Heteronomi som forutsetning for autonomi

Authors

  • Fredrik Nilsen Universitetet i Tromsø

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.7557/4.5207

Keywords:

Immanuel Kant, ethics, pedagogy, autonomy, heteronomy, Wille, Willkür, free will, person, moral actor

Abstract

In his major works in ethics, Immanuel Kant (1724—1804) does not pay much attention to the question how humans become moral. The main tasks for Kant in these works are to establish the moral law and discuss its application. However, in his minor works in ethics and pedagogy he draws our attention to the question mentioned and claims that humans first become moral when they get 16 years old. Before we reach this age, our will (Willkür) is able to choose, that means prioritize, between rationality (the moral law) and sensitivity (inclinations), but our will (Wille) lacks the capacity to impose the moral law on ourselves. To evolve in this regard so that our will becomes fully moral and autonomous, we need moral restrictions from other people with more moral experience. The relevant Kantian distinction in this regard is the distinction Kant draws between persons and moral actors in the wake of his formula of the categorical imperative called the formula of humanity. According to this distinction, a person needs to be educated heteronomously in order to reach the level of moral actor and become autonomous. Constraint is therefore a necessary condition for self-constraint.

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2021-06-15

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