凌友詩博士論文選錄(Selection of Grace Ling’s Ph. D. Thesis)

 

To Revive Morality: A Kantian Critique of Rawls’s Theory of Justice

Ling, Yu Shill, Grace

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy at The University of Hong Kong July 2003


 

Acknowledgements

I owe many people who help me and support me endlessly. For a lot of help along the way, I am most indebted to my thesis supervisor, Dr. Michael R. Martin. No words can describe how patient and how serious he regarded my research. As a proponent of Rawls, Dr. Martin did encourage me to think freely in the way I proposed to explore. But he also reminded me to notice the traps, which were partly caused by my misunderstanding of Rawls and partly caused by my over confidence. He was also concerned with the overall performance of my dissertation. Every grammatical mistake, even in the footnotes, could not escape from his eyes, although many mistakes may yet remain, for which I am sorry. In order to help me submit this dissertation by the date required, he interrupted his holiday overseas and came back to Hong Kong to supervise me in the final stage of my thesis writing. Maybe he came from another half of the earth, but I know his selfless care of me is much more and fairer than this long way to go.

Among the other teachers who highly deserve my profound gratitude, I would like to mention Dr. Daniel A. Bell. He supervised me for two years in Hong Kong University. While I was embarrassed by many topics worth studying in the earlier stage of my research, he was so patient to read each essay I wrote when I was still searching for direction. After he left, he was still quite generous to share his opinions with me. In addition, I am deeply grateful for all the brilliant scholars in our Philosophy Department. As an audience at the departmental seminars, I learned so much from them in different disciplines of philosophy. In addition, I would like to mention supervisors for my M.phil degree, Prof. Jiang Ying Hao Prof- Su Wen Zhou in the Chinese Department of The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Prof. Lee Nan Hsiong in the Department of Government and Public Administration of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. They not only gave me knowledge but also cultivated me both in character and academic attitude. I am grateful deeply for their teaching and will remember their love now and forever. A note of appreciation should be added here to my family members. My father brought me up in a very difficult environment. His love always encourages me and warms up my heart. While I was dealing with my thesis, I felt sorry for my husband for the lonely time he spent by himself. In addition, I should mention my sweetest son. He is quite independent and disciplined. I do believe he understands what I did and will do better than me in future.

If I could say “thank you” to lots of thinkers I have never seen, I would like to express my highest respect to all authors who inspired my thinking in this thesis, especially to Kant, Rawls and Mou Zong San Professor Mou was regarded as the most eminent figure of the third wave of neo-Confucianism. His enterprise of accommodating Confucianism and Kantianism brought Chinese philosophy into modem discourse and also provoked my interests in Kant’s practical philosophy. I will never forget Mou’s saying to philosophy students: “As a thinker, you must have a genuine feeling of existence, an existence in the world of chaos and at the time of human predicament.” He knows the power of philosophy, especially at a time needing philosophy. Today is the time which needs philosophy. I can feel how great the responsibility is for me to use philosophy at this moment and in this world.

 

Abstract of a thesis entitled

To Revive Morality: A Kantian Critique of Rawls’s Theory of Justice

submitted by Ling, Yu Shih, Grace for the Degree of Ph.D. (philosophy)

at The University of Hong Kong in July 2003

According to communitarianism, contemporary liberalism is the offspring of modernization. Conversely, the development of liberalism justifies and encourages the atmosphere of the modem world. One conspicuous phenomenon arising in our disenchanted world is a decline in morality. For more than thirty years, communitarians have endeavored to elevate moral agents, good moral character, virtues, human goods and a solid community. Their fruitful achievements challenge the liberal domination of moral and political philosophy. Advancing a new perspective, this dissertation criticizes several features and doctrines of contemporary liberalism by reference to Kant’s practical philosophy. The author chooses Rawls’s theory of justice as the target. That is because Rawls shares most of the common features of liberalism and his precise works have strengthened liberalism both in theory and practice. Since contemporary liberals, including Rawls, tend to borrow vocabularies and arguments from Kant, a Kantian critique of liberalism is indeed an approach which discusses liberal deficiencies from within.

The question which moves Kant is how to distinguish a true sense of morality from spurious moralities. His endeavor to find a true sense of morality strikes at the question of why morality has declined in the modem world. Kant as well as the author of this dissertation believe that if we can differentiate a genuine morality from the spurious moralities which arise from many moral or political theories, then we will know how to revive it.

Following Kant’s metaphysics of morals, this dissertation appeals to certain concepts which Kant thinks of as fundamental elements of morals, and which I use as the tools to assess Rawls’s theory of justice. My first concern is what sort of determining ground of the will a person stands on when he chooses a principle, the a priori moral law, the feeling of pleasure or eudaimonia. My second concern is what sort of reason - theoretical reason, technical practical reason or pure practical reason - gives us laws. Third, by analyzing the concept of Right, I try to answer the question of whether we can constitute a world of morality by means of enforcing liberties and rights. Fourth, I resort to Kant’s conception of humanity which for Kant is the root of a moral conception of freedom of action, so that we can well answer the question of how we can understand accurately freedom of action and its limits so that moral goods can shape the scope of liberties and rights.

Beyond the liberal-communitarian debates, this dissertation attempts to resuscitate morality by finding light from Kant. It may rejuvenate Kantian ethics as well. I believe this dissertation may give room to a new topic in moral and political philosophy, that is, to accommodate Kantianism and communitarianism, while explaining the predicament of morality in our era.

 

Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter One: To Discern “Morality” in Terms of the Determining Ground of the Will 11

