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Philosophy Department Colloquium Series presents Adam Cureton from the University of Tennessee

Some Forms of Respect for People with Disabilities:
A Kantian Perspective

Wednesday April 19th, 2017
12:00 - 2:00pm
CTIHB Room 459 (Tanner Library)


Conceptions of moral respect that are inspired by Immanuel Kant have tended to focus on how to properly respond to the inherent worth and dignity that all persons have simply because they are persons.  Kant recognized, however, that there is also a need to investigate the “different forms of respect to be shown to others in accordance with differences in their qualities or contingent relations” and to include these applications of respect as part of “the complete presentation” of a comprehensive moral system (MM 6:468-9). Unfortunately, Kant did not take on this important task in a sustained or systematic way.

The aim of this essay is to begin interpreting, applying and supplementing basic features of Kant’s moral framework in order to explain and justify what forms of respect are appropriate for different kinds of persons in different types of contexts beyond those forms of respect that we owe to all persons simply as persons.  I approach this task by focusing on the specific issue of how Kant’s conception of respect can be applied to cases in which competent but disabled adults are regarded and treated as children.

Last Updated: 4/17/17