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1NC

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Personal identity reductionism is true—
1] Brain studies – there’s no continuous identity—we can split the brain and
create two separate spheres of consciousness.
Parfit 84 - Derek [Derek Parfit is a British philosopher who specializes in problems of personal identity, rationality, ethics, and the
relations among them. His 1984 book Reasons and Persons has been very influential.] "Reasons and Persons") GHS//GB

Some recent medical cases provide striking evidence in favour of the Reductionist View. Human beings have a lower
brain and two upper hemispheres, which are connected by a bundle of fibres. In treating a few
people with severe epilepsy, surgeons have cut these fibres. The aim was to reduce the severity of epileptic
fits, by confining their causes to a single hemisphere. This aim was achieved. But the operations had another unintended
consequence. The effect, in the words of one surgeon, was the creation of ‘two separate spheres of
consciousness.’ This effect was revealed by various psychological tests . These made use of two facts.
We control our right arms with our left hemispheres, and vice versa. And what is in the right
halves of our visual fields we see with our left hemispheres, and vice versa. When someone’s
hemispheres have been disconnected, psychologists can thus present to this person two
different written questions in the two halves of his visual field, and can receive two different
answers written by this person’s two hands.

Reductionism justifies util.


Bart Gruzalski 86 [UChicago], “Parfit's Impact on Utilitarianism”, Ethics, Vol. 96, No. 4, July 1986, BE

Parfit concludes his discussion of distributive moral principles by claiming that, “when we cease to believe that
persons are separately existing entities, the Utilitarian view becomes more plausible. Is the gain in
plausibility great, or small? My argument leaves this question open” (p. 342). In contrast, I have argued that the Reductionist
View strongly supports the utilitarian account of desert and distributive justice. The argument has two aspects.
One is the recognition of the utilitarian emphasis on secondary rules, including principles of distributive justice and policies of
desert. These rules, principles, and policies are treated within the utilitarian account as if they have self-standing, whereas in fact
they are justified on the principle of utility which alone has self-standing within the utilitarian program. The other aspect of the
argument involves the recognition that the utilitarian’s dual treatment of secondary principles dovetails with the dual account of the
nature of persons on the Reductionist View: persons exist, yet their existence just involves bodies and interrelated mental and
physical events, and a complete description of our lives need not claim that persons exist. Furthermore, a
body, brain, and
interrelated series of mental and physical events are more fundamental and basic than the
person whose existence just consists in them, much as the citizens and the territory are more fundamental and
basic than the nation whose existence just consists in them. This corresponds precisely with the utilitarian
account, for utilitarianism treats persons as fundamental and separate existents, while
grounding this treatment on the impersonal elements of pain, suffering, happiness, and
contentment. Because util- itarianism accurately reflects in this way the true nature of persons,
it is much more plausible than has been previously recognized. In addition, since many of the current
competitors to utilitarianism presuppose that the person is separate from the body, brain, and
interrelated mental and physical events, it follows that these views err by being too personal
and are therefore implausible. It follows that when we cease to believe that persons are
separately existing entities, utilitarianism becomes significantly more plausible than any of its
person-centered theoretical competitors.
Thus, the standard is maximizing expected well-being. Prefer it additionally—
1] There is no act-omission distinction.
Rachels 01 (James, Encyclopedia of Ethics, 2nd edition, ed. Lawrence Becker and Charlotte Becker (New York: Routledge, 2001),
vol. 2, pp. 947-50)

So what is the difference between causing and allowing? What real difference is marked by those words? The most obvious ways of
attempting to draw the distinction won’t work. For example, suppose
we say it is the difference between action
and inaction--when we cause an outcome, we do something, but when we merely allow it to
happen, we passively stand by and do nothing. This won’t work because, when we allow
something to happen, we do perform at least one act: the act of allowing it to happen. The
problem is that the distinction between doing something and not doing something is relative to the specification of what is or is not
done--if I
allow someone to die, I do not save him, but I do let him die. It is tempting to say the
difference between action and inaction is the difference between moving one’s body and not
moving one’s body; but that does not help. When we allow something to happen, we are typically
moving our bodies in all sorts of ways. If I allow you to die by running away, I may be moving
my body very rapidly.