1.1      Morality: the moral law as the determining ground of the will 15

1.1.1       Kant’s notion of the determining ground of the will 16

1.1.2       Rawls begins with “what is the first virtue of social institutions”? 18

1.1.3       Kant begins with “what is freedom?” 24

1.1.4       Pure practical will and pathological affected will 26

1.2      The moral law in Kant’s metaphysics of morals 29

1.2.1       The moral law as a priori: independent of experience 30

1.2.2       A morally practical law as the form of a moral maxim 33

1.2.3       The moral law as cognized by pure practical reason alone 37

1.2.4       Kant refutes skepticism 42

1.2.5       Three Formulas and the critique of empty formalism 45

1.2.6       Four moral endowments 53

1.3      The necessity to distinguish intellectual desire from pathological desire 58

1.3.1       Principles of justice as chosen to advance one’s interests 60

1.3.2       Two different concepts of desire 65

1.3.3       Pathological desire: “pleasure” as an object preceding the desire 68

1.3.4       Intellectual desire: “pleasure” simply as the effect of pure reason 71

1.4      The feeling of pleasure furnishes no moral law 76

1.4.1       The feeling of pleasure generates merely rational practical precepts 77

1.4.2       Rawls’s contentions and their failure 81

1.4.3       The Theory of Justice, Epicureanism and Utilitarianism 86

1.4.4       The moral law is prior to the moral good: Kant criticizes perfectionism

1.5      Concluding remarks 93

Chapter Two: Which Rationality? Is Rawlsian Justice an End or a Means 96

2.1      Kant: three taxonomies of ends and their corresponding conceptions of rationality 102

2.1.1       Ends of self-love and one’s own happiness 103

2.1.2       Ends following from hypothetical imperatives 104

2.1.3       Ends of the moral law 107

2.1.4       Pure practical reason and technical practical reason 108

2.1.5       Theoretical Reason as the counterpart of technical reason 111

2.1.6       Is an end of self-love rational or natural? 114

2.2      Rawls’s conception of goodness and that of rationality 118

2.2.1       The parties in the original position 118

2.2.2       From the thin theory of the good to the full theory of the good 121

2.2.3       Goodness as rationality 125

2.2.4       The concept of “good for” 128

2.2.5       A rational plan of life and its conception of rationality 131

2.2.6       Rawls and technical practical reason 136

2.3      Can moral sense be derived from technical practical reason? The well-ordered society as a modus vivendi 140

2.3.1       Hypothetical imperatives, means and external incentives 142

2.3.2       Reciprocal coercion: the rationale for civil society 143

2.3.3       The origin of justice: Hobbes, Hume, Kant, Hegel and Rawls 147

2.3.4       Hobbes-style expediency: a society with chronic mutual fear 152

2.3.5       Being a beneficiary as the condition of obedience 156

2.3.6       Defining society in terms of its function 157

2.4      Anti-humanity, persons as things 160

2.4.1       A good person as something others rationally want 159

2.4.2       The conception of a thing: possession, use and alienation 164

2.4.3       Humanity and respect in Kant’s moral philosophy 169

2.4.4       The political implications of being anti-humanity 172

2.5      Concluding remarks 179

Chapter Three: The “Right-Morality” Gap — A Close Scrutiny of Kant’s Conceptions of Right, Duty and the Subject’s Incentive 184

3.1      Right: by virtue of a person’s humanity 191

3.1.1       The concept of Right and its justification 191

3.1.2       Rawls’s theory as a paradigm of a right-based theory 195

3.1.3       Rights, obligations and coercion 200

3.1.4       Actions, a subject of Right and a subject of morality 204

3.1.5       Three passive features of the concept of Right 206

3.2      Duty: includes that of a good will 210

3.2.1       Morally practical law, obligation and duty 211

3.2.2       Duties of Right and duties of virtue 214

3.2.3       The subject of duty and the active obligation 216

3.2.4       Internal incentive and external incentive 217

3.2.5       Ethics: internal lawgiving, self-constraint and internal incentive 220

3.3      Right-morality gap 224

3.3.1       The “object” of Right is the “subject” of the duty of Right 225

3.3.2       Internal incentive: the prominent indicator of morality 228

3.3.3       Right: external action and external incentive 231

3.3.4       The necessity to consider strict Right 236

3.3.5       The concept of Right may inspire actions of legality 239

3.3.6       Deriving morality from Strict Right is impossible 242

3.3.7       Do civil laws cultivate morality? 245

3.4      Are ethical virtues innate in Right-based theories? 246

3.4.1       Mill: finding truth and self-actualization 248

3.4.2       Locke: self-direction within natural law 250

3.4.3       Macedo: executive virtues and liberal virtues 252

3.4.4       Rawls: political virtues as instrumental virtues 255

3.4.5       Instrumental virtues do not have an intrinsic value 257

3.5      Kant’s Virtue Ethics 260

3.5.1       Contemporary debates on Kant regarding virtue ethics 261

3.5.2       Nietzsche: the genealogy of morals 268

3.5.3       Self-demanding vs. volte-face valuing standing point 273

3.5.4       Deficiencies of simply claiming the Right 280

3.6      Concluding remarks: bringing the Right back to within the scope of ethics 284

Chapter Four: The Moral Conception of Freedom of Action and Its Limit in Kant’s Idea of Humanity 290

4.1      Typical arguments on freedom of action 294

4.1.1       Kant’s broad sense and narrow sense of freedom of action 295

4.1.2       Rawls: The Priority of Right 300

4.1.3       Rawls: The priority of liberty as an autocracy of liberty 304

4.1.4       The first principle of justice: a purely formal concept 306

4.1.5       The dialogue between Mill and Devlin: protection of individuals vs.

protection of society 309

4.1.6       The necessity to appeal to the concept of humanity 312

4.2      What does Kant mean by humanity? 314

4.2.1       A plain definition of Humanity: the capacity to set ends for oneself 314

4.2.2       Three possible interpretations of humanity 316

4.2.3       Two aspects of humanity: phenomenon and noumenon 323

4.3      Man’s capacity for setting moral ends as the core and foundation of humanity 327

4.3.1       Morality illuminates human dignity 328

4.3.2       Moral autonomy declares man as an end in itself 331

4.3.3       Pure practical reason generates and secures humanity 335

4.3.4       Moral ends as the constraint of all subjective ends 338

4.3.5       Is there a difference between humanity and personality? 341

4.3.6       The ground for humanity: subsistence or a consequence? 346

4.4      Three criteria for the limits of freedom of action in its moral conception 352

4.4.1       The Right of humanity and the end of humanity 354

4.4.2       Freedom of action as a right 356

4.4.3       Three moral criteria for the limits of Right 360

4.4.4       Can duties of virtue be enforced by statutes? 365

4.4.5       What Kant says that ethical lawgiving cannot be external 368

4.5      Concluding Remarks 372

Conclusion 375

Appendix 384

Bibliography 389


 

Introduction

The problems concerned

According to Alasdair MacIntyre, contemporary morality is suffering from the effects of a figurative catastrophe.[1] [2] To explain why and how this catastrophe has come about becomes a great challenge for contemporary moral philosophers and political philosophers. In this dissertation, I make an intellectual enquiry into the question of why morality in contemporary times is declining and losing its strength both in theory and practice. This question will go through the whole dissertation. Briefly speaking, contemporary moral disorder reveals itself in the following three ways:

First, the nature of morality becomes more and more equivocal. Morality, per se, loses its clear appearance. Charles Taylor calls this phenomenon the “ethics of inarticulacy” in his Sources of the Self. We not only lack concrete objective criteria to assess our maxims, the stratum that is used for assessing our maxims, namely a clear sense of morality, is also shaky. Before dealing with a normative moral question or evaluating the moral worth of an action, we should know what we can call moral. This implies that there should be certain fundamental criteria to indicate the true nature of morality and which distinguish morality from other disciplines. Confusion of the true nature of morality is a typical feature of moral disorder, and in turn it will cause a greater disorder in further moral inquiries.

