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Blame Nietzsche, not Kant.

An unusual interpretation of Kant ["Against Kant and Consumerism" May/Jun. 2015], who is in fact a staunch defender of deontological morality and objective right and wrong. True, in a manner of speaking he locates morality 'in the mind', but he also argues that our moral sense is not self-constructed, but a fact of Nature. Transcendentalism--German, English, and American--was a reaction against Enlightenment-era rationalism (Locke), and the relativism it leads to.

However, Crawford does raise a valid point: it is questionable that one can find true moral meaning only by living in one's head. The world is an indispensable source of moral education. The same objectively moral Nature determines the outside world and our inner world. The two are supportive, not antithetical.

Insofar as Kantian emphasis on the individual led to the excesses of Nietzsche, Crawford is right. (But then the problem is Nietzsche, not Kant.)


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Title Annotation:Reactions
Author:Uebersax, John
Publication:The American Conservative
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Jul 1, 2015
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