Moral Conceivability: Kant, Power, and the Reflective Dimension of Practical Judgment


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This project develops an account of the relevance of “moral conceivability,” or the moral conceptual repertoire currently at our disposal. It draws on an interpretation of Kant’s moral philosophy that demonstrates Kant’s increased reliance on the reflective dimension of practical reasoning, or the generation of moral descriptions, which his traditional view of moral autonomy presupposes. The alterations in Kant’s views show that practical reasoning also involves the revision of moral terms, an aspect which contemporary ethics has missed. The project reveals the importance of moral conceivability to the historical and contemporary tradition of critique, emphasizing the need to construe universalization in terms of power relations rather than action as such.