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Loving impartially: reconciling partiality and impartiality in Kantian ethics

Lovejoy, Galen P. (2024) Loving impartially: reconciling partiality and impartiality in Kantian ethics. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This paper argues for a reading of Kantian ethics that establishes equal ethical concern for all humanity and, in doing so, provides one reasons to be partial towards the ends of special relations (friends and family) out of love. Instead of arguing that acting out of love is merely permissible, I argue that Kantian ethics establishes love, alongside respect, as a possible kind of moral relationship that one can have with another. The argument proceeds with an analysis of how Kant creates a generic account of value through his notion of ends in themselves and how this generic account of value establishes equal ethical concern for all humanity. I then consider some possible ways of understanding how Kant thinks we should treat ends in themselves and argue for the position that treating people as ends in themselves is a matter of recognizing them as self-existent ends according to Kant’s own notion of self-existent ends. I go on to argue that Kant’s notion of self-existent ends provides the basis for the distinction between the moral relationships of respect and love. I then argue that a distinction in kind between respect and love can be found in a notion of deep involvement, where deep involvement is understood as the provision of additional reasons to adopt and promote the ends of another person unique to love. Finally, I consider how these reasons help us to distinguish between the cases in which special relations do and do not think the same ends are important; when one should choose the ends of stranger over a special relation and the different kinds of pathological special relationships that prevent one from doing so; as well as what is owed to lonely people.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Lovejoy, Galen P.GPL6@pitt.eduGPL6
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorPendlebury, Thomas
Committee MemberEngstrom, Stephen P.engstrom@pitt.eduENGSTROM
Committee MemberPallikkathayil, Japajapa@pitt.eduJAPA
Committee MemberFix, Jeremy
Date: 22 April 2024
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 3 April 2024
Approval Date: 22 April 2024
Submission Date: 15 April 2024
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 62
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Philosophy
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Kant, Ethics, Partiality, Impartiality, Love, Respect, Beneficence, Happiness, Reciprocity, Cosmopolitanism, Imperfect Right
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2024 15:42
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2024 15:42


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