Talk:Kantian ethics

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Good article Kantian ethics has been listed as one of the Philosophy and religion good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
April 20, 2012 Good article nominee Listed
June 19, 2013 Featured article candidate Not promoted
Did You Know
A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on March 16, 2012.
The text of the entry was: Did you know ... that German philosopher Immanuel Kant believed that an action must be performed out of duty to be moral?
Current status: Good article
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Rawls & Lacan[edit]

Some content copied from User talk:ItsZippy#Kantian ethics.

Discussion copied from ItsZippy's talk page
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

As for Kantian ethics, I would be delighted if you could help in any way with the article. I'm not sure that there is anything specific that needs doing at the moment; in general, the article could do with a more extensive explanation of the theory itself and further responses from other philosophers. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 15:32, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, several things jump into mind right now. Influences (of and by Kant), proper references, more examples, references to medical and psychoanalytical articles, references to important terms, like deontology and such. How much do you know about this mans work by the way?
--Fan Singh Long (talk) 16:56, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
Whatever you can do would be great. I know a reasonable amount about Kant, though not as much as I do other philosophers. I'm learning as I write this article, though. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 19:25, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
That sounds good. How did you learn what you know about Kant exactly (apart from the article)?
I'll get on it any day now. I am having trouble finding these days, but that will change in the near future.
--Fan Singh Long (talk) 09:23, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, that sounds good. I've come across Kant in various reading I've done - I tend to read quite a bit around philosophy. His ethical theory and moral arguments came up in my philosophy A-level too, so I thought I'd read around the subject and then edit Wikipedia (Wikipedia is such a good revision tool). ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 19:35, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Ok, that is definately a good quality and WP is definately a good revision tool indeed. I would like to advise you, if you want to be correct in what you think to know, to read the writings of the philosophers themselves. Most interpretations have more to do with the interpreter (which is interesting in itself, ofcourse), than with the original philosopher. It has to do with the idea of trying to be descriptive, while being descriptive is always also a prescription of the things the describer finds important enough to mention.
Anyway, I am not sure if I should add anything at all to your piece, apart from references and perhaps some lines to the general introduction to add some terms and links. Do you want me to propose my less small changes on the talkpage first, so we can discuss them?
--Fan Singh Long (talk) 05:08, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Query: I have set my first task to be to properly source the first three formulations. Do you think I should use my Dutch copy as a source, or look for a source on the internet (in English), or both?
--Fan Singh Long (talk) 15:11, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
I mean editing Wikipedia is useful for revision - the research required is really useful, as it gets me reading loads of stuff around the course (or course, I do more that just edit Wikipedia). As for the article, feel free to just make changes as and when you need to (it's not my article) - if I disagree with anything you do, I'll bring it up and we can talk about it (as usual). To me, the most obvious things needed would be an expansion to the three forumulas (they cover enough, but could be more comprehensive) with additional references. Also, work on reactions might be nice - I'm not incredibly familiar with reactions to Kant's ethics, so if there's anything else, that might be worth adding. Dutch sources are fine to use - there is no requirement that sources are in English. If an English translation of the source exists, use that; if no one has translated the source, the Dutch one will be fine. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 17:46, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Hi Zippy,
  • I understood what you meant with revision tool. I agree. It forces you to be more precise in what you say and why you claim to say it. It forces you to do more research.
  • I want to clarify that Dutch (from Netherlands) is not Deutsch (from Germany), so Dutch is not Kant's original language. However, it should be a correct translation (my teacher recommended it and he is a German, speaking Dutch) and I will use it as such, also citing an online version in English.
  • As for the article, I thought the formulations were pretty good actually. I feel that it is accessible to people who are interested in this kind of thing. If someone wants more precise data, maybe that person should read Kant him- or herself, or maybe just check out a wiki article on the ethical books of Kant. However, I will definately consider changing the choice of words (after finishing some sources I am consulting). One thing I would like to change is your choice of 'reactions'. I would change it to influences. I will get to it later. If you are opposed to the very idea, please say so now. If not, you can always object later.
Anyway, cheers!
--Fan Singh Long (talk) 18:21, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Btw: Your notes seem to be what people commonly call references. Why did you choose this name?
Hi again.
  • Yes thanks - I know the difference between Dutch and Deutsch. My point was simply that with any foreign language, it is fine to use it as a source. If there is a translation available which is accepted as a good translation then go for that, but it doesn't matter too much.
  • If you think the formulations are good, that's fine. I'll do what I can to improve things when I see them. Bits of what I have written could certainly be improved, at least for style, so improve what you like there. I agree that the heading needs to change - I'm not sure influences is quite right (Hegel was not influenced by Kant, he just responded to him). Responses, maybe?
  • I know - I have just always used Notes: I'm habitual. Either Notes or References is allowed in the Manual of Style, so it's not that important.

ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 18:28, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Zippy,
  • I was re-reading the translations and I think I could edit it a little (just to be exact), but they are good enough as is imho. The questions is if we want to be literally correct here. I might do it before tucking in tonight, but maybe tomorrow. I am trying to get some references to off-wiki on-line sources working. You'll see them momentarily.
  • Is it possible to separate 'notes' and 'references'? That way we could be more specific in 'notes' for eager readers, making it similar to 'references', but adding to the grand total of the page.
--Fan Singh Long (talk) 19:17, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Concerning the 'reactions'; you didn't stick to direct reaction (Barton's book is from 1999). I am curious what you want with this section as a whole, since Barton is not in the same leage as Hegel and Schopenhauer (nor Habermas for that matter). However, perhaps we should include some of the most famous influences in different fields? I am thinking about Lacan in Psychoanalysis, Rawls in Politics/Law, Frege in Mathematics,....those few for now. What do you think?
--Fan Singh Long (talk) 19:34, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
I really don't care what we call the notes/references section - both are allowed in the MoS and neither one is any better than the other. It seems that the sources you added are from Kant's own work - I didn't realise that. In that case, it would be better to find the relevant information on Wikisource. For the reactions, I am thinking of something similar to the reception section in Augustinian theodicy and Irenaean theodicy. I'm hoping for a section which will cover any criticisms of Kant, including people who have developed or improves his ideas. With the influences, did these people say that their theories were developments of Kant's ethics (I don't know Lacan or Frege, but I don't recall Rawls doing so). What sources do you have from those three? ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 17:56, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Hi Zippy,
Frege was perhaps a stupid idea, because this is about kantian ontology (trans. idealistics), but both Lacan and Rawls base themselves on Kant. They could be great additions imho. The sources are in my personal bookcase by the way. My argument normally is: he says so himself. Secondary sources often contain errors imnho. I will check out the wikisource, I had not really seen it before.
Back to the matters at hand:
  • I was re-reading the article and there most of what you have can use some elaboration or (minor) edits. The question to me is how far we should go? Where to draw lines? Should it become a full-scale treatise, or be accessible to just any reader? I think that if I will go at it until I am satisfied, it will not be accessible for most anymore. That is probably not a good thing.
  • Maybe the most important of edit is the way you outline the topic. The thing of it is that Kant's ethics is basically one thing, which can be said in many ways. You cannot only understand one part of it, but you can only nderstand the system as a whole. Here, this is a direct quote:
On this origin are founded many expressions which designate the worth of objects according to moral ideas. The moral law is holy (inviolable). Man is indeed unholy enough, but he must regard humanity in his own person as holy. In all creation every thing one chooses and over which one has any power, may be used merely as means; man alone, and with him every rational creature, is an end in himself. By virtue of the autonomy of his freedom he is the subject of the moral law, which is holy. just for this reason every will, even every person's own individual will, in relation to itself, is restricted to the condition of agreement with the autonomy of the rational being, that is to say, that it is not to be subject to any purpose which cannot accord with a law which might arise from the will of the passive subject himself; the latter is, therefore, never to be employed merely as means, but as itself also, concurrently, an end. We justly attribute this condition even to the Divine will, with regard to the rational beings in the world, which are His creatures, since it rests on their personality, by which alone they are ends in themselves.
Is it really possible to understand why autonomy is important, if one does not understand the importance of the freedom to choose evil instead of good (as a part of ethical worth)? -No.
He has a way with words, doesn't he?
  • I think I should focus on adding Rawls and Lacan for now, to show the span of influence Kantian ethics have had. Then we can consider to which extent we should keep it accessible (or not) along the way.
I'll leave it at this for now (and await some feedback).
--Fan Singh Long (talk) 18:35, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Did you notice that my references contained the exact paragraphs where Kant says so? Imho the individual references have value. That way people can examine the online source quickly. Is that too precise?
