Document Type

Journal Article

Department/Unit

Department of Religion and Philosophy

Language

English

Abstract

This first part of a two-part series exploring implications of the natural differences between the sexes for the cultural evolution of marriage assesses whether Kant should be condemned as a sexist due to his various offensive claims about women. Being antithetical to modern-day assumptions regarding the equality of the sexes, Kant’s views seem to contradict his own egalitarian ethics. A philosophical framework for making crosscultural ethical assessments requires one to assess those in other cultures by their own ethical standards. Sexism is inappropriate if it exhibits or reinforces a tendency to dominate the opposite sex. Kant’s theory of marriage, by contrast, illustrates how sexism can be egalitarian: given the natural differences between the sexes, different roles and cultural norms help to ensure that females and males are equal. Judged by the standards of his own day and in the context of his philosophical system, Kant’s sexism is not ethically inappropriate.

Keywords

Immanuel Kant, sexism, marriage, egalitarian ethics, cross-cultural assessments, cultural evolution, nature of the sexes

Publication Date

2017

Source Publication Title

Ethics & Bioethics (in Central Europe)

Volume

7

Issue

1-2

Start Page

33

End Page

55

Publisher

De Gruyter Poland

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

DOI

10.1515/ebce-2017-0009

Link to Publisher's Edition

http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/ebce-2017-0009

ISSN (electronic)

24537829

Included in

Philosophy Commons

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