Human Dignity and the Kingdom of Ends : Kantian Perspectives and Practical Applications book cover
1st Edition

Human Dignity and the Kingdom of Ends
Kantian Perspectives and Practical Applications

ISBN 9780367460013
Published December 31, 2021 by Routledge
356 Pages

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Book Description

This book advances our understanding of the nature, grounds and limits of human dignity by connecting it with Kant’s notion of an ideal moral community, or "Kingdom of Ends". It features original essays by leading Kant scholars and moral and political philosophers from around the world.

Although Kant’s influential injunction to treat humanity as an end in itself and never merely as a means has garnered the most attention among those interested in analyzing human dignity with a Kantian lens, Kant himself places much more emphasis on the Kingdom of Ends as crucial for defining human dignity. The chapters in this collection focus not only on interpretive issues related to the Kingdom of Ends but also on practical applications that have the potential to advance discussions about the nature and foundations of rights, the content of moral principles, the importance of moral ideals and attitudes and the nature of moral motivation. Exploring and connecting the ideas of human dignity and the Kingdom of Ends significantly deepens our moral understanding, advances discussions in moral and political philosophy and enhances our appreciation of Kant’s moral theory.

Human Dignity and the Kingdom of Ends: Kantian Perspectives and Practical Applications will appeal to scholars and advanced students of Kant, moral philosophy, political philosophy, and political theory.

Table of Contents


Jan-Willem van der Rijt and Adam Cureton

Part I. Human Dignity and the Kingdom of Ends in Kant’s Groundwork

1. The Dignity of Freedom

Paul Guyer

2. The Kingdom of Ends in the Groundwork

Oliver Sensen

3. "Closer to intuition (according to a certain analogy) and thereby to feeling:" Making Kant’s Kingdom of Ends Intuitive

Mark Timmons

4. Kant’s Understanding of Human Dignity as Self-Determination in the Realm of Ends

Dietmar von der Pfordten

Part II. The Politics of Human Dignity and the Kingdom of Ends

5. Honeste Vive: Dignity in Kant’s Theory of Juridical Obligation

Alice Pinheiro Walla

6. All Kings in the Kingdom of Ends?

Jeremy Waldron

7. The Transmutation of Dignity: Kant, neo-Roman Republicanism, and the Commonwealth of Ends

Jan-Willem van der Rijt

8. Respect and Retribution in the Kingdom of Ends

David Sussman

9. Kantian Human Dignity and a ‘Community of Rights’

Marcus Düwell

10. Poverty, Dignity, and the Kingdom of Ends

Corinna Mieth and Garrath Williams

Part III. The Ethics of Human Dignity and the Kingdom of Ends

11. Legislating in the Fray: Lillian Hellman and the Kingdom of Ends

Sarah Holtman

12. The Kingdom of Ends as Ideal

Kiran Bhardwaj

13. Gaslighting, Self-Respect, and the Kingdom of Ends

Cynthia A. Stark

14. Knowledge, Error, and Enlightenment in the Kingdom of Ends

Adam Cureton

15. Deliberating with Solidarity, Respect, and Appreciation

Thomas E. Hill, Jr.

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Jan-Willem van der Rijt is Associate Professor in Philosophy at Umeå University (Sweden). His research is centered on the themes of dignity, wellbeing, and strategic interaction. He authored The Importance of Assent: A Theory of Dignity and Coercion (2012) and co-edited Wellbeing in Contemporary Society (2015) and Focal Points in Negotiation (2020).

Adam Cureton is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tennessee (USA). He primarily works on issues in moral theory, Kant’s moral philosophy, and practical ethics, especially the philosophy of disability. He co-edited Disability and Disadvantage (2009), Disability in Practice (2018), and The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Disability (2020).


"This collection examines the many dimensions of dignity in Kant’s thought. By focusing on the relationship between dignity and Kant’s Kingdom of Ends, it takes a novel approach to an important topic and demonstrates both depth and breadth. With contributions from talented scholars all over the world, it is a must-have for Kantians and philosophers working on human dignity."Krista K. Thomason, Swarthmore College, USA