--Fan Singh Long (talk) 18:38, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Hi, thanks for your reply.
We must be careful not to deviate too far from Kant's ethics in this article. This is not a detailed encyclopedia of philosophy, so excessive detail with render it inaccessible. A guide I find useful is to consider the level at which the idea is usually introduced and write the article so it could be understood by someone in one level lower. Kantian ethics would probably first come up at A level, so most of the article should be accessible to 16 year-old in school. Also, we need to ensure we do not get sidetracked. Sections on who Kant's ethics influenced are great, provided they remain focused on Kant's ethics - with Habermas, I briefly described discourse ethics, but the focus was on the influence of Kant.
It would be helpful if you could name the sources you are using (I might not own them, but I can probably access some of them over Google Books). That would make it easier for me to understand what you intend to add. Secondary sources can be very useful, as they allow us to present interpretations of ideas. We can use primary sources only to describe what people said - if we need to interpret something, that would be original research. I suggest we look for sources from recognised philosophers who give significant consideration to the influence of Kantian ethics on Rawls and Lacan.
I'm sorry if I hastily removed the sources - I hadn't intended to do so. It might be a good idea to add the name of the book to the bibliography section and then reference the author & page number in the references (as I have done with the other sources). It is not necessary for readers to be able to immediately access the source (we don't need to link to an online version of a book) - provided we reference the book and give the page number, we're ok.
Thanks for your help, I appreciate it. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 18:52, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Hi Zippy,
N.P., I love Kant. I don't like taking away from his essence though (be warned)! ;)
  • Why don't you handle the references the way you see fit. I would appreciate it if you find a way to mention the exact locations of the sources, but hey, people would need to read the source themselves anyway. The argument in favor for exact locations is reference efficiency. I could use wiki as a tool for quick quotes for instance. Now that is really not done.
  • In my edits I really just add what I have read myself in the works of the authors. That means I have the text in front of my face usually. Now with Rawls for instance I remember what he said, so I have typed it out in my sandbox (it needs a little work). I will use google books or something to find the exact quotes and reference it like that. If I am unable to find it, then I might look for other sources. I googled it already and there are a number anyway. Is this not done for some reason?
I want to say that I am enjoying working with you (especially on this project).
--Fan Singh Long (talk) 20:07, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply, Fan Singh Long
  • I'm happy to deal with the references issue. I was a bit hasty earlier, so I'm sorry about that. I'll have a look at fixing that later (either this evening or sometime this week).
  • That sounds fine then. I guess I'm just nervous because I don't know so much myself (that's more of a fault on my part). Add what you feel to be necessary and I'll make any edits I think are needed.
And I enjoy working with you too. I've found that philosophy is under-represented at Wikipedia so I rarely get to work with others on specific articles; it is refreshing when I can (my only Featured Article I worked on with someone else). ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 20:16, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Hi Zippy,
  • Take your time on the references. It'll happen when it'll happen.
  • Check out what I did with Rawls by the way.
--Fan Singh Long (talk) 05:30, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
I just like to read and because I read the right books (I always say science fiction for adults), I just know more than most. I always read at least 10 pages a day (well, almost always) in the train, or on the couch with coffee. That means one or two important thoughts a month. Total that makes about 30 a year, 300 in 10 years. I've had more time to read than you. If you take only the 10 pages every day, you will be full of knowledge after a couple of yours. You'll see.
Your improvements to Rawls & addition of Lacan look very good. I might give them a brief copyedit, but the content & sourcing is great. Just a quick note on style - when you put two references next to each other, don't bother with commas or spacing, like so: <ref>Reference one</ref><ref>Reference two</ref>. Also, in terms of reliable referencing, could you tell me what makes a reliable source? Thanks. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 19:01, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

