Kantian moral philosophy and to anyone interested in the subject of autonomy.
This is the first book devoted to an examination of Kant's lectures on ethics, which provide a unique and revealing perspective on the development of his views. In fifteen newly commissioned essays, leading Kant scholars discuss four sets of student notes reflecting different periods of Kant's career: those taken by Herder (1762-4), Collins (mid-1770s), Mrongovius (1784-5) and Vigilantius (1793-4). The essays cover a diverse range of topics, from the relation between Kant's lectures and the Baumgarten textbooks, to obligation, virtue, love, the highest good, freedom, the categorical imperative, moral motivation and religion. Together they will provide the reader with a deeper and fuller understanding of the evolution of Kant's moral thought. The volume will be of interest to a range of readers in Kant studies, ethics, political philosophy, religious studies and the history of ideas.