2] You should default to util if I win defense on their standard—we naturally


want to make the world better.
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong 14 [American philosopher. He specializes in ethics, epistemology, and more recently in
neuroethics, the philosophy of law, and the philosophy of cognitive science], "Consequentialism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of
Philosophy (Spring 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed), BE

Even if consequentialists can accommodate or explain away common moral intuitions, that might seem only to answer objections
without yet giving any positive reason to accept consequentialism. However, most
people begin with the
presumption that we morally ought to make the world better when we can. The question then
is only whether any moral constraints or moral options need to be added to the basic
consequentialist factor in moral reasoning. (Kagan 1989, 1998) If no objection reveals any need for
anything beyond consequences, then consequences alone seem to determine what is morally
right or wrong, just as consequentialists claim.
2
Cartel violence poses great threats – traditional methods of combatting its
spread lack teeth
Stephens 1/2/18, "Despite Removing The Heads Of Cartels, Drug Violence In Mexico Is
On The Rise,", 1-2-2018,Alain Stephens – head of investigative reports for Texas
Standard.
http://kut.org/post/despite-removing-heads-cartels-drug-violence-mexico-rise, ghs-am
When it comes to combating Mexican drug cartels, law enforcement agencies have aimed at
the head, aiming to weakening them by eliminate the groups’ leadership. According to the Congressional Research Service,
Capitol Hill’s nonpartisan think tank, 107 of Mexico’s 122 most violent criminals have been
removed from cartels. The results? Violence has surged, with media outlets reporting that
death tolls have hit 20 year highs. So how did this explosion of violence happen and what’s coming next?Nathan
Jones, a professor at Sam Houston State University and an expert in cartel violence, says violence in Mexico began
ticking up in 2016, after decreasing each year since 2011. In 2017, the trend continued, putting Mexican violence on track to
return to 2011 levels. Jones says removing Mexican cartel leaders mirrored the successful strategy used
in Colombia in the 1990s. But it hasn’t worked out. “The lieutenants working under the cap
that’s been removed start fighting with each other,” Jones says. “Other cartels smell weakness, and
say ‘hey, we can take over that trafficking territory.’ Then you end up getting these large-scale wars.” Jones says a new cartel,
known by its Spanish acronym, CJNT, has been on the rise recently. As other groups fragment, CJNT has
used its significant financial resources to target other cartels and the government. “They’ve been really good at
adopting the orphans,” Jones says. The new cartel has not only been aggressive, but also blatant – flying banners
announcing its presence in several Mexican states that threaten other cartels in the area. “This is a group that has
directly confronted the government,” Jones says. “In 2015, they downed a Mexican Army helicopter.” Jones says he
thinks the strategy of going after cartel kingpins will continue. He says he would prefer to see more “rule of law” work
from government entities. “What really needs to happen is we need to get Mexican
institutions working in terms of the rule of law,” Jones says. “Because what good is it to arrest a capo if he can
run his operations from the prison system.”

