“Spielraum, Phenomenology, and the Art of Virtue: Hints of an ‘Embodied’ Ethics in Kant.”
“Spielraum, Phenomenology, and the Art of Virtue: Hints of an ‘Embodied’ Ethics in Kant.” International Journal of Philosophical Studies 24, no. 2 (2016): 234–51.
Although the suggestion that Kant offers a significant contribution to Virtue Ethics might be a surprising one, in The Metaphysics of Morals Kant makes virtue central to his ethics. In this paper, I introduce a Merleau-Pontian phenomenological perspective into the ongoing study of the convergence between Kant and Virtue Ethics, and argue that such a perspective promises to illuminate the continuity of Kant’s thought through an emphasis on the implicit structure of moral experience, r
evealing the insights his perspective contains for establishing an embodied phenomenology of virtue. These two aims are accomplished by exploring Kant’s “proto-phenomenological” descriptions of the weight of the moral law, his implicit “existential” account of human nature, and his notion of the art of navigating the complex moral terrain that involves a certain Spielraum (leeway). When thus viewed, Kant’s virtue ethics sketches out a subtle understanding of embodiment and temporality.
Kant; Merleau-Ponty; Virtue Ethics; Phenomenology; Embodiment; Temporality.