Second, the ambiguity of morality entails “moral emotivism”, as Macintyre calls it in After Virtue. For Macintyre, the most striking phenomenon of contemporary moral utterances is that “so many of the utterances are used to express disagreements, and those disagreements are interminable.”[3] For example, in one debate, e.g. whether abortion should be removed from the domain of criminal law, there are at least three rival arguments.[4] MacIntyre finds that their premises are incommensurable and he argues that the conceptually incommensurable premises of the rival arguments have a wide variety of historical origins.[5] There seems to be no rational way of securing moral agreement. MacIntyre ascribes the label emotivism[6] to such a feature by arguing that “if we possess no unassailable criteria and no set of compelling reasons by means of which to convince our opponents, then it seems that underlying any given position there must be some non-rational decision to adopt that position.”[7]

Third, a kind of morality which is anchored in liberties and rights and which claims a moral authorization to impose obligations on others substitutes for traditional morals which are anchored in the agent of morality and claim self-constraint and volition to impose obligations on oneself. Although most liberals who elevate liberties and rights are concerned only with principles which regulate public affairs, liberal principles nevertheless have developed into a life and thinking style which encompass a field beyond politics. Francis Fukuyama, who wrote The End of History and the Last Man.[8] gives a warning on this trend in his latest book, Trust: the Social Virtue and the Creation of Prosperity. He notes that as we drift into an extreme rights-centered individualism, a radical departure from our past communitarian tradition is more dangerous for the future of a society than any competition from abroad.[9] It seems to me that an increasing rights-centered individualism destroys such a moral tradition and conversely claims one’s entitlement to put others under obligations. A kind of active moral practice is gradually altered to become a passive moral practice.

 

Communitarian critiques of liberalism

In order to revive morality, we have to do the following things: (1) envisage the concept of morality and discern the true sense of it; (2) find a ground which prescribes moral judgments absolutely and objectively; and (3) point out the deficiencies and peril of rights-centered individualism and bring them back to within the scope of traditional morals.

Most discussion of the above questions are hitherto communitarian critiques of liberalism. In the view of the typical figures of communitarians, contemporary moral decline and disorder is mostly caused by three deviations:

The first deviation is the overemphasis on deontological moral judgments which neglects the agent of morality but emphasizes actions of conformity. MacIntyre distinguishes deontological moral judgments from moralities of virtues and calls them moralities of rules.[10] Anscombe notes that when deontological ethics lost their religious root, such deontological principles or rules, which are abstract, but require universal compliance, no matter what particular roles people play and what community and culture they belong to, become more and more “harmful”.[11] [12]

The second deviation is the cutting off of an organic network among persons. Charles Taylor claims that contemporary liberalism constitutes simply a Hobbesian and atomistic society.[13] Michael Sandel criticizes such a society as simply an instrument for mutual benefits”.[14] The rationale of its structure does not comprise the tradition and the common project which are regarded as the most crucial elements for the solidity of a community.[15]

The third deviation is that liberals conceive a person as an abstract being that has been deprived of his cultural and historical attributes. MacIntyre draws our attention to the point that in the liberal context of “privatization of the good”, moral principles are independent of a person’s allotted role and human flourishing.[16] The person as such is called by Michael Sandel an “unencumbered self’.[17] All substances, e.g. family, community and religion, which are supposed to benefit from human flourishing in the traditional era no longer provide meaning to an unencumbered self. The person therefore loses all the attachments which might constitute his identity.[18]

 

Difficulties communitarians encounter

Communitarians point out certain serious deficiencies of liberalism, but communitarian critiques encounter challenges and difficulties also.

First, communitarianism and liberalism each seem to take its place in a scheme of things. The state of intellectual polarization makes contemporary moral and political philosophy continuously stuck in a dilemma. For example, liberals insist that liberties and human rights are derived from the dignity of human beings.[19] Rawls proposes that principles anchored in liberties and rights should be the primary principles of morality and should be put at the first priority in politics.[20] Their insistence is quite vigorous, because it seems grounded on certain metaphysical assumptions, although most liberals are inclined not to accept metaphysics. Communitarians are more or less compelled to accept liberal proposals. In addition, liberals attempt to reply to the communitarian critique. John Rawls and Ronald Dworkin argue that a liberal society founded on these values is not a modus vivendi but a community having intrinsic value.[21] Rawls also contends that his principles of social structure do not eliminate the other moral goods. All moral goods compatible with the principles of liberal social structure are welcomed and must be well developed.[22] Communitarians provide not too many satisfactory answers to these liberal contentions.

Second, communitarian proposals face more difficulties in practice than in theory. According to communitarian thinking, the resuscitation of virtues and the coherence of society rely on fraternity that should be cultivated in family, kinship, locality, religion and social rank. Unfortunately, in the age of modernity the social fabric has dramatically changed. The constitution of our social structure is no longer hierarchical. Social and geographical mobilities, the use of the internet, as well as divisibility in every aspect of human activity, erode the human infrastructure which helps cultivate our moral personality.[23] Recently, virtue ethicists of caring, such as Michael Slote, pay more attention to the agent of morality and to human innate love and care, although they are still concerned with social attachments which provide opportunities for people in modem society to develop virtues.[24] This trend shows that communitarians who rely too much on social attachments face a predicament of rapid social disintegration.

 

A new perspective: A Kantian critique

In order to show what the world of liberalism constitutes, we need tools which provide different perspectives and vocabularies other than those which communitarianism has provided. Although most communitarians regard Kant as the origin of modem liberalism, and indeed contemporary liberals and Kant share certain vocabularies, I am inclined to think that Kant’s practical philosophy is different from contemporary liberalism and that there are three reasons we should consider Kant as a good critic of contemporary liberalism.

First, Kant criticizes how “moral philosophers had up to now failed to account for our most basic moral concepts”.[25] Therefore, Kant articulates a metaphysics of morals which clearly distinguishes basic moral concepts and postulates a transcendental ground to ensure moral principles as absolute and objective. Distinctive from the perspective of virtues or a community, the Kantian metaphysics of morals concentrates in the determining ground of the will, the faculty of moral reasoning, the concept of Right and the idea of humanity. It helps us discover significant differences between a true sense of morality and a spurious morality.

Secondly, Kant establishes an essential and complete framework which has unity of the form of the will, plurality of the matter, and the totality of the system of the forms and the matters in order for students to grasp a whole picture of moral world (see 1.2).[26] For Kant, each maxim that has true moral value should comprise and manifest these three connotations and should “harmonize with a .possible kingdom of ends as with a kingdom of nature”.[27] Kant does not simply concentrate in formulating political principles or cultivating moral virtues by means of empirical human flourishing. We can explain all moral concepts systematically in his conceptual framework of morality.

