Critique phénoménologique de l’éthique kantienne


The Phenomenological Critique of Kantian Ethics

In this paper we want to focus on Husserl’s critique of Kantian ethics and to develop the following questions. Against the merely empiristic orientation of Hume’s ethics, the Kantian foundation of ethics has an aprioristic character; but does this aprioristic character have to be identified with the origin of ethical principles in the pure subjectivity, and if not, which is its phenomenological signification? The sense of the Copernican revolution is that the structures of the objects are in accordance with the universal structures of the finite subject; a contrario, Husserl refuses this Copernican principle and assumes that every sort of object determines a regulative structure in the subject; is it possible to apply this anticopernican principle to the ethical sphere? As opposed to the Kantian principle of the supremacy of practical reason, we find in Husserl’s thought a supremacy of the theoretical reason; but which is the sense of this inversion? The concept of foundation has in Husserlian phenomenology a cardinal importance: all sorts of truth of superior degree are founded on the inferior level of sensible truth; is it possible to apply this principle of foundation to the ethical sphere, so that ethical consciousness would be founded on feelings? At last the Kantian concept of liberty is not an empirical one, but a cosmological and practical idea; which is the phenomenological sense of liberty?

Keywords: Kant, Husserl, ethics, apriori, practical reason, foundation, Copernican revolution

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