chapter  IV
Pages 8

In this chapter I want to show further limitations within Kant’s fundamentally rationalistic conception of respect and equality. We shall discover that Kant’s respect for a person involves an even more attenuated conception of the individual, as respect for the rational self becomes respect for the moral law which the rational self exemplifies. The moral law is established as the source of all moral worth. Our sense of equality with others becomes an equal subordination before the moral law, even though Kant wants to conceive of the moral law as something which we legislate for ourselves. The sense of respect as hierarchy is made an integral aspect of our sense of respect for others, since it is mediated through our relationship with the moral law. This is only reinforced through Kant’s sense that acting out of a sense of duty involves a systematic subordination of our inclinations.