Third, most contemporary liberals imitate Kant’s terms and words or borrow certain concepts from Kant, such as liberty, right, choice, capacity, dignity and humanity. It is not easy to have an accurate critique of contemporary liberalism, as the communitarians claim to do, merely by appealing to a group of words and concepts from traditional moral theories which are foreign to contemporary liberalism. Many deficiencies in contemporary liberalism should be disclosed from within. For example, while political liberalism insists on formulating principles independent of metaphysical and ethical doctrines, Kant construes a state, human liberties and rights within the scope of his conception of ethics. When Rawls proposes the priority of right over the good, we should ask where his belief in human liberty and equality comes from. Kant, who is regarded as the predecessor of contemporary liberalism, should know that his followers have deviated from him.

 

Main content of this dissertation

I choose Rawls as the typical representative of contemporary liberalism to critique because he articulates his theory of justice precisely and has had a great impact on contemporary moral and political philosophy. However, this dissertation intends to criticize contemporary liberalism, not for Rawls’s specific ideas, such as the original position, the maximin rule or the difference principle, but rather for some common ideas most liberal thinkers share, such as interests, liberties, rights, reasons, social cooperation, humanity, and so on. I will proceed to my Kantian critique with four questions respectively discussed in the four Chapters.

The first two Chapters concentrate attention on finding a true sense of morality and disclosing spurious moralities which occupy contemporary moral philosophy. In the first Chapter, I ask what sort of determining ground of the will does a person stand on when he chooses a principle, the a priori moral law, the feeling of pleasure or eudaimonia. Kant contends that the determining ground of the will which produces morally practical laws is the a priori moral law. The feeling of pleasure furnishes no moral laws but simply rational practical precepts. Since Rawls refuses to admit any metaphysical ground, his theory of justice can be only anchored in the feeling of pleasure. In Rawls’s context, the two principles of justice are rational practical precepts. In addition to showing the prudential nature of Rawls’s theory, Chapter One also answers certain questions raised in moral philosophy, such as those concerning moral luck (see

1.2.6)            , moral relativism and emotivism (see 1.2.6), Kant’s empty formalism (see

1.2.7)             and the burdens of judgment (see 1.2.4). Also, in terms of the feeling of pleasure as the determining ground of the will, I distinguish between Rawls’s theory of justice and epicureanism and utilitarianism (see 1.4.3). According to Kant’s notion of the moral law prior to the moral good, a Kantian critique of communitarians is also discussed in Chapter One (see 1.4.4).

In the second Chapter, I probe the question of what sort of reason of the citizens in Rawls’s theory use to give laws, theoretical reason, technical practical reason or pure practical reason. Rawls does not clearly define “reason”. I must appeal to his conception of goodness as rationality which justifies his two principles of justice. Because the conception of goodness as rationality implies technical practical reason and a conception of good for, we find that a so-called well-ordered society is not a modus vivendi but simply a Hobbesian expediency. Some current controversies are also discussed in this chapter. For example, “are ends of self-love natural or rational?” (see 2.1.6) and “Is faculty of morality natural or rational?” (see 2.2.5). The “possessive market society” which Macpherson describes for liberal society is also discussed in Chapter Two (see

2.4.2)              .[28]

The third Chapter deals with the strongest argument which liberals uphold and communitarians almost cannot reject. I question whether we can constitute a world of morality by means of enforcing liberties and rights. In terms of Kant’s conception of Right, I contend that the subject of Right cannot ensure conformity from internal incentive for his object (the person who is assumed to be put under the obligation of one’s Right). Therefore, morals anchored in rights and liberties can only constitute the world of legality, but not the world of morality. Based on the conclusion I get from the concept of Right in this Chapter I also discuss several topics of debate, for example, whether Kant is a virtue ethicist or duty ethicist (see 3.5.1) and the significant point which distinguishes virtue ethics and rule ethics (see 3.5.3).

The fourth Chapter also deals with a very tough attitude liberals hold regarding the priority of right over the good. I speculate on the questions of “what consequences may be caused by Rawls’s notion of the priority of right over the good?” and “how can we understand accurately freedom of action and its limits so that moral goods can shape the scope of liberties and rights?”. In this Chapter, I take Kant’s conception of humanity as the core idea and attempt to show human beings as moral beings, and formulate a moral conception of freedom of action in terms of humanity.

Whether one will accept all the postulates Kant prescribes or not, this dissertation provides a framework for analysis and a critique of contemporary liberalism.

 

Chapter One: To Discern “Morality” in Terms of the Determining Ground of the Will

……

1.5 Concluding remarks

From the perspective of Kant’s notion of the determining ground of the will, this chapter helps solve three problems.

First, we distinguish the moral principles determined by the will grounded on the a priori moral law and the so-called moral principles determined by the will grounded on the feeling of pleasure. In Kant’s view, the former are the principles of morality (which Kant calls universal practical laws or moral laws); the latter is spurious morality.[29] [30] Some moral theories which obliterate the distinction between the moral law and the feeling of pleasure as the determining ground of the will can be separated out. For Kant, they cannot be regarded truly as moral theories.

Second, a problem which for a long time puzzles moral philosophers is how can we falsify theories which formulate principles based on happiness, pleasure or self-love? Some theories seem so strong that we cannot deny them simply by complaining that they are egoistic or neglect the rights of individuals. Kant admits that “happiness itself objectively belongs to our being”, and it may seem that we cannot override the necessity of it by rights that are also thought to belong to us. Anyway, appealing to Kant’s notion of the determining ground of the will, we refuse to regard principles anchored in happiness or pleasure as principles of morality. To do this we need to scrutinize the determining ground of the will which prescribes principles, rather than compare happiness with rights among individuals. Our perspective is sustained by finding out how to recognize the will which has the feeling of pleasure as its determining ground. Kant points out that if a desire aims at the representation of the existence of a thing, that is, if there is an object preceding the desire, then such a desire is pathological desire. All objects preceding pathological desire can be regarded as the feeling of pleasure, one’s happiness, or self-love, since the reality of a thing must eventually cause pleasure or happiness which we want. When the will anchors itself in the reality of a thing, it must have the feeling of pleasure as its determining ground. Such a will furnishes no moral laws. The principles commanded by such a will are simply rational practical precepts, because rational practical precepts are principles by which we find means. The will, according to the law of causality, finds means for fulfilling the reality of the thing we desire, so that pleasure, happiness or self-love is achieved. Since rational practical precepts have merely subjective conditioned necessity, they cannot be regarded as moral laws.

