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Adam J Roberts

Adam J Roberts

Research Student

Project Title: Is Kant a Kantian constitutivist?


Research interests

My doctoral research is on the question whether Kant is a Kantian constitutivist. I think it should be near enough incontrovertible that Kant is a constitutivist of some kind. Kant claims throughout his practical philosophy that ought-claims are to be understood as would-claims, that immoral actions are in some sense ommissive, and that our potential to be immoral is not strictly an ability. I think the primary reason why Kant has not been read as a constitutivist more often has been confusion about what constitutivism demands, or must demand to be a distinctive position. I advocate defining constitutivism in terms of options rather than agency, and suggest this is especially helpful when trying to classify Kant's philosophy of action in the Religion.

I help teach Descartes, Hume, and ethics as undergraduate topics at King's. Besides those topics and Kant, I have interests in metaethics, applied ethics, the philosophy of action, metaphilosophy, and political philosophy. I joined King's from Oxford, where I wrote my postgraduate BPhil thesis on the history and viability of constitutivism in ethics, under the supervision of Alison Hills.

Within our philosophy department, I represent postgraduate research students, i.e. those on our MPhilStud and MPhil/PhD programmes. I also represent all King's arts and humanities students on the college's Academic Board.

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