On Mar 24, the Center for the Philosophy of Freedom will host Elijah Millgram, E. E. Ericksen Professor of Philosophy at the University of Utah, as part of the Freedom Center Colloquium Series. His paper is entitled "Austrian Constructivism (or, What Was Kan'ts Formula Of Humanity, Really?" (Abstract below.)
Thursday, Mar 24, 12:30-1:45pm, in the Kendrick Room at the Freedom Center, Marshall 280 (right above Paradise Bakery). Feel free to bring lunch.
For further information, please visit the Arizona Freedom Center at http://freedomcenter.arizona.edu/colloquium
Kant tells us that we are to treat persons always as ends in themselves, and never merely as means. That dictum is both opaque -- this is not a turn of phrase that wears its sense on its literal sleeve -- and obscurely motivated: is there any reason to do as Kant says, or is the demand merely high-minded piousness?
To address those concerns, I will consider an argument advanced by the so-called Austrian economists against socialist central planning. I will show how it can be extended and adapted into an argument whose conclusion matches a widespread reading of Kant's Formula of Humanity, and on which it makes sense as a social strategy. I will wrap up by suggesting an interpretation of the concept of a person, and I will indicate limits to deriving substantive guidelines for action from the Kantian dictum.