Date of Award

8-11-2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Eric Wilson

Second Advisor

Sebastian Rand

Abstract

Immanuel Kant claims that moral laws must hold for all rational beings universally and necessarily. In this thesis I first investigate Kant’s arguments against moral systems that are based on empirical information which can be found throughout his moral corpus. Then, I show that in Kant’s own moral system what moral laws there are is partially determined by empirical information and that this result presents a problem for the necessity and universality of morality. Further, I argue that contrary to what one might expect, Kant’s criticisms of an empirical foundation for morality do not resolve this issue and that it is unclear how Kant would respond to my critique.

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