This is an original investigation of the structure of human morality, that aims to identify the place and significance of moral deeds. "Kantian Deeds" revokes and renews the tradition of Kant's moral philosophy. Through a novel reading of contemporary approaches to Kant, Henrik Bjerre draws a new map of the human capacity for morality. Morality consists of two different abilities that are rarely appreciated at the same time. Human beings are brought up and initiated into a moral culture, which gives them the cognitive mapping necessary to act morally and responsibly. They also, however, acquire an ability to reach beyond that which is considered moral and thus develop an ability to reinterpret or break 'normal' morality. By drawing on two very different resources in contemporary philosophy - more conservative trends in analytic philosophy and more radical sources in recent works of psychoanalytically informed philosophy - and claiming that they must be read together, "Kantian Deeds" provides a new understanding of what is termed 'the structure of moral revolutions'.
Essentially, deeds are revolutionary changes of moral character that can only be performed by such creatures that have acquired one. "Continuum Studies in Philosophy" presents cutting-edge scholarship in all the major areas of research and study. The wholly original arguments, perspectives and research findings in titles in this series make it an important and stimulating resource for students and academics from a range of disciplines across the humanities and social sciences.
Publisher: Continuum Publishing Corporation
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 431 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 23 mm
"Henrik Bjerre's Kantian Deeds is definitely among the best studies of Kant - and of ethics in general - that I've read in many years. Not only it is well founded in close and extensive knowledge of Kantian philosophy and contemporary research in Kantian ethics, it is particularly remarkable for the courage and imagination with which it is written, the qualities sadly lacking in large part of academic research. The basic distinction that Bjerre draws between 'normal' moral acts and the moral deeds pertaining to 'extra-morality' is most forceful and productive, enabling the author to scrutinize and sort out a whole array of problems concerning the rigorous Kantian position in ethics. Not fearing or avoiding the (often radical) political edge of ethics, Bjerre's book represents a most valuable contribution to, and intervention into, the contemporary 'ethics and politics' debate." - Alenka Zupancic
"The main threat to Kant's legacy are today liberal Kantians themselves, from Jurgen Habermas to Robert Brandom. Against these revisionists who reduce Kant to a benign discourse-ethics, Bjerre's book triumphantly reasserts the unbearable real core of Kant's ethical thought. Bjerre does not treat Kant as an interesting thinker from the past, but as an actual presence - no wonder his book is full of contemporary examples, anecdotes, and jokes. Arguably this is the most important book on ethics in the last decade - a book needed like daily bread!" - Slavoj i ek