File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_1999/bhaskar.9904, message 46

Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 21:51:37 -0500
Subject: Re: BHA: Kant on Yugoslavia

Louis Irwin wrote:
>Where is this view Kantian ethics coming from?  When I think of Kantian
>dictums regarding action, I think of his requirement of universalizability,
>a far cry, it seems to me, from placing "the normative content of an action
>exclusively in the agent's purpose."  Why is Kantian ethics thought on this
>list to be nothing more than a form of atomistic individualism?

Can it be that, as a matter of fact, under the present social structures
whose reproduction is predicated upon the exploitation and oppression of
the masses for the benefit of the few, ethical acitons are not
'universalizable'? Therefore, is the only haven of 'universalizability' not
in the imaginary head of the imaginary 'atomistic individual'?

Aside from that, even in a society without capitalist exploitation, can
ethical actions be universalizable? Marx said, 'from each according to his
ability, to each according to his need,' or something to that effect, when
he said what little he had to say about what a communist society may be
like. Neither ability nor need is universalizable, when we take the young,
the old, and the disabled into account, to say nothing of gender.


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