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oliver sensen generate, create none none in none projectsean 13 c# create the will of the agent: none none the agent should test whether his maxim can be universalized, which if looked at from the perspective of the recipient of one s actions29 means that one should reject a maxim that could not spring from the will of the a ected. The reason why one should respect others is therefore that it is commanded by the categorical imperative. However, this view raises new questions: why does the imperative not demand respect for non-rational beings (e.

g. non-rational animals) If, as I have argued, the imperative does not rest on a value of rational natures, is the requirement to respect other rational beings arbitrary Is Kant a speciesist In the Groundwork Kant is as brief about the status of non-rational beings as he is elsewhere.30 Kant says: Beings the existence of which rests not on our will but on nature, if they are beings without reason, still have only a relative worth, as means, and are therefore called things (G IV 428).

The idea seems to be that non-rational beings do not possess freedom, and are therefore mere playthings of nature (cf. CU V 426). But why does this lack of freedom give things the normative status as means Why do human beings not have a direct duty to respect them The key point in answering these questions seems to me to be a matter of burden of proof.

31 Kant rejects the view that there is a value property out there (in heaven or earth) on which one can then base the requirement to respect either humans or non-rational beings: we see philosophy put in fact in a precarious position, which is to be rm even though there is nothing in heaven or on earth from which it depends or on which it is based (G IV 425). If there is no value property that could justify the requirement to respect non-rational things, then the burden of proof is on the defender of such requirements. Kant does not arbitrarily give human beings a status that he should also attribute to non-rational beings; rather, the only requirement that he can nd is that one should universalize one s maxims and thereby respect others, which as such only extends to beings who are able to act on maxims.

Kant then uses this requirement to extend respect as far as he can to non-rational beings. One has an indirect duty to respect animals because cruelty to them would jeopardize the maxims needed for being morally good (cf. MdS VI 442 4).

The question is what e ect cruel behaviour has on the agent himself, rather than whether one respects an existing value property.. Code 2 of 5 29 30 31. Cf. O Neill, Constructi none none ons of Reason, pp. 141 4.

Cf., e.g.

MdS VI 442 4; Collins XXVII 458 60; R 7305 XIX 307. Cf. Onora O Neill, Kant on Duties Regarding Nonrational Nature II , Aristotelian Society Supplement 72 (1998), 211 28 at 222.

. Dignity and the formula of humanity To conclude, the formul none for none a of humanity is introduced to bring the categorical imperative closer to intuition . Every action and maxim has an end, and in this respect the imperative says that a rational being must in every maxim serve as the limiting condition of all merely relative and arbitrary ends (G IV 436). The formula of humanity does not introduce a new claim, it merely expresses the same moral requirement in a more accessible way.

Kant makes explicit the reason why one should respect others only in the summary of the formula of humanity (G IV 437 .). 4 dignity (groundwork iv 434 6) At rst sight my interpretation of the formula of humanity might seem to be at odds with Kant s account of human dignity.

I have argued that Kant does not ground the requirement to respect others on an absolute value property. However, one might object that Kant explicitly de nes such an absolute value of human beings as dignity later in the Groundwork for how else is one to read his expressions: inner worth, that is, dignity (G IV 435) and dignity, that is, an unconditional, incomparable worth (G IV 436) The objection loses force if one keeps in mind what Kant means by absolute worth . If I am right that for Kant absolute worth is not a non-relational value property all human beings possess, but rather a prescription of what one should value, then de ning dignity as absolute worth would be no objection to my interpretation of the formula of humanity.

X has dignity would be another way of saying X should be valued unconditionally . However, Kant s conception of dignity is more complicated than this. I shall argue that it is neither a name for a non-relational value property, nor is it simply a prescription to value something.

Instead, Kant s conception of dignity is indebted to Cicero and the Roman conception of dignitas, according to which dignity is an elevated position or rank.32 The Roman dignitas is a complicated notion that has further connotations, e.g.

worthiness, duties and privileges. Many of these are re ected in presentday usage, as when one speaks of a dignitary or behaving with dignity. However, the additional connotations are not essential to dignitas.

33 The essential component is that dignity expresses a relation, an elevated standing. 32 33. For a fuller defence of none for none the following cf. my Kant s Conception of Human Dignity , Kant-Studien (forthcoming). For Cicero s conception of dignitas cf.

the Oxford Latin Dictionary (P. G. W.

Glare (ed.), Oxford University Press, 1996); and V. P schl, Der Begri der W rde im antiken Rom und sp ter , in Sitzungsberichte der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften.

Philosophisch-historische Klasse (Carl Winter, 1969), vol. III, pp. 7 67.

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