Creating the Kingdom of Ends


Key Take-Aways


To hold someone responsible is to regard her as a person - that is to say, as a free and equal person, capable of acting both rationally and morally. It is therefore to regard her as someone with whom you can enter the kind of relation that is possible only among free and equal rational people: a relation of reciprocity.
I, from generosity, look after his happiness and he similarly looks after mine; I do not throw away my happiness, but surrender it to his keeping, and he in turn surrenders into my hands
While love moves you to pursue the ends of another, respect reminds you that she must determine what those ends are; while love moves you to care for the happiness of another, respect demands that you care for her character too.
Feelings of sympathy, gratitude, and delight in the happiness of others are not directly incumbent upon us, but they are the natural result of making the ends of others our own, as duty demands. The feeling of respect, a still higher achievement, is the natural result of keeping the humanity of others and so their capacity for good will always before our eyes.
Friendship is a free and uninstitutionalized form of justice, where the association is created by love rather than geographical necessity, and regulated by mutual respect rather than reciprocal coercion
Generalized to the Kingdom of Ends, my own ends must be the possible objects of universal legislation, subject to the vote of all. And this is how I realize my autonomy. Paradoxically if you like, my ends and actions are most truly my own when they are chosen under the restrictions of a possible reciprocal relation - a kind of friendship - with everyone

Relevant Links



  • Responsibility
    • Legal
      • Should a person be punished?
    • Personal
      • What attitude should we have towards a person?
      • Focus of the paper

Personal Relations, Reciprocity, and Responsibility

  • British Empiricist
    • Approval and disapproval of other is the foundation of moral phenomenon and responsibility
  • Kant
    • Responsibility is taken rather than assigned (unlike with the British Empiricist)
    • Not interested in praise and blame
    • Kant's Moral Rules (come from his metaphysical view that we cannot know even our most fundamental maxims)
      • Respect others
      • Avoid scandal
      • Never to deny the wrongdoer all moral worth
    • The ideal of friendship is "the union of two persons through equal mutual love and respect"
      • Striving to achieve this is a duty
        • “Friendship … is no ordinary duty but rather an honorable one proposed by reason.”
  • Can't avoid holding one another responsible
    • That's how human can share, trust, align goals, love, and cooperate
  • Aristotle
    • Most perfect human relation is the friendship of virtue
      • People sharing the virtuous activities that make lives worth living
      • Achieving this friendship is a virtue
        • This is "not only necessary but noble"
  • Reciprocity
    • Foundation of both of Aristotle's and Kant's idea of friendship
    • Aristotle
      • Friendship is characterized by acknowledged reciprocal goodwill
        • Each person loves the other for his own (the other’s) sake
      • Must trust each other's goodness and that the other won't harm you
      • “When men are friends they have no need of justice”
        • Justice is, at its best, a kind of civic friendship
      • "For with friends men are more able both to thin and to act"
    • Kant
      • Friendship is the maximum reciprocity of the union of love with respect
        • Love pursues you to your friend's goals (ends)
        • Respect reminds you that your friend must determine those goals (ends)
        • Love moves you to care for the happiness of your friend
        • Respect demand you care for their character too
      • Friends exchange each others project for the pursuit of happiness
        • Look after each other's happiness
      • For my friends I must make their ends and reasons mine, and I must choose mine in such a way that the can be yours
    • Moral and personal relations are not different in kind
      • The only difference is the degree of reciprocity
        • For moral we must meet the degree of reciprocity to be a decent person
        • For personal it is to the degree where one another become morally wealthy
    • Sex
      • Kant is bothered that with sexual desire a person is take as an object of indulgence
      • The fix to this is perfect reciprocity
        • Each one objectifies the other
        • Kan't believes this can only be done in marriage where you have pledge reciprocity
          • Historically marriage has taken away more reciprocity than given it to women
      • Kant believes an unequal marriage is not a marriage
    • Blame
      • Important as an expression of unfulfilled respect
      • Not a good tool as an enforcement of social norms

Theoretical and Practical Conceptions of Responsibility

  • The author believes that the practical view of responsibility is implicit in our actual practices
    • Kant argues this is how we must understand responsibility
  • Theoretically
    • Responsibility is a characteristic of persons
  • Practically
    • Holding each other responsible is something we do