PB is critical in weakening cartels and gives law enforcement a needed edge


during their investigations
O’brien 08 “Cartel Sentiments in the US and EU: Similarities, Differences, and
Remaining Questions”, Antitrust division US Department of Justice. June 6th, 2008 ghs-
am
The time and resource savings the Commission expects to receive from settlements appear to be limited to the time saved by not
having to provide access to the file, oral hearings or translations, and any time saved by writing a more streamlined statement of
objections. But even these procedural efficiencies may not be obtained under the Commission’s
settlement procedure unless all cartel participants seek to settle, since the Commission would otherwise
have to continue with the full-blown, ordinary procedure for the non-settling cartel members. Difference: Momentum In the U.S.,
early cooperators not only provide valuable evidence that the Division can use against other
co-conspirators, but also once their plea agreements are filed on the public record they often
provide strong momentum that expedites the Division’s investigation and prosecution of
other conspirators and even, in an Amnesty-Plus situation, other cartels. Plea negotiations are
confidential, but once agreements are reached, the plea agreement is filed with the court and
made public.19 Other cartel participants can then see that co-conspirators have accepted
responsibility and promised to cooperate, and they often quickly line up to plead guilty. The momentum
created by seriatim settlements before the conclusion of an investigation is a powerful benefit
to the Division that has no counterpart under the Commission’s settlement procedure. Remaining Question: Transparency,
Predictability and Certainty as to Fine? Commentators and members of the antitrust bar have said that the 10% settlement reduction
offered by the Commission is not sufficient to induce companies to settle.20 The success of the Commission’s
settlement procedure, however, will not hinge solely on the amount of the settlement
discount offered, but on the transparency, predictability and certainty of the fine a cooperator can expect to pay. In the
Division’s experience, prospective cooperating parties come forward in direct proportion to the
predictability and certainty of their treatment following cooperation. A party is more likely to
settle if it is able to predict, with a high degree of certainty, how it will be treated if it
cooperates, and what the consequences will be if it does not. A critical issue to the success of the
Commission’s settlement procedure will be the Commission’s transparency in discussing the fine that a cartel participant can expect to
pay. A percentage discount means little to a cartel participant that cannot predict the starting point for its fine reduction. While the
Commission has Fining Guidelines in place, they are relatively new and they have not yet been applied in many matters. Therefore,
the more transparency that the Commission can provide as to how it will apply its Fining Guidelines, the more likely parties are to
settle. If cartel participants cannot assess their possible fines with reasonable certainty, they
may choose to seek
leniency but not settle, resulting in a scenario where a cartel participant provides cooperation
to receive leniency but then litigates its fine. Similarity: Rights are Respected Another reason sometimes offered
for the proposition that U.S.-style plea bargaining cannot work in administrative systems is that rights of defense must be respected.
Again, implicit in this response is a misimpression that the rights of settling defendants are not respected in the U.S. plea process.

Unchecked, Mexico drug violence leads to oil shocks and economic collapse
Moran 9 (7/31/09, Michael, executive editor and policy analyst, Council on Foreign Relations, “Six
Crises, 2009: A Half-Dozen Ways Geopolitics Could Upset Global Recovery,”
http://fbkfinanzwirtschaft.wordpress.com/2009/08/07/six-crises-2009-a-half-dozen-ways-geopolitics-
could-upset-global-recovery/)

Risk 2: Mexico Drug Violence:¶ At Stake: Oil prices, refugee flows, NAFTA, U.S. economic
stability¶ A story receiving more attention in the American media than Iraq these days is the horrific drug-
related violence across the northern states of Mexico, where Felipe Calderon has deployed the
national army to combat two thriving drug cartels, which have compromised the national
police beyond redemption.¶ The tales of carnage are horrific, to be sure: 30 people were killed in a 48 hour period last week in
Cuidad Juarez alone, a city located directly across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas. So far, the impact on the United States and
beyond has been minimal. But there also isn’t much sign that the army is winning, either, and that raises a disturbing question: What
if Calderon loses?¶ The CIA’s worst nightmare during the Cold War (outside of an administration which forced
transparency on it, of course) was the radicalization or collapse of Mexico. The template then was communism,
but narco-capitalism doesn’t look much better.¶ The prospect of a wholesale collapse that sent millions upon
millions of Mexican refugees fleeing across the northern border so far seems remote. But Mexico’s army has its own problems with
corruption, and a sizeable number of Mexicans regard Calderon’s razor-thin 2006 electoral victory over a leftist rival as illegitimate.
With Mexico’s economy reeling and the traditional safety valve of illegal immigration to
America dwindling, the potential for serious trouble exists.¶ Meanwhile, Mexico ranks with Saudi
Arabia and Canada as the three suppliers of oil the United States could not do without. Should
things come unglued there and Pemex production shut down even temporarily, the shock on oil
markets could be profound, again, sending its waves throughout the global economy. Long-term,
PEMEX production has been sliding anyway, thanks to oil fields well-beyond their peak and restrictions on foreign investment.¶
Domestically in the U.S., any
trouble involving Mexico invariably will cause a bipartisan demand for
more security on the southern border, inflame anti-immigrant sentiment and possibly force
Obama to remember his campaign promise to “renegotiate NAFTA,” a pledge he deftly sidestepped once
in office.
Oil volatility sparks great power war --- forces U.S. intervention and goes
nuclear
King 2k8 (Neil, Peak Oil: A Survey of Security Concerns, Center for a New American Security, p. 14-
17)