The additions Fan Singh Long made to Rawls & Lacan look very good. I have copyedited them for style and have also made a few changes to avoid original research - it seemed that opinions and interpretations were beginning to be exhibited, which should be avoided. I've reworded some of the section on Lacan so that is expresses his views, as I think that is what was being expressed. If this is wrong, let me know or fix it. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 19:41, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Zippy,
I'm glad you like it. I had fun digging some stuff up as well. I'm also glad you are taking a look at it, because I notice that in the few years since I read Lacan, some personal judgments have mixed with fact. Some things are hard to back up sometimes, or are quotes from different authors (like Zizek) that I have trouble separating now. Anyway, Did you notice that Hegel's critique of Kant is really the core of the development Lacan mentions? That was one clever guy, huh? It took the rest of us a few centuries to catch on!
  • about I think it is creditable, just look at the contributors:
  • I'll take a look at the changes you made.
  • Do you think it would be a good idea if we will include some short pieces on the people that influenced Kant? I can mention 2 or 3 major influences off the top of my head.
  • I think we should remove Marcia Baron from the list. She isn't in the same league. What do you think?
--Fan Singh Long (talk) 03:30, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Query: If a text is published under a certain name (a lecture, as part of a bigger work, but is often mentioned as separate from that because of the historical significance), should it be italicised? My vote is yes, because I feel it an insult if it isn't, but this is personal admiration talking. I am talking avout Kant avce Sade, of course.
--Fan Singh Long (talk) 03:46, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your improvements, Fan Singh Long. If, as you say, some personal judgements have mixed with facts, I would advice you to exercise cation. Remember that everything we say needs to be reliably sourced and we cannot insert any of our own opinions. If you're finding something difficult to back up, don't add it until you can find it clearly stated in a source.
  • does look reliable, I think - thanks.
  • As for Kant avec Sade, I don't know what it was - was it a book, an essay...? That will help determine how it should be presented.
  • I was thinking that influences of Kant would be a good idea, yes.
  • I agree that Marcia Baron is not as important a figure as some of the others, but she does raise an important point, about the merits of duty which is also quite nice as it encompasses Michael Stocker's criticisms. I'm not sure; I'm not convinced that we should remove the section just because she is not as important without discussing the criticism and discussion raised in her work elsewhere.
  • The last sentence of the section on Lacan is troubling me, both with clarity and neutrality; what exactly are you trying to say? ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 17:30, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Hi Zippy,
I meant that you already took care of the things that I am (looking back) afraid of were mixed with personal judgments. You were like Ockham's Razor, so to speak.
  • Kant avec Sade was a lecture. Does that mean it should be italicised, or not?
  • Great, I'll get on the influences in a few days (I am thinking about Aristotle and Rousseau, maybe some eastern influence, but I am not sure if I can prove that). I am now building something for the general outline. I think you'll like it. Do you want me to be bold, or place it here first?
  • That is a good point, but we could fill a whole lot of room with philosophers that are known all over the world and that are the subject of classes all over the world. Marcia Baron is not, nor is Michael Stocker.
  • In the section of Lacan I was trying to relate what I said to Lacan himself and psychoanalysis. The point is that Lacan's division into the real, the imaginary and the symbolic are a result of this chain of thought. In fact, it is what Hegel already pointed out, more or less. It is really interesting stuff. What would you change about it?
--Fan Singh Long (talk) 18:51, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Hi, thanks for your reply, Fan Singh Long.
  • The lecture is an interesting one. I think that, if it was the title of the lecture (not just an excerpt), it can probably be italicised. I'm not too bothered, though - it's hardly a vital issue in the article.
  • That sounds good. Go ahead and be bold; I'm willing to change/revert and then discuss anything I disagree with, as is the norm. So long as everything is sourced and your don't present your own opinion, I am happy. Just a suggestion: Knowing Kant's influences will, by its nature, exhibit some level of opinion. I suggest, therefore, that you do not declare who Kant was influenced by, but refer to notable opinions, for example, "Scholar A has argued that Aristotle influenced Kant."
  • I agree that Marcia Baron is not that important. If you want to remove her, I won't complain. It would be helpful, though if we can source more criticisms of Kant's theory, from somewhere at least.
  • I agree - it is interesting. I am just not sure how important it is to this article, which needs to stay focussed on Kantian ethics. In addition, it seems to present an opinion or interpretation - perhaps it could be worded slightly differently to link it to the interpreter. Has anyone other that you made that point? If so, the sentence needs to be referenced to that person. If it is purely your own opinion, it should be removed.
Thanks, I'm pleased with the progress we're making here. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 20:19, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Hi Zippy,
Thanks fot Italicizing!
  • I am almost don with the part I am working on of Kant. I'll probably show you this morning or this evening. I am hoping you will pick up on original research, because even though I try, it is difficult to me to separate sometimes. If I have just read something it is a lot easier than to edit about the work of someone I have respected deeply for many years.
