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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 31, Issue 3, 2021

Do We Need a New Enlightenment for the Twenty-First Century? Part II

Alessandro Pinzani
Pages 249-264

Do We Need a Metaphysics of Morals?
On the Actuality of Kant’s Project of Grounding A Priori Practical Principles

This paper argues that Kant’s project of a metaphysics of morals represents a normative ideal grounded on the core ideas of Enlightenment. In the first section, it analyzes Kant’s concept of metaphysical principles of morals by establishing a connection between a metaphysics of morals and Kant’s concept of metaphysics in general and of metaphysics of nature in particular. It then discusses what is metaphysical in the Doctrine of Right and the Doctrine of Virtue. In its last section, it tackles the question of whether a non-metaphysical reading of Kant’s doctrines of right and of virtue is desirable if we want to remain faithful to Kant’s Enlightenment project.