Manycommentators in the United States and abroad have begun to wrestle with the question of whether soaring oil prices
and market volatility could spark an outright oil war between major powers—possibly ignited not by China or Russia, but
by the United States. In a particularly pointed speech on the topic in May, James Russell of the Naval Postgraduate School in California addressed what he called the increasing militarization of international energy

Energy security is now deemed so central to ‘national security’ that threats to the former
security. “

are liable to be refl exively interpreted as threats to the latter,” he told a gathering at the James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy at
Houston’s Rice University.6 The possibility that a large-scale war could break out over access to dwindling

energy resources, he wrote, “is one of the most alarming prospects facing the current world system.”7
Mr. Russell figures among a growing pool of analysts who worry in particular about the psychological readiness of the United States to deal rationally with a sustained oil shock. Particularly troubling is the
increasing perception within Congress that the fi nancial side of the oil markets no longer functions rationally. It has either been taken over by speculators or is being manipulated, on the supply side, by producers

A breakdown in trust for the oil markets, these analysts fear, could spur
who are holding back on pumping more oil in order to drive up the price.

calls for government action—even military intervention. “The perceptive chasm in the United States between new [oil] market realities and their impact on the global
distribution of power will one day close,” Mr. Russell said. “And when it does, look out.”8 The World at Peak: Taking the Dim View For years, skeptics scoffed at predictions that the United States would hit its own
domestic oil production peak by sometime in the late 1960s. With its oil fields pumping full out, the U.S. in 1969 was providing an astonishing 25 percent of the world’s oil supply—a role no other country has ever
come close to matching. U.S. production then peaked in December 1970, and has fallen steadily ever since, a shift that has dramatically altered America’s own sense of vulnerability and reordered its military
priorities. During World War II, when its allies found their own oil supplies cut off by the war, the United States stepped in and made up the difference. Today it is able to meet less than a third of its own needs. A

end of the world’s unparalleled economic


similar peak in worldwide production would have far more sweeping consequences. It would, for one, spell the

boom over the last century. It would also dramatically reorder the wobbly balance of power between nations as energy-challenged
industrialized countries turn their sights on the oil-rich nations of the Middle East and Africa. In a peak oil future, the small, fl attened, globalized world that has awed recent commentators would become

decidedly round and very vast again.Oceans will reemerge as a hindrance to trade, instead of the conduit they have been for so long. An
energy-born jolt to the world economy would leave no corner of the globe untouched. Unable to pay their own fuel bills, the tiny
Marshall Islands this summer faced the possibility of going entirely without power. That is a reality that could sweep across many of the smallest and poorest countries in Africa, Asia, and

Latin America, reversing many of the tentative gains in those regions and stirring deep social unrest. Large patches of the world rely almost entirely on diesel-
powered generators for what skimpy electricity they now have. Those generators are the first to run empty as prices soar. A British parliamentary report released in June on “The Impact of Peak Oil on
International Development” concluded that “the deepening energy crisis has the potential to make poverty a permanent state for a growing number of people, undoing the development efforts of a generation.”9
We are seeing some of the consequences already in Pakistan – a country of huge strategic importance, with its own stash of nuclear weapons – that is now in the grips of a severe energy crisis. By crippling the

