13 Sep, 10 | by Iain Brassington
“You’re a Kantian,” people in my department tell me. At least, I think that’s what they say – I’m assuming that there’s no comma before the final syllable, and that I’ve got all the vowels right. I don’t think I am, actually (a Kantian, that is – I couldn’t comment on the other option). I’m fascinated by Kant, and think his moral system is magnificent, but I’m not sure it’s correct: I don’t buy the stuff about the nature of the will, I think he occludes the difference between reason and reasonability, and so on. Rather, my hunch is that it’s like a magnificently-crafted carriage clock in which some of the more important cogs have the wrong number of teeth. The mechanism may work smoothly and be a wonder of engineering, but the piece itself is deeply unreliable.
I’m not sure what my theoretical starting point is – I suspect it’s a kind of weirdly mutated Aristotelianism, laced with a bit of Kant (whom I think has more in common with Aristotle than he’d ever have admitted anyway). Having said this, I’m reasonably sure that I’m a non-consequentialist, and quite possibly an anti-consequentialist to boot.
At least, that’s what I’d say if you asked me. In practice, though? more…