The Ethics of Respect • One of Kant’s most lasting contributions to moral philosophy was his emphasis on the notion of respect (Achtung) What is Respect? • Respect has become a fundamental moral concept in contemporary America – Rodney Dangerfield – “Don’t dis’ me.” – There are rituals of respect in almost all cultures. • Two central questions: – What is respect? – Who or what is the proper object of respect? The Categorical Imperative • “Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end.” Kant on Respecting Persons • Kant brought the notion of respect (Achtung) to the center of moral philosophy for the first time. • To respect people is to treat them as ends in themselves. He sees people as autonomous, i.e., as giving the moral law to themselves. • The opposite of respecting people is treating them as mere means to an end. Treating People as Ends in Themselves What are the characteristics of treating people as ends in themselves? • Not denying them relevant information • Allowing them freedom of choice Privacy, Autonomy, Respect • Privacy Act- 1974- “Privacy= autonomy or control over significant personal matters; limitation on access to self. • Privacy includes: rights to one’s thoughts and actions unless infringe on rights of others; rights to “personal space.” • Privacy-fundamental good of relationshiptrust, mutual respect, confidentalityprofessionals. Self-Respect Is lack of proper self-respect a moral failing? • The Deferential Wife – See article by Tom Hill, “Servility and Self-Respect” • Servants – See movie of Kazuo Ishiguro's “Remains of the Day” • Stevens the servant: "I don't believe a man can consider himself fully content until he has done all he can to be of service to his employer." • Aristotle and Self-Love – What is the difference between self-respect and self-love? Clearly, there is at least a difference in the affective element. Respect in the Classroom • What does it mean to respect students? – Are there any common classroom practices that you see as disrespectful of students? • What does it mean to respect teachers? – Are there any common school practices that you find are disrespectful to teachers? – What does it mean to respect peers- other students? Conclusion • Respect for other people (including not using other people as a means) remains a key concept in contemporary moral philosophy.