Pakistan’s power shortages could end up giving the


country’s economy, battering the stock market, and spurring mass protests,

country’s Islamic parties the leverage they have long needed to take power. It’s not hard to
imagine similar scenarios playing out in dozens of other developing countries. Deepening economic unrest will put
an enormous strain on the United Nations and other international aid agencies. Anyone who has ever visited a major UN relief hub knows that their fleets of Land Rovers, jumbo jets and prop planes have a
militarysize thirst for fuel. Aid agency budgets will come under unprecedented pressure just as the need for international aid skyrockets and donor countries themselves feel pressed for cash. A peaking of oil
supplies could also hasten the impact of global climate change by dramatically driving up the use of coal for power generation in much of the world. A weakened world economy would also put in jeopardy the
massively expensive projects, such as carbon capture and storage, that many experts look to for a reduction in industrial emissions. So on top of the strains caused by scarce fossil fuels, the world may also have to

grapple with the destabilizing effects ofmore rapid desertification, dwindling fisheries, and strained food supplies.
An oil-constricted world will also stir perilous frictions between haves and have-nots. The vast majority of
all the world’s known oil reserves is now in the hands of national oil companies, largely in countries with corrupt and autocratic governments. Many of these governments—Iran and

Venezuela top the list—are now seen as antagonists of the United States. Tightened oil supplies will substantially boost these
countries’ political leverage, but that enhanced power will carry its own peril. Playing the oil card when nations are scrambling for every barrel will be a far more serious matter
that at any time in the past. The European continent could also undergo a profound shift as its needs—and sources of energy—diverge all the more from those of the United States. A conservation-oriented Europe

Europe’s
(oil demand is on the decline in almost every EU country) will look all the more askance at what it sees as the gluttonous habits of the United States. At the same time,

governments may have little choice but to shy from any political confrontations with its
principal energy supplier, Russia. An energy-restricted future will greatly enhance Russia’s clout within settings like the UN Security Council but also in its dealings with both
Europe and China. Abundant oil and gas have fueled Russia’s return to power over the last decade, giving it renewed standing within the UN and increasing sway over European capitals. The peak oil threat is

For Beijing, running


already sending shivers through the big developing countries of China and India, whose propulsive growth (and own internal stability) requires massive doses of energy.

low on fuel spells economic chaos and internal strife, which in turn spawns images of
insurrection and a breaking up of the continentsized country. Slumping oil supplies will automatically
pit the two largest energy consumers—the United States and China—against one another in competition over supplies in
South America, West Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. China is already taking this competition very seriously. It doesn’t require much of a leap to imagine a Cold
War-style scramble between Washington and Beijing—not for like-minded allies this time but simply for reliable and
tested suppliers of oil. One region that offers promise and peril in almost equal measure is the Artic, which many in the oil industry consider the last big basin of untapped hydrocarbon
riches. But the Artic remains an ungoverned ocean whose legal status couldn’t be less clear, especially so long as the United States continues to remain outside the international Law of the Sea Treaty. As the ices

there recede, the risk increases that a scramble for assets in the Artic could turn nasty
Case
The 1AC’s deontological ethic is irredeemably rooted in racism
1] Their failure to acknowledge historical racism associated with Kant’s
philosophy is a link—no matter what, their principles are rooted in racism.
Pauline Kleingeld 7 [University of Groningen, Faculty of Philosophy, Faculty Member], “KANT’S SECOND THOUGHTS ON RACE”,
The Philosophical Quarterly, Volume 57, Number 229, October 2007, BE

What is overlooked by both sides is the possibility that Kant’s principles are race-neutral in
their formulation, but that his racism still makes its influence felt in his theory by affecting the
articulation of intermediate principles and the selection of central problems to be addressed.
Before we can be certain, therefore, that Kant’s racism can be isolated from the rest of his
theory, we should investigate carefully exactly what role it plays in his wider moral and
political theory. Only by actually investigating its system- atic role in the larger whole of his
practical philosophy can we assess the importance of Kant’s racism (or lack thereof), and determine what (if
anything) is needed to eradicate it entirely. ¶ A strong indication that Kant’s racism really does play a role in his s political theory is that Kant
himself makes significant structural changes to the relevant parts of his political theory during the s, when he gives up his hierarchical view of
the races. As I shall show in more detail in the next section, he then introduces a new, third, category of public right, namely, ‘cosmopolitan right’, and a
new theme in his discussion of cosmopolitanism, namely, the injustice perpetrated by colonial powers. These changes are not necessarily revisions of
the principles of Kant’s practical philosophy (although the introduction of the notion of cosmopolitan right as one of the three parts of public right
could probably qualify as such), but they certainly go beyond mere adjustments at the level of ‘inessential derivative theses’, and can count as changes
to the theory.¶ In the works of the s Kant advocates a ‘cosmopolitan condition’ (cf. IUH : ). What he means by this is a legal regulation
of the relationships between states in the form of an international federation. In the mid- s, he introduces a (novel) distinction between
‘international right’ and ‘cosmo- politan right’. The first pertains to states and regulates their interaction; the second pertains to individuals as ‘citizens
of the world’, i.e., independently of national affiliation, and regulates the interaction between states and foreign individuals. Cosmopolitan right applies
to humans on all continents, and is explicitly incompatible with slavery and colonialism. Clearly, this
view would not occur to
someone who views whites as superior and non-whites as so radically inferior that the first
may use the second as mere means (as slaves). The same holds for Kant’s critique of colonialist injustice, which also
appears for the first time in the mid- s.¶ These examples are indicative of the fact that in order to

