SHS Web Conf.
Volume 161, 202312th Kant-Readings International Conference “Kant and the Ethics of Enlightenment: Historical Roots and Contemporary Relevance”
|Number of page(s)
|Enlightenment and Kant’s Ethics in Russia and the World
|08 March 2023
Kantian moral universalism, the “Enlightenment Project” and experimental ethics
Saint Petersburg State University, Institute of Philosophy, 7/9 University Embankment, 199034 Saint Petersburg, Russia
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
The main ideas of Kant’s moral philosophy were embodied in what can be called the “Enlightenment Project”. Kant’s calls for freedom, nti-paternalism and the requirement of abandonment of concern for moral behaviour are associated with ethical ideas of autonomy, the categorical imperative, negative and positive freedom, the universality of morality in relation to the human being as a rational actor etc. These ideas are consistent with the ideals of the “Enlightenment Project”. The following ideals can be distinguished: 1) the ideal of classical scientific rationality; 2) the idea of “pure reason”; 3) free, equal and autonomous individuals; 4) moral universalism; 5) the creation of a united human civilisation; 6) the ideals of moral progress and universal happiness. In contemporary philosophy and ethics the main objects of criticism are the ideals of a free and autonomous individual, as well as ideas about the possibility of the existence of universal morality. In the context of the discussion of the possibility of the existenceof rationally justified universal morality and the existing moral pluralism, the results of the experimental on-line research of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – “Moral Machine” – are interesting. The analysis of the results of this study shows the possibility of the existence of different types of rational universality (scientific-epistemological and moral). But while scientific universality requires theoretical unity of empirical data, moral universality firstly allows pluralism of norms and values and, secondly, requires a generalised normative regulation ofempirical moral diversity.
Key words: Enlightenment Project / moral universalism / moral machine / experimental ethics
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2023
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