  • After that I will move on to some people who influenced Kantian Ethics. I think the best way to go is to note some of which Kant said that influenced him. I will properly reference them. I will get on it after I am done with what I am doing now. I would like your eye on my remakrs here as well, just to check me ofcourse.
  • I love your new separation of criticisms and influences. We should add influenced by later. This way I am not so surprised by Marcia Baron. Maybe I should google on criticisms anyway. I have really only read misinterpretations of him as criticisms. I will modify your idea a little btw. I hope you will like it.
  • Lacan said it. My source just mentioned Zizek and not Lacan. That is my shortcoming. But anyway, it is ok like this, right?
--Fan Singh Long (talk) 04:37, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Say Zippy, I just took a look at the sources. I noticed in the history that you had 'corrected' them. Although I agree that some remarks can be sources out of the mentioned paragraphes, not all references refer to the same paragraphes. If you persist in sourcing like this (with the a, b and c), you should remove the paragraphes. I'll be happy with it either way.
--Fan Singh Long (talk) 04:49, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Hi Fan Singh Long, I'll reply in bullet points (as is the Wikipedia way).
  • Your additions to the outline look good, especially in terms of content. Some original research has snuck in, often by way of puffery. Have you read words to watch? That might help with separating fact and opinion. I will copyedit the section in a moment. Problematic phrases include "like a true enlightenment thinker", "The three most important are" (we should include all 5, really). Looking through it, there aren't actually many problems. As a side note, there is no reason to refer to Kant's works by their German title on the English Wikipedia. Also, references should be placed after punctuation marks, not before.
  • A section on Kant's influences sounds good.
  • Criticisms of Kant may be misrepresentations, but they have still been made. The idea of neutrality is that we just tell people what people have said, regardless of whether we agree. Thus, any notable thinker who has made a badly-construed criticisms should be included. We can tell people that it is a misrepresentation iff a notable thinker has made the same point.
  • If Lacan said it, we should say that.
  • The 'correction' comments in my edit summaries referred to correcting mistakes in my previous edits, not to correcting the references themselves. On the note of references, I find the best way to reference work is to list all the books in the bibliography and in the actual reference, just refer to the author, year, and page number (as I have done in all the others). Like you, I prefer to reference with exact page numbers; however, this would make the reference section unwieldy if we fully referenced a book every time we wanted to refer to a new page. Does that make sense? If you can add the books to the bibliography section and then change the actual references, it would make things easier. If not, I'll get round to it later. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 18:35, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
I forgot to mention, the {{cite book}} template is useful for the bibliography (for consistency and to make it easier to edit). ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 18:41, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Morning Zippy,
I'll use my own sequence in replying to you for a bit (I am looking at your are a tough critic!).
  • Well, not just Lacan said it, but at that time the entire western world that was interested in the workings of the mind was adding one and one together. There were many that were working in this direction. Freud became famous for it because he was a doctor, concluding that for some illnesses he could find no physical reason, but a psychological. That is how he came up with his superego (in his Traumdeutung (Interpretation of dreams)). I know this because Lacan knows this. later I googled and found more sources. You tell me how to say it. I am still working on the morning coffee you see.
  • I like your piece on the influences of Kant. I wanted to add Rousseau as well. Kant's entire idea of duty and human autonomy are based on Rousseau's rationalism. I will see if I can add some words of Kant himself, but I am not sure how much time I wil have.
  • I am prone to puffery. Thanks for your criticism..although sometimes I puff when I see your revision! (But you are great, we make a good team I think.)
  • It is often proven that they are misconceptions. The only real critisms are stuff like "it doesn't tell us what to do". This is true; it describes hot to conclude what to do. I think the theory is sound for ethics (not for psychology, because it describes what one OUGHT to do). That is why no reasonable criticisms exist on it (IMHO). But, I just admire Knat, so...bias.
  • I refer in the same way, yes, but the Gutenberg does not show page numbers...And when you cite page numbers you need to cite which printing it is and everything (and which revision of it and stuff like that). Anyway, we are doing good so far, the more precise we are, the better.
  • I noticed someone doing that too. I might not use it...I don't really like it. Code like that has the tendency to be filled with bugs. But who knows about the future.
Anyway, I'll re-read your edits for a second and think about Kant's influences.
--Fan Singh Long (talk) 05:15, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
I edited out some stupid mistakes and I emphasized that Kant is an enlightenment thinker. Hope you like it.
--Fan Singh Long (talk) 05:32, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Edits look mostly good.
  • I don't know a great deal about psychoanalysis, and the sentence is not a huge issue. The only issue is ensuring no original research. The source for the sentence is to Lacan's own work, so we can only recount what Lacan said. If you have another source from a commentator on Lacan, different wording may be possible.
