Kant on Mind, Action, and Ethics by Julian Wuerth Book Summary:
Julian Wuerth offers a radically new interpretation of Kant's theories of mind, action, and ethics. His interpretation of the mind considers a far wider range of Kant's recorded thought from across his philosophical corpus than previous interpretations, and advances in tandem an interpretation of the foundations of Kant's transcendental idealism and his metaphysics of substance. Against traditional empiricist approaches, Wuerth demonstrates that Kant argues thatwe are conscious of our own noumenal substantiality and simplicity, and draws on the teachings of his transcendental idealism to strip the conclusions of our noumenal substantiality and simplicity oftheir 'usefulness.' He then goes on to undertake a ground-breaking study of Kant's notoriously vast, complex, and opaque account of the mind's powers, and continues to confront the persisting stumbling block of interpretations of Kant's ethics--Kant's theory of action--and show that Kant rejects intellectualist theories of action that reduce practical agents to pure reason. Finally, Wuerth applies these new findings about Kant's theory of mind and action to an analysis of the foundations ofKant's ethics. He rejects the dominant constructivist interpretation in favor of a moral realist one, and demonstrates that Kant's ethics recognizes the centrality to moral living of the ongoingcultivation of our capacities more broadly, including our capacities for cognition, feeling, desire, and character.