Kantianism and Its Commitment to Non Naturalism

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Virginia Tech


Kantian ethics has a strong following amongst the philosophical community when it comes to morality and ethics. Many Kantians, including Christine Korsgaard, subscribe to the view that Kantianism is opposed to Non-Naturalism. This view, while understandable, is incorrect. In fact, the Kantian approach to ethics has a strong commitment to Non-Naturalism in its metaphysical construction. The purpose of this paper is to prove this dependence by showing the inferences and concepts of Kantianism that one cannot accept without accepting Non-Naturalistic principles. To demonstrate this connection between Kantianism and Non-Naturalism, I will give a summary of Kantianism through the interpretation given by Velleman (2005). Then I will present Non-Naturalism as presented by Fitzpatrick (2008) and Cuneo and Shafer-Landau (2014). After explaining these views as clearly as possible, I will explain why Kantianism is committed to Non-Naturalism, address the possible contradiction of Kantianism and Fitzpatrick's idea of 'ethical truths being independent of any perspective,' as well as address the issues raised by Korsgaard (2003) concerning the realist approach to Kantian ethics.



Ethical Realism, Kantianism, Kant, Non-Naturalism