  • Thank you. If you have anything else to add (which I'm sure you have), go for it. I see you moved the influences section under the significance heading. I'm not sure this is entirely right. Kant is significant because of who he influenced and who criticised him; being influenced by other people does not in itself make the theory significant. Do you think we could keep the influences section its own section (it may well end up being shorter, but that's not a problem).
  • And I am prone to oversimplifying; I think we do work well together, yes.
  • Yeah, that's fine (I agree with most of what you say). However, it is not up to us, as Wikipedia editors, to determine which criticisms are valid - we're just here to report them. As I said, if you have any sources which criticise the criticisms, that would be great.
  • It is helpful to cite page numbers with books, but that is not necessary with references to WikiSource. We do not need to provide direct links to anything; we simply need to tell people where to find things - with books, that's a page number; with websites, that is a URL. I find using Wikisource easier because you don't need to deal with citing the right publisher, edition, etc. as it's all there in the link.
  • In this article, at least, we should use the method I suggest. This is simply for consistency - we should maintain the same reference style throughout. To ease your worries, I can assure you that the citation templates do not have any bugs in them; 383921 pages use {{cite book}} without any problems. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 15:59, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I've nominated this article as a Good Article (see the top of the page); hopefully it should be reviewed soon. Do please continue to improve it, though. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 16:14, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Morning Zippy,
  • I think it is ok like this. I agree on the original research. Thanks for being my review tool.
  • I will work on the influences in a few days. I am going to be more busy because of a family situation I'm sorry to say.
  • I know, but if a criticism is not coherent in itself, it should not be placed. With this I mean that it should not contain contradictions. Usually it does not get famous that way. If such a thing comes up I'll let you know.
  • You mean that people can look for it themselves on the page in question? What if the book is 400 pages long?
  • Ok, maybe it was something else that went wrong that time. I had the difficulty on another wikiproject I edit sometimes anyway.
Ok, I'm off. Cheers!
--Fan Singh Long (talk) 04:42, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Hey, the GA sure would a be great reward! Personally I feel you should have waited a few days until we are done. That way everyone would get the best idea of it. But the idea is definately grea!
--Fan Singh Long (talk) 04:46, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
  • That's great. :-)
  • Whatever you can do whenever is fine. I will continue to have a look too. You situation is understandable: take as long as you need over it, I hope things are ok with you.
  • I'm afraid that's not quite correct. Neutral point of view is one of Wikipedia's five pillars and is a core policy. When we are writing the article, we really do need to avoid putting in our own points of view, even if we believe that they are right. This does not mean that we present everything with equal value (WP:DUE); however, the weight we give to things must reflect the sources we have, not our own opinions. Is that ok?
  • Our Wikisource links are reasonably specific - we name chapters and sections - so no one will be looking through 400 pages. In any case, the reason we reference is to ensure that what we write is verifiable; we are not sourcing just to provide references for other people.
I'm sorry - I should have asked you before nominating the article. GA nominations tend to take a few days to get started anyway, and it is not a mark of completion - we can continue to edit the article during and after the nomination (indeed, it is not even the highest accolade). ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 19:26, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Hi Zippy,
  • I have had a bad time, but all seems to have worked out for the best. Thanks for your concern. Sometimes life is like this. All I can do is take it as it comes and then live with it.
  • I think you misunderstand what I was saying. We can be neutral in explaining Adolf Hitler;s point of view towards Jews. This is completely neutral, correct and should not be missing from any encyclopedia. Do you see my point? I am being explicit about this because sometimes what everyone thinks is true appears to be only a point of view. Like the way everyone believed the earth was the center of the universe centuries ago. If that isn't a point of view I don't know what is, but people were put to death for saying it orbited around the sun. See? Everything is a pov. The reason for this is because humans do not have a standing which allows us to actually know what is true or just a pov. We can only think we know. This, in fact, is only a pov. All 'scientific knowledge' (correct or not) is also a sum of 'pov's'. The error theory comes to mind. Maybe interesting to read for you. I think we intend to say more or less the same.
  • I understand the point, I am just not known with wikisource.
  • NP about the nomination. It is a great idea, I just feel like it should be 'finished' (although I know it will never be). Hey, I'll get started editing again. It's nice to be back.
--Fan Singh Long (talk) 07:30, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Hi, good to see you again. Sorry to hear that you're having problems, and I'm glad to hear that things are getting better. Now, to the article.
  • You're completely right. I think we essentially agree on this, I just want to stress the importance of reliable sources. We recount people views (whatever they are), giving them the weight that the sources merit them, supporting them when the sources support them, and criticising them when the sources criticise them.
  • That's fair enough. I'mm happy to deal with the Wikisource references. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 20:37, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

