Tag Archives: Kantianism

Tyler Cowen

[W]hen people say, “Oh, I’m a deontologist. Kant is my lodestar in ethics,” I don’t know how they ever make decisions at the margin based on that. It seems to me quite incoherent that deontology just says there’s a bunch of things you can’t do or maybe some things you’re obliged to do. But when it’s about more or less — “Well, how much money should we spend on the police force?” Try to get a Kantian to have a coherent framework for answering that question, other than saying, “Crime is wrong,” or “You’re obliged to come to the help of victims of crime.” It can’t be done.

Tyler Cowen, ‘Rob Wiblin interviews Tyler on Stubborn Attachments‘, October 16, 2018

J. J. C. Smart

I regard Peter as one of the great moralists, because I suspect that more than anyone he has helped to change the attitudes of very many people to the sufferings of animals. Peter is a utilitarian in normative ethics, and a humane attitude to animals is a natural corollary of utilitarianism. Utilitarian concern for animals goes back to Bentham, who, presumably alluding to the Kantians, said that the question was not whether animals can reason, but whether they can suffer.

J. J. C. Smart, ‘Reply to Singer’, in Philip Pettit, Richard Sylvan and Jean Norman (eds.), Metaphysics and Morality: Essays in Honour of J. J. C. Smart, Oxford, 1987, p. 192