more from Immanuel Kant

Single Idea 21434

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / h. Respect]

Full Idea

I cannot deny all respect to even a vicious man as a man; I cannot withdraw at least the respect that belongs to him in his quality as a man, even though by his deeds he makes himself unworthy of it.

Gist of Idea

We must respect the humanity even in a vicious criminal


Immanuel Kant (Metaphysics of Morals II:Doctrine of Virtue [1797], 463 I.II)

Book Reference

Kant,Immanuel: 'The Metaphysics of Morals', ed/tr. Gregor,Mary [CUP 1991], p.255

A Reaction

The obvious way to find some respect for a vicious criminal is to ask how they got that way. Their state is almost certainly self-destructive, and not what they would ever have wished for. Would they choose eternal recurrence?