People that influenced Kant[edit]

I will be starting to work on this. The first that come to mind are:
  • Aristotle
  • Rousseau
  • Hinduism/buddhism
The last one will be difficult to prove, I am not sure where I can find it. I will consider writing it. I will start with Aristotle I guess.
--Fan Singh Long (talk) 07:37, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Looks good - go for it. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 20:37, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Kantian ethics/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Tom Morris (talk · contribs) 09:07, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

GA review (see here for what the criteria are, and here for what they are not)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
    No glaring issues.
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    Well sourced, perhaps a bit too much emphasis on book sources and avoiding journal sources. For the issues below in response to criteria three, I'd suggest balancing out the book sources with journal sources would be useful.
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    Meets GA standards, but I'd say that if authors of this article have any intention of taking it to FA, the reception section needs to be much longer. One thing that could definitely be included is more on the applicability of Kantian ethics: take areas of contested practical ethics (abortion, animal rights, euthanasia/assisted suicide) and point to the literature where the Kantian position is debated. Similarly, there is considerable debate in the philosophical literature about how exactly to interpret aspects of Kant. FA standard would require some discussion of this, I think. Neither of these two suggestions would count if properly sourced as either coatracking or trivia/cruft (etc.).
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
    Obviously, there's a lot more that can be said, but what exists looks pretty neutral to me.
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
    No edit warring or contentious talk page activity.
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
    (As a Rawls fan, I have to say, it's a shame we don't have a free image of John Rawls on Commons.)
  7. Overall:
    Very well done, really a model of how to do a well-written and readable philosophy GA in my opinion

