Kant on Respect

Report
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.

similar documents