Letter to Financial Times on Kant

Press/Media: Expert Comment

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Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of Goldman Sachs, is quoted in your report “ Trump promises to end forced separation of families” (June 21) as saying that it is a “moral imperative” to stop separating families. As he and many others will know, the concept of a moral imperative, that brooks no cavilling, is central to the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. That concept is, in turn, derived partly from Kant’s belief that each individual should be respected as an end in his or herself, and never treated as a means to some further end. Jeff Sessions, the US attorney-general, has made it clear that separating children from parents is intended to deter potential migrants, using them precisely as means to an end. I can think of no better example of moral failure, in Kantian terms. Owen Kelly PhD student in philosophy, University of Edinburgh, UK

Period22 Jun 2018

Media contributions

1

Media contributions

  • TitlePerfect Example of Moral failure according to Kant
    CountryUnited Kingdom
    Date22/06/18
    Description Please use the sharing tools found via the email icon at the top of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email licensing@ft.com to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found at https://www.ft.com/tour. https://www.ft.com/content/a29a5a9e-73d0-11e8-aa31-31da4279a601 Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of Goldman Sachs, is quoted in your report “ Trump promises to end forced separation of families” (June 21) as saying that it is a “moral imperative” to stop separating families. As he and many others will know, the concept of a moral imperative, that brooks no cavilling, is central to the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. That concept is, in turn, derived partly from Kant’s belief that each individual should be respected as an end in his or herself, and never treated as a means to some further end. Jeff Sessions, the US attorney-general, has made it clear that separating children from parents is intended to deter potential migrants, using them precisely as means to an end. I can think of no better example of moral failure, in Kantian terms. Owen Kelly PhD student in philosophy, University of Edinburgh, UK
    PersonsOwen Kelly