Critics of Kant[edit]

Hi. There are two criticisms of Kant I'd like to add to this page because they seem to be fairly common.

1) Kant's emphasis on acting purely from duty excludes a desire to act in the same way as instructed by moral law. People ought to desire to act in the same way as instructed by moral law. Therefore, the emphasis on acting purely from duty is immoral. (Will get source for this. I don't have the book anymore but will get it again soon)

2) The second categorical imperative contradicts the first because a law cannot both be a priori and be created by humans who haven't always existed. "The theory of the categorical imperative is, moreover, inconsistent. According to it the human will is the highest lawgiving authority, and yet subject to precepts enjoined on it." (

Both of these arguments are posed both by the Catholic Church and others. Should I split them up putting the second in the Categorical Imperative section and the first in the critics of kant section or should i just put both in the critics of kant section. "e.g. ===Catholic Church===" --Polsky215 (talk) 02:24, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

That sounds like a good idea. I'd suggest you add them to the criticisms section under a Catholic Church heading, as you suggest. I'm always of the opinion that we should present someone's arguments first without including commentary/criticism from others, so that readers can fully understand what someone has said, before getting into further discussion of their ideas (they should fully understand Kantian ethics before hearing what people said about it). The second point you made is well sourced, so feel free to add that straight away. The first one sounds good; once you've found a reliable source for that, you can add it to the article. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 11:17, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

Applications: Lying[edit]

“Thus we may still be required to tell the truth to the murderer in Kant's example.”

Rather than telling the truth to the murderer, could one not simply remain silent? Or is there an aspect in Kantian ethics that similarly dictates that one should always and under all circumstances answer a question? If there isn’t, this seems to be a non-issue. -- (talk) 11:37, 7 November 2014 (UTC)


I made several shifts here, first moving some of the Pinckaers material from the last to the penultimate section, since it is mostly about virtue than about autonomy; then relabeled the last section from "catholic church" to "autonomy," since that is the point of contention, one not unique to catholic writers. I then shortened the encyclopedia reference, but added more brief references to critics making similar points. I also restored a paragraph I once wrote, which was removed at some point by an unknown editor and replaced with the contentious Pinckaer material, giving the (rather obvious, for those with more than a superficial understanding of Kantian ethics) Kantian response/correction to these criticisms of Kantian autonomy; I also added some references to this paragraph to O'Neill's refutation of this criticism, as well as Elshtain's ironic praise of what is essentially a version of Kantian autonomy, albeit one which she failed to notice was truly Kantian while she attacked her misunderstanding thereof.ScottForschler (talk) 15:21, 3 June 2017 (UTC)