IDEA Research Seminar - Rescue Cases and Obligatory Ends

Martin Sticker will be presenting for approximately half an hour, which will be followed by an informal discussion. All are welcome and there is no need to book.

I argue for a Kantian way to block a maximisation requirement that would make morality, specifically duties of rescue, extremely demanding. I argue that we should understand the application of imperfect duties to specific cases (such as cases of easy rescue and beneficence) not as determined by the authority duty enjoys over everything else (including personal projects), but by the framework Kant sets out for the pursuit ends. Agents have other ends than obligatory ones and they must weigh obligatory against other ends, including personal happiness. Obligatory ends are special among ends only insofar as they are not optional to adopt and insofar as agents must deserve their happiness for personal happiness to be good. My new reading of the normative status of imperfect duties affords a way of thinking about imperfect duties along familiar lines modeled on the everyday ways in which agents pursue their personal projects and balance and weigh different projects against each other. I  close with discussion of two potential problems for my proposal: Do I incorrectly conceive of moral problems as problems of instrumental rather than moral rationality/reasons and is my conception in some cases underdemanding?