Theories of promoting happiness do not necessarily formulate moral principles unless they presuppose an a priori moral ground for assuring and limiting the conception of happiness, as does Kant’s.[31] [32]

Third, we find that Rawls’s principles of justice are rational practical precepts, not moral laws. Although the phrase “citizens are free and equal” is emphasized in Rawls’s theory, a more decisive point in his categorical procedure is that each party, in choosing between principles, tries as best he can to advance his interests?01 The determining ground of the parties’ will is the feeling of pleasure. Although Rawls’s theory in some ways has an appearance that is similar to Kant’s, Rawls’s theory differs from Kant’s in the determining ground of the will for a principle and thus formulates different sorts of principles. The two principles of justice would be morally practical laws if and only if the will determining them grounds itself on the moral law, without regard to any consideration of self-interest and self-love.

This chapter also introduces Kant’s metaphysics of morals, including Kant’s views about the moral law, pure practical reason, several formulas and the four moral endowments. A Kantian perspective is fundamental to our discussion which follows. Rawls is aware of the prudential nature of his conception of justice and tries to testify the moral worth of his principles by arguing from the perspective of the full theory of the good and the perspective of the concept of Right. In the next two chapters I will explicate the prudential nature of Rawls’s theory more fully, by examining technical practical reason which he wields in formulating his principles, and by examining the concept of Right which most liberals respect as the moral ground for the justification of their theories.

 

Chapter Two: Which Rationality? Is Rawlsian Justice an End or a Means?

……

2.5 Concluding remarks

There is a need to emphasize again that what I intend to object to is not the two principles of justice themselves, but the way Rawls justifies them. The two principles of justice for me are indeed objective moral laws and should be complied with universally, but Rawls’s theory makes them descend into prudential precepts, namely hypothetical imperatives.

Rawls indeed anticipates that when the principles are mutually recognized among peoples over a certain period of time and people see those norms as advantageous for themselves and for those they care for, people will invoke an effective and final sentiment of justice and will embrace those principles as an ideal of conduct.253 But I contend that Rawls’s argument based on congruence, which tries to assimilate a hypothetical imperative to a categorical imperative, is unsuccessful. The problem is that Rawls anchors his argument in the idea of goodness as rationality. It is an idea of good for, where technical practical reason is at work. In terms of the idea of good for, the two principles of justice are nevertheless hypothetical imperatives, and the society established on the basis of this idea is simply a means, an artifice in Hume’s word or Hobbes-style expediency in Jean Hampton’s phrase. A means, for Kant, refers to something which has simply conditional worth. The condition upholding a so-called well ordered society is the reciprocal assurance and mutual interests of the parties’ community. If this condition is lacking, the social order will collapse. That is

 

253The Law of Peoples, p. 44.

 

why I call Rawlsian society a modus vivendi. A great and dangerous implication worth noticing in his theory is the tendency to treat persons as merely means. Although Rawls elevates the worth of liberties and rights of persons, his theory makes people treat each other, including themselves, as objects they rationally want. The conception of a person is not coherent in his theory. His veiled anti-humanity presumptions might lead to coercive conclusions with regard to other cultures and peoples heterogeneous to his conception of justice.

Rawls’ way of thinking does not provide a proper access to understanding morality. Kant has a brilliant remark about how to develop the virtues. In a footnote concerning external incentives to virtues, he says:

I have a letter from the late excellent Sulzer in which he asks me what the cause might be that the teachings of virtue, however much they contain that is convincing to reason, accomplish so little. [...] However, my answer is simply that the teachers themselves have not brought their concepts to purity, but, since they want to do too well by hunting everywhere for motives to moral goodness, in trying to make their medicine really strong they spoil it. For the most ordinary observation shows that if we represent, on the one hand, an action of integrity done with steadfast soul, apart from every view to advantage of any kind in this world or another and even under the greatest temptations of need or allurement, it leaves far behind and eclipses any similar act that was affected in the least by an extraneous incentive; it elevates the soul and awakens a wish to be able to act in like manner oneself. Even children of moderate age feel this impression, and one should never represent duties to them in any other way.254

Rawls in hunting everywhere for the moral incentive of justice may eventually spoil it. Kant insists that a categorical imperative is unconditional and thus has an objective necessity. As an end in itself, a categorical imperative is different in nature from a hypothetical imperative, since the latter is conditional and thus has only a subjectively conditioned necessity. Also, they are inspired from different faculties of reason, pure practical reason commanding the former and technical practical reason commanding the latter. Hume does not accept the theory of pure practical reason, but he also finds that though justice is artificial, the sense of its morality is natural.255 In Kant’s view, it is obvious that an “artifice” and “morality” should be ascribed to distinct logics. Morality cannot be successfully cultivated simply by a long-time practice of an artificial arrangement or by gaining advantages form the artifice. Justice would be a moral law if and only if it is generated from pure practical reason, not from calculations by technical practical reason. Morality is action presented according to the objective moral law; moral action is done from duty; that is, the action is an end in itself, and is unconditional. Let us conclude this chapter with Kant’s words:

The genuine moral incentive of pure practical reason is nothing other than the pure moral law itself insofar as it lets us discover the sublimity of our own supersensible existence and subjectively effects respect for their higher vocation in human beings, who are at the same time conscious of their sensible existence and of the dependence on their pathological affected nature. Now, so many charms and attractions of

 

254                                                GMM [4:411], Kant’s footnote.

255                                                A Treatise of Human Nature, p. 619.


 

life may well be connected with this incentive that even for their sake alone the most prudent choice of a reasonable Epicurean, reflecting on the greatest well-being of life, would declare itself for moral conduct; and it can even be advisable to connect this prospect of a cheerful enjoyment of life with that incentive which is supreme and already sufficiently determining of itself. [...] For that would be tantamount to wanting to taint the pure moral disposition in its source. The majesty of duty has nothing to do with the enjoyment of life; it has its own law and its own court, and even though one might want to shake both of them together thoroughly, so as to give them blended, like medicine, to the sick soul, they soon separate of themselves; if they do not, the former will effect nothing at all, and though physical life might gain some force, the moral life would fade away irrecoverably.256

In order to enhance categorical imperatives, we must:

(1)   Be cautious about moral theories which confuse categorical imperatives and hypothetical imperatives. The distinctive logic of categorical imperatives should be respected.

(2)   We must turn our eyes to a wider ethical background that explains human beings and the origin of morality, because true moral sentiment would not develop unless we cultivate it within the realm of virtues.

Rawls’s insistence on constituting a political theory not derived from any ethical assumptions makes him fall into a dilemma. Because he doesn’t consider virtues, such as the virtue of love and the virtue of respect, as the foundation of the “democratic well ordered society”, constant fear and tensions arise amongst citizens in a well ordered society, which merely sustains itself through a prudential and fragile counterbalance.



