Patrick Kain

Department of Philosophy

Purdue University





Some hold that Kant's conception of autonomy requires the rejection of moral realism in favor of "moral constructivism." However, commentary on a little noticed passage in the Metaphysics of Morals (with the assistance of Kant's Lectures and Reflexionen) reveals that the conception of legislation at the core of Kant's conception of autonomy represents a decidedly anti-constructivist strand in his moral philosophy.


Footnote 23 should read (in its entirety):

(23)  cf. Leibniz, Opinion on the Principles of Pufendorf.  §iv, pp. 70-73; On the Common Concept of Justice §I, pp. 48-50. trans. Patrick Riley, The Political Writings of Leibniz.  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972.)  Kant is recorded early in his career making this same point.  See “Praktische Philosophie Herder” KGS XXVII, 9-10.

"'Kant's Moral Constructivism' and his Conception of Legislation"

In The Paideia Project Online: Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy.  (1999)  (4,426 words)