eradicate racism from a theory, often more is needed than merely deleting explicitly racist
statements, because the aim will often require introducing additional posi- tive changes as
well.27 Even if racism is not seen in the core principles (such as the Categorical Imperative), it
may have influenced the intermediate principles which together make up ‘the theory’, or it
may express itself in omissions such as Kant’s failure during the s to criticize non-white

slavery. Moreover, if present-day Kantian theorists take over the structure of Kant’s s moral

or political theory and the set of issues he deemed salient (together with the concomitant blind spots), without
realizing that their articulation has been influenced by racist assumptions, they are likely to
prolong racism’s distorting effects.

2] Rationality – attempts to obscure or excuse Kant’s racism fail – Kant


perpetuated white supremacy and the notion that Black’s were the “bad
race”—the “rational” people are white ones.
Ryan Very 12 [Boston University, Law and Philosophy Department, Graduate Student. Studies Ethics, Philosophy Of Law, and Law
and philosophy], "Kant's Racism," Academia edu, 11/21/12, GHS//MM

So what, exactly, did Kant say that makes me confident enough to call him a ¶ racist? Oddly, no annotated bibliography of Kant’s
racism exists. A significant portion of ¶ the literature focuses on Kant’s racist comments in his Observations on the Feeling of the ¶
Beautiful and Sublime to the exclusion of the rest of his collected works (Kants ¶ gesammelte Schriften). In what follows, I have done
my best to compile every one of ¶ Kant’s
racist claims towards Africans in the gesammelte Schriften.¶ In
addition to claiming that Africans are vain7¶ are only capable of trifling feelings,9¶ learning
how to be a slave,10 and lack a “drive to activity” and “mental capacities to be ¶ self-motivated
and successful.”11 Quoting Hume, Kant wrote that no Negros have ever ¶ shown talents or
presented anything of praiseworthy quality in art or science.12 Kant ¶ discouraged interracial
reproduction,13 discussed the best way to whip Moors,¶ [and] claimed that blacks are “so talkative that
they must be driven apart from each other with thrashings.”15 In three separate works Kant
claimed that the Negro is, in most respects, the ¶ lowest of all races.16 He also referred to
blacks as the “bad race” and whites as “the good ¶ race,”17 argued that the white race contains “all incentives
and talents,” and felt that ¶ whites were the “only ones who always progress toward perfection.”18 To my knowledge, ¶ Kant never
repudiated any of these explicitly racist claims.19¶ Kant was also one of the early proponents of scientific racism. Kant argued that ¶
there were only four races that developed according to geographic and conditions such as ¶ climate, and originated in a white,
brunette “stem species” (Stammgattung).20 The fact ¶ that Kant espoused scientific racism when the idea was in its infancy suggests
that Kant ¶ could have invented it.21¶ Kant’s racism puzzles me. How could one of the best philosophers be capable of ¶ such
terrible ignorance?¶ ¶ 22 How could Kant invent a racial hierarchy without ever having traveled more than ten miles from his home
city of Königsberg?23 Kant’s racism is ¶ especially important because he is considered one of the most important moral¶
philosophers that ever lived, and racism is a highly immoral position. I wouldn’t consider ¶ a geologist who claims that the earth is
flat a good geologist, so how can a good moral ¶ philosopher be racist?24¶ Some
scholars attempt to resolve this
paradox with the argument that Kant ¶ eventually abandoned his racism. 25 In support of this claim,
they point to the facts that ¶ Kant makes few claims about race in his published writings after 179526 and that Kant ¶ eventually
condemned European colonialism27 and chattel slavery.28 But none
of these ¶ facts show that Kant abandoned
his racism. Kant falling silent on race could indicate that Kant was so satisfied with his position
that he did not feel the need to say anything more¶ about it. And Kant could have simultaneously