 

Chapter Three: The “Right-Morality” Gap -- A Close Scrutiny of Kant’s Conceptions of Right, Duty, Incentive and the Subject

……

3.6 Concluding remarks: bring the Right back to within the scope of ethics

This chapter deals with the concept of Right and attempts to clarify the ambiguous relationship between Right and morality that arises in contemporary moral philosophy. It has reached four conclusions.

First, the concept of Right, as a concept of justifying something I am entitled to have, reveals the passive feature of morals. If somebody infringes my rights, he is morally wrong; but I, as the subject of Right, do not have to present any action other than protecting what is mine. In particular, I do not have to present any moral action.

Second, most right-based theories conceive Right as independent from all metaphysical moral and philosophical doctrines. Right-based theories carefully confine themselves within the strict concept of Right. Since the strict concept of Right does not require actions to be done from internal incentive (which is to say that it does not require someone to act from duty, but simply to act by duty), the action accomplished is not necessarily but only contingently moral. Theoretically we cannot achieve morality simply by conceiving the object of Right as the subject of morality, nor can morality be conduced via practicing the principles of justice in the context of a mutual advantageous cooperative venture. That only leads us to the Right-morality gap, for there is no logical alignment of the concept of Right to the concept of morality.

Third, for contemporary liberals, the relation of ethics to Right is external, not internal. (Here I use “ethics” as in Kant’s conception. See 3.2.5.) Ethics is a companion or an instrument but not a component of the concept of Right. In other words, moral virtues are permissible if they do not override the principles of Right; political virtues are indispensable if they help preserve principles of Right and a just society. In this sense, the Right-morality gap has not yet been bridged. Endeavors to fill up the gap, such as Rawls’s argument from congruence (see 2.2) and attempts by Stephen Macedo and Peter Berkowitz to stress the pedigree of rights and liberty do not successfully bridge the gap between Right and morality.

Fourth, this Chapter indirectly refutes Rawls’s notion that political concept of justice is independent of all ethical doctrine. An ethical theory must be prior to the concept of Right. Rather, this Chapter claims to bring the concept of Right back to ethics, that is, the concept of Right should be incorporated as a concept of ethics and be construed within the concept of ethics. If strict Right is brought back to ethics, duties of Right are no longer coercive duties but ethical duties. The subject of Right and the object of Right (the subject of duties of Right) both regard the duties given by Right as the result of internal lawgiving and self-constraint, rather than juridical lawgiving and external constraints. As the subject of duties of Right acts in accordance with duties not from external incentive (including coercion) but from internal incentive, the subject of duties of Right is not merely an “object of Right” but a “subject of morality”.

We have five reasons to bring the concept of strict Right back to ethics.

(1)   Rawls and Dworkin try to explain why we should respect others’ rights (why we should be just) through a conception of a happy life.[33] However, appealing to our well-being as the determining ground of our will to choose a principle cannot lead to a moral law (universal practical laws) but only to prudential precepts (rational practical laws), as discussed in Chapter One. The feeling of pleasure is not a moral foundation but just incurs a prudential ground for the principle of respect for other’s Right (see Chapter Two).

(2)   An action is morally praiseworthy if and only if it is done out of a sense of ethics. We have to bridge the Right-morality gap so that actions conform to Right out of a true moral sentiment. This will not happen unless the conception of Right itself is an ethical conception. An ethical conception of Right not only requires the conception of Right procuring its ethical justification for ethics, but also requires that the duties Right prescribed must be necessarily constmed as ethical duties, not merely coercive duties.

(3)   Recent overemphasis on Right has eroded man’s moral powers and the coherence of the community as well. To uphold our humanity, it is urgent for us to revive our confident, open and sincere spirit. The best way to do this would be to conceive the concept of Right as falling within the concept of ethics. Therefore the cultivation of justice must come from ethical allurement, not prudential counsel.

(4)   As Plato remarks in The Republic, the completely good city arises after the completely good soul.[34] That is to say, psyche justice (personal justice) must be cultivated prior to social justice. On the other hand, Kant insists that there is only one virtue and one theory of virtue, that is, a single system that unites all the duties of virtue under one principle.[35] Plato also believes that to uphold one virtue needs support from the complete set of virtues. MacIntyre resorts toPlato’s idea that the virtues are not merely compatible with each other, but the presence of each requires the presence of all.297 That is to say, we can understand the concept of Right only within the concept of ethics as a whole. Justice will not be achieved unless the community and its citizens regard it as an inalienable part of their complete virtues.

Accordingly, although Kant articulates the doctrine of Right, he gives us a vision of respect for Right:

Respect for Right is meritorious. For a man thereby makes the Right of humanity, or also the Right of men, his end and in so doing widens his concept of duty beyond the concept of what is due, since another can indeed by his right require of me actions in accordance with the law, but not that the law be also my incentive to such actions. The same holds true of the universal ethical command, “act in conformity with duty from duty.” To establish and quicken this disposition in oneself is meritorious, since it goes beyond the law of duty for actions and makes the law itself also the incentive.298

Generally, an action conforming to a duty, e.g., to keep a promise made in a contract, might be done from internal duty (ethics) or from coercive duty (Right), or, more commonly done from the both. What kind of incentive the subject

 

MacIntyre, After Virtue, p. 142. MM [391], p. 194.

 

for the right, he makes the “Right of men”[36] his end. His action is done from internal incentive and it widens the concept of duty beyond the concept of what is due. If this is the case, the action is meritorious and moral,[37] because we know that even if the capacity coercing him is loosened, he will still keep the promise. But this resolve is from ethics, not from Right. He takes an ethical view for his duty. At this time, he regards himself as a subject of ethical duty, not a subject of coercive duty. Kant concludes:

The moral capacity to constrain oneself can be called virtue, action springing from such a disposition [respect for law] can be call virtuous [ethical] action, even though the law lays down a duty of Right: for it is the doctrine of virtue that commands us to hold the Right of men sacred.[38]

In Perpetual Peace Kant shows that the principles of right (outer freedom) as being a technical task and as being a moral task are different. If political, international and cosmopolitan rights are treated simply as principles seeking to propose objects of the will, the problems of right for politicians are mere technical tasks; but if those rights are treated as principles which have absolute necessity, they are moral tasks.[39] For Kant:

A moral task is totally different in its execution from technical problems, to bring about perpetual peace, which is desirable not just as a physical good, but also as a state of affairs which must arise out of recognizing one’s duty.303

As Kant insists that the concept of duty, ethical duty, inspired from our pure practical reason must take precedence over all subjective ends, he offers the following advice:

Seek ye first the kingdom of pure practical reason and its righteousness, and your object (the blessing of perpetual peace) will be added unto you.

