In two recent articles I offered a solution to an old problem in Kant’s account of the categorical imperative, that of finding a unitary interpretation of all four of the Groundwork’s applications of the Formula of the Law of Nature (FLN). In this article I bring out the unity of this solution and defend the principle of suitability interpretation of FLN from objections raised by Samuel Kahn.
'Tacit consent' has long interested historians of political thought and political philosophers, but its nuances nevertheless remain unappreciated. It has its roots in the Roman law concept of a 'tacit declaration of will'. Explicating this concept allows a new conception of tacit consent to be proposed, which I term the 'tacit declaration of consent'. The tacit declaration of consent avoids both the triviality of common sense views and a weakness in Hobbes' account. Unlike other contemporary philosophical accounts, it avoids fictions and meets the condition of intentionality. Furthermore, it also advances understanding of the sorts of claim offered by proponents of a tacit consent-based theory of political obligation, whilst facilitating a more radical critique. The tacit consent-based theory of political obligation is not simply limited in application, but indefensible. It unwarrantedly transposes onto tacit consent the potentially fictional character of declarations of will.
A Causal-Teleological Version of the Logical Contradiction Interpretation
The contradiction in conception test (CC test) is one of two tests posed by Kant’s Formula of the Law of Nature. This article proposes a new interpretation of this test: a causal-teleological version of the Logical Contradiction Interpretation (LCI). Its distinctive feature is that it identifies causal and teleological implications in the thought of a universal law of nature. A causal-teleological version of LCI has two advantages. While the established view of the Groundwork’s applications of the CC test is a hybrid view that treats the Groundwork’s arguments as different in kind, a causal-teleological version of LCI unifies the Groundwork’s applications of the CC test. Relatedly, a causal-teleological version of LCI provides a solution to the problem of how the CC test can confirm the impermissibility of a self-directed maxim.