held anti-slavery, anti-colonialist, and ¶ racist positions.¶ Other scholars argue that Kant’s racial hierarchy
conflicts with the strong ¶ universalist, deontological thrust of his writings,29 especially those on moral philosophy.¶ 30 Indeed,
Kant notoriously argued that all humans must be regarded as ends in ¶ themselves and not
merely as means31, that all persons possess reason and are thereby of ¶ equal worth and deserve equal respect, and stated
explicitly that properties possessed by a ¶ species “in its essence” apply to all human beings, including all races.32 Kant also¶
credited Rousseau for instilling him with a “respect for the masses,” since not geniuses ¶ alone but all men are necessary for the
progress of humankind.33¶ But these arguments are problematic because Kant never expressly
specifies that ¶ his universalist claims are meant to include all races.34 Kant’s universalism must
be ¶ understood in light of his historical context; he never left Königsberg, wrote for an almost
exclusively white audience, and lived during a time when most white people were rarely ¶
exposed to other races. Indeed, by “all humans” Kant very well could have meant “all ¶ white
males.” In addition, Kant’s arguments for racial hierarchy suggest that his use of ¶ race-neutral words do not necessarily include
all races and genders, and few of his ¶ universalist claims expressly contradict his racist claims.¶ Other scholars cry ad hominem and
argue that Kant’s racism should be regarded ¶ as a mere biographical fact, not a philosophical position.35 Some deemphasize the ¶
importance of Kant’s racist writings, arguing that a few bad apple claims mainly from ¶ Kant’s “early period” should not spoil the
bunch, especially since writings from Kant’s ¶ “critical period” are more well known and contain few claims about race.¶ But the first
argument fails to establish a meaningful distinction between ¶ biographical information and philosophical position, fails to show that
racist claims ¶ presented in multiple philosophical writings are better understood as the former, and ¶ seems to ignore biography’s
illuminative role in understanding philosophy. And the ¶ second argument only shows that some of Kant’s works are more important
than others, ¶ not that Kant’s racism is unimportant.
And, that’s a voting issue— The implication of these cards say that resisting
racial oppression comes first- justifies that the ROB is to resist oppression
instead of looking to equal and outer freedom- outweighs the 1AC since it
frames your ballot
Also takes out your metaethic because 1] we don’t always need metaethics to
figure out what is ethical and this is an instance of that and 2] your metaethic is
wrong because it’s racist- general ideas can still prescribe action,
universalizability fails because at one point universal reason in society would
argue that slavery was necessary… also this is procedurally justified rather than
just identifying some wrong because the constitutive nature of oppression is
that it harms peoples agency and intrinsic value
1] They result in misinterpretation of the world and distort communication—
the 1AC is rooted in an epistemology of ignorance—critique is a prior question.
Zeus Leonardo 02, [Associate Professor of Cultural Studies, Diversity, and Ethnic Issues, University of California, Berkeley,
Graduate School of Education], "The Souls of White Folk: critical pedagogy, whiteness studies, and globalization discourse", Race,
Ethnicity and Education, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2002. RFK

The fragmenting effects of the global economy work in tandem with the fragmenting tendencies of whiteness. As a perspective,
whiteness is historically fractured in its apprehension of racial formations. In
order to ‘see’ the formation in full
view, whites have to mobilize a perspective that begins with racial privilege as a central unit of
analysis. Since starting from this point would mean whites engage in a thorough historical
understanding of ‘how they came to be’ in a position of power, most