This Chapter indirectly refutes Rawls’s notion that the political concept of justice is independent of all ethical doctrines. In this chapter I have aimed to bring the concept of Right back to ethics. I believe that as a part of ethics (which is characterized with internal lawgiving, self-constraint and internal incentive), the concept of Right will be more intelligible and sustainable.

 

304 Kant explains: “For morality, with regard to its principles of public right, has the peculiar feature that the less it makes its conduct depend upon the end it envisages (whether this is a physical or moral advantage), the more it will in general harmonize with its end.” (“Perpetual Peace”, in Kant- Political Writings, p. 123.) For Kant, the reason for this is that “it is precisely the general will as it is given a priori, within a single people or in the mutual relationships of various peoples, which alone determines what is right among men. But this union of the will of all, if only it is put into practice in a consistent way, can also, within the mechanism of nature, be the cause which leads to the intended result and gives effect to the concept of right.” (Ibid.)

 

Chapter Four: The Moral Conception of Freedom of Action and Its Limit in Kant’s Idea of Humanity

……

4.5 Concluding Remarks

This chapter tries to probe a moral conception of freedom of action from is very foundation, the concept of humanity. First of all, I criticize the deficiencies in Rawls’s and Mill’s suggestions about the limits of freedom of action. Then I point out that before we consider how we can legitimately interfere in one’s freedom of action by using external coercion, we have to understand freedom of action from its two senses, the narrow sense and the broad sense. The narrow sense of freedom of action considers simply the Universal Law of Freedom which deals with a reciprocal relation of individual rights. The narrow sense of freedom of action puts the moral conception of freedom of action in a moral system as a whole and conceives it as the residue of ethical duties, including duties of Right and duties of virtue.

In order to sustain the narrow sense of freedom of action, I investigate the concept of humanity which justifies freedom of action and limits its scope. Contemporary thinkers tend to take the concept of humanity for granted or prefer to understand it as a rational attribute of men and obliterate the distinction between men’s moral rationality and instrumental rationality. I spent more than thirty pages discussing Kant’s notion of humanity and showing that human capacity for setting moral ends must be the core and the foundation of humanity. We entitled to freedom of action therefore not simply because of our capacity for setting ends of self-love or ends following from hypothetical imperatives, but rather because that we are moral beings.

Since we are moral beings, we impose moral duties to ourselves. From a moral perspective, our freedom of action is therefore limited by three criteria. (1) the Universal Law of Freedom; (2) public rights and common goods; and (3) other ethical duties our pure practical reason gives to us. There will be no priority among these three criteria for all of them are ethical duties. Someone may question whether it is appropriate to incorporate ethical duties in the criteria of limiting freedom of action because Kant insists that ethical duties (viz. duties of virtue) cannot be enforced by external laws. It seems to me there are two different understandings of Kant. One understanding is that all ethical duties (viz. duties of virtue) should be removed from external laws. Another understanding is that since ethical duties require conformity from internal incentive, it is impossible for us to procure internal conformity with ethical duties by using external laws for their enforcement. I cling to the latter understanding and contend that from the latter understanding the conclusion does not follow that all ethical duties should be eliminated from external laws. My aim in this Chapter is to provide a theoretically moral justification for our entitlement to freedom of action and for its limitations, but I am aware of that other criteria may be appealed for lawmaking and policymaking in practice.

 

Conclusion

The questions concerned

The question I endeavor to answer in this dissertation is: why does morality in contemporary times decline and lose its strength both in theory and practice? The reason for this may be complicated. But what I am concerned with most is what sort of intellectual trends or moral theories may cause or encourage the decay of moral practice. This question has gone through the whole dissertation and I believe we will know how to revive morality if we can answer this question well.

The liberal-communitarian debate has gone on for more than twenty years. I appreciate the great contribution the communitarians have achieved. But there are problems which communitarians have raised which are still unsolved. We need a new perspective which interprets morality from an angle different from communitarianism but which is vigorous enough to solve the problems remaining from the communitarians. In this dissertation I take Kant’s standpoint to criticize Rawls’s theory of justice, especially concentrating on Kant’s metaphysics of morals, which deals with the determining ground of the will, the faculty of moral reasoning, the concept of Right and the idea of humanity. Since most contemporary liberal theories refuse to accept any metaphysical assumptions, liberal thinkers must justify the principles they formulate in some other way. For example, Rawls invents a procedural conception of the original position as the platform where people choose the two principles of justice. In this context, my main question of why morality has declined in the contemporary world is therefore developed into four chapters and leads to the following four conclusions:

 

An overall review

First, I distinguish principles determined by the will which are grounded on the a priori moral law from principles determined by the will which are grounded on the feeling of pleasure. In Kant’s view, the former is the principles of morality (Kant calls them universal practical laws or moral laws); the latter is spurious morality (which Kant ascribes to rational practical precepts or prudential counsels). In refusing to derive the principles of justice from metaphysical, religious or ethical doctrines, Rawls can simply formulate his principles in terms of the feeling of pleasure. According to Kant’s notion of the determining ground of the will, the two principles of justice are chosen by the feeling of pleasure as the determining ground of the will, and serve as prudential counsels, that is, principles for finding means for one’s own happiness. A prudential counsel only has subjectively conditioned necessity. It is not fully objectively and universally valid, and therefore it has less moral binding power. A society found on prudential counsels is nevertheless a modus vivendi.

Second, I argue that when the feeling of pleasure is an object of the will, the faculty of reasoning for such a principle must be technical practical reason (purposive and instrumental reason), but not pure practical reason. For Kant, the former is the faculty which finds means for the desired results, while the latter finds moral ends. Sustaining Rawlsian society relies on the conception of justice which is indeed a conception based on technical practical reason. Features of Hobbesianism, such as mutual fear and reciprocal coercion also subsist in the Rawlsian society. Because technical practical reason can simply recognize objects as means, a good person for Rawls is defined as a person who possesses virtues that are rationally needed by other citizens. In this sense, a person becomes a means for others. There must therefore be a trait of anti-humanity underlying in Rawls’s conception of justice.

The third Chapter contends that we cannot derive morality from the concept of Right. The bearer of a right has moral authorization to put others under obligation, but he requires merely an external action conforming to the duty of Right. In this regard, persons who are put under the duties of Right may present simply external actions in accordance with their duties and do not necessarily have any internal incentive following their conformity. Most likely, they conform to duties prescribed by others for the sake of their own purposes, not simply for the sake of duty. For Kant, only actions conforming to duty from duty (from internal incentive) can be regarded as moral actions. Otherwise they are simply actions of legality. Right-based theories which are anchored in the concept of Right establish a society of legality, not a society of morality. I invent the phrase a “Right-morality gap” to depict the rationale underlying the right-based society.

