The Pros And Cons Of Value Realism

6828 Words28 Pages
various versions of formalists’ criticisms and point out the problems with each accordingly. In the second section, I proceed to pose a non-formalist theory of value or what may be termed a rival Kantian theory, referred to as Value Realism. The third section offers the primary aspect of this project: an explicit explanation of the larger scheme of Kantian value realism which includes three central, independent values, impartiality, dignity and freedom. While many formalists would agree that these three values are referred to in Kant’s ethics none would agree that these independent values are central in Kant’s system since formalists consider impartiality, freedom, and dignity the products of the will and not values. At the same time, for…show more content…
Unlike the original emptiness charge and the formalists’ and non-formalists’ positions, contemporary scholars argue that every form of CI, whether CI1, CI2, CI3, or the autonomy formulation, is too formal to guide action. These scholars insist that CI does not ground Kant’s theory with a substantive value judgment given that Kant acknowledges formality in his theory. Specifically, the moral law (the formal component) is defined prior to the Good that is described in Kant’s terminology as reciprocity or the practical sense of universality, the end of which is humanity and autonomy. Some of these scholars have engaged rather heated debates as they seek to adapt some values as substantive but deny others. For example, they may recognize autonomy as concrete, but the ideas of self-end and self-dignity as abstract. On the other hand, they may point out that self-end and consideration for others (reciprocity) is concrete while autonomy remains abstract. However, whatever their various positions, in my view, these scholars only understand CI in a partial sense; this constitutes the broad emptiness charge or broad Kantian formalism.
In order to provide greater clarity as well as the grounds for an examination of ethical theory, I will first address the problems within the broad Kantian formalism. Thereafter, I will contrast the original emptiness charge with the formalist reconstructions. Finally,
…show more content…
I suggest we are able to avoid this peculiarity of Kant’s ethics and the problems arising from the broad emptiness charge in Kantian non-formalism value theory.
In the end, Kantian formalism, both the narrow and broad forms, are misleading views, which calls for some alternative way to explain Kant’s ethics. We find, then another interpretation of Kant that is persuasively valid and that recognizes both the weaknesses and strengths in his ethical theory. If we fail to embrace this challenge by considering Kant’s ethics as an insuperable obstacle, we will be halted in our desire to deepen and enrich philosophical
Get Access