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Idealistic Studies

Volume 47, Issue 3, Fall 2017

James Furner
Pages 171-189
DOI: 10.5840/idstudies2018121981

Kant's Argument for the Formula of the End in Itself
A Logical Pluralism Interpretation

One approach to Kant’s argument for the Formula of the End in Itself (FEI) takes Kant to ground FEI as a possible categorical imperative with a regressive argument that rests on a non-moral conception of rational nature. This paper presents a new, logical pluralism version of this approach. In conjunction with three other steps of argument, the logical pluralism version of the regressive argument grounds FEI by showing that an agent is rationally required to adopt a self-affirming plural standpoint, and thus to take it to have absolute worth. A logical pluralism version of the regressive argument thereby avoids three objectionable claims relied on by other versions: that (1) a rational agent must take their end to be objectively good; that (2) if an agent values their own rational nature, then they must also value others’ rational nature; and that (3) any source of value must itself be of unconditional value.