My last Chapter attempts to broaden the liberals’ view of liberty through a study of humanity that renders us rational and moral beings. I believe that to envisage the constraint of outer freedom and to justify one’s outer freedom have the same theoretical and practical importance. This chapter aims at establishing a feasible moral foundation through examining outer freedom using the concept of humanity for legislation and policy making when the government encounters problems in protecting or limiting one’s outer freedom. For Kant, our humanity justifies our entitlement to outer freedom and also gives limits to our outer freedom. Humanity does not merely show our capacity to set ends, but rather manifests our capacity to set moral ends. Therefore, I conclude that in addition to the reciprocal coercion concerning the external actions of each individual, the moral conception of freedom of action includes a doctrine that a person is bound by public rights (collective rights) and the moral duties he sets for himself. That is, a person is constrained by his ethical duties as well as by the considerations of common good that Republicanism and Communitarianism usually mention. I also suggest that even though the criminal law tends not to enforce ethical duties, there is no ground to remove all ethical duties which are inherent in the criminal law. Lawmakers may decriminalize certain immoral actions because of prudential considerations, but there is still an inner linkage between morals and external laws.

 



[1]     Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue. 6th ed., (London, 1994), p. 1.

[2]     Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self, (Cambridge, 1989), Chapter III.

[3]     After Virtue, pp. 6-8.

[4]     MacIntyre cites three arguments of abortion: “(a) Everybody has certain rights over his or her own person, [...] therefore abortion is morally permissible and ought to be allowed by law. [...] (b) I cannot will that my mother should have had an abortion when she was pregnant with me. If I can not will this in my own case, how can I consistently deny to others the right to life that I claim for myself? [...] (c) Murder is wrong.” See After Virtue, p. 7.

[5]    After Virtue , p. 7.

[6]    According to Macintyre, “emotivism is the doctrine that all evaluative judgments and more specifically all moral judgments are nothing but expressions of preference, expressions of attitude or feeling, insofar as they are moral or evaluative in character.” See After Virtue, pp. 11-12.

[7]    MacIntyre, After Virtue, p. 8.

[8]    Francis Fukuvama. The end of History and the Last Man. (New York, 1992).

[9]        Francis Fukuyama. Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity (London. 1995).

[10]     After Virtue, p. 257.

[11]      Anscombe writes: “To have a law conception of ethics is to hold that what is needed for conformity with the virtues failure in which is the mark of being bad qua man - (and not merely, say qua craftsman or logician) - that what is needed for this, is required by divine law. Naturally it is not possible to have such a conception unless you believe in God as a law-giver; like Jews, Stoics and Christians. But if such a conception is dominant for many centuries, and then is given up, it is a natural result that the concepts of ‘obligation’, of being bound or required as by a law, should remain though they had lost their root; and if the word ‘ought’ has become invested in certain contexts with the sense of ‘obligation’, it too will remain to be spoken with a special emphasis and a special felling in these contexts.” See G E. M. Anscombe, “Modem Moral Philosophy”, in Ethics. Religion and Politics: The Collective Philosophical Papers of G E. M. Anscombe. (Oxford, 1981), pp. 26-42 (p. 30).

[12]     G E. M Anscombe, “Modem Moral Philosophy”, pp. 26-42.

[13]      Charles Taylor, “Atomism”, in Communitarianism and Individualism, ed. Avineri Shlomo and De-Shalit Avner, (Oxford, 1992), pp. 29-50 (p. 30).

[14]     Michael Sandel, Liberalism and the Limits of Justice. (New York, 1983), p. 148.

[15]     MacIntyre. After Virtue, p. 151.

[16]      MacIntyre says: “This socially embedded divorce between rales defining right action on the one hand and conceptions of the human good on the other is one of those aspects of such societies in virtue of which they are entitled to be called liberal. For it is a central tenet of recent liberal moral and political theory that public institutions and more especially the institutions of government should be systematically neutral as between rival conceptions of what the human good is. Allegiance to any particular conception of human good ought, on this liberal view, to be a matter of private individual preference and choice, and it is contrary to rationality to require of anyone that he or she should agree with anyone else in giving his or her allegiance to some particular view.” See Alasdair MacIntyre, “The Privatization of Good: An Inaugural Lecture”, in Liberalism-Communitarianism Debate, ed. C. F. Delaney (London, 1994), p. 3.

[17]     Michael Sandel. Liberalism and the Limits of Justice, pp. 175-77.

[18]     Ibid, pp. 149-150.

[19]     Rawls, TJ, pp. 504-505. See also Rawls, PL [Lecture I], pp. 3, 6, 14, 18 and 29- 36; [Lecture VIII], p. 293.

[20]     Rawls, PL [Lecture V],pp. 173-74.

[21]     Ronald Dworkin, “Liberal community”, California Law Review. 77 (3), p. 479. See also John Rawls, Political Liberalism. (New York, 1993) [Lecture V], pp. 201-06.

[22]    Rawls, Political Liberalism [Lecture V], pp. 190-95.

[23]     G W. F. Hegel, Elements of the Philosophy of Right trans. H. B. Nisbet, ed. Allen Wood, (New York, 1998), [198].

[24]    Michael Slote, “Agent-Based Virtue Ethics”, in Virtue Ethics, ed. Roger Crisp and Michael Slote (New York, 1997).

[25]    Immanuel Kant, The Metaphysics of Morals, trans. Mary Gregor (Cambridge, 1991), the translator’s introduction, p. 2. For Kant’s own critics, see GMM, section I.

[26]    Immanuel Kant Fundamental Principles of the Metaphvsic of Morals, trans. T. K. Abbott (New York, 1988), pp. 65-66.

[27]    Ibid, p. 65.

[28]     C. B. Macpherson, The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes to Locke. (Oxford: 1962), p. 63.

[29]   GMM [4:441] and [4:427].

[30]   GMM [4:416], p. 44.

[31]  Kant says: “To ensure one’s own happiness is a duty. [...] He should promote his happiness not from his inclination but from his duty.” See GMM [4:399], pp. 23-24. In this context, Kant puts his conception of one’s happiness in his theory of duty which has presupposed the moral law as its foundation. Therefore, “promoting one’s own happiness” is under the limit of the moral law (see 4.4.1).

[32]  TJ [25], pp. 142-43.

[33]   Dworkin, Ronald. “Foundations of Liberal Equality”, in Equal Freedom: Selected Tanner Lecture on Human Values, pp. 190-306.

[34]   Gerasimos Santas, Goods and Justice: Plato. Aristotle, and the Modems, (Oxford, 2001) pp.

149-150.

[35]  MM, Preface.

^ MM [240], p. 65.

[37]   MM [390], p. 194 and [394], p. 198.

[38]   MM [394], p. 198.

[39]   Kant. “Perpetual Peace”, in Kant: Political Writings, p. 122.