By Jason Rheins
For the last two centuries, no other philosopher has exerted a greater influence on thought and life in Western civilization than Immanuel Kant. Building off of his “Copernican Revolution” in metaphysics and epistemology, Kant’s ethics dispensed with the need for a divine authority in ethics, but it distilled and retained Judaeo-Christian morality’s fundamental principle—duty or moral law—and its fundamental virtue, voluntary obedience to the law.
This course examines key conceptual elements of Kant’s moral philosophy, such as duty, autonomy, respect for the moral law vs. self-love, and the categorical imperative as well as their close relationship to his views on faith and the freedom of the will. We will then analyze Kant’s lasting influences on subsequent ethics, especially the disassociation of morality from value and the abnegation of self-interest.
This course was recorded at the 2011 Objectivist Summer Conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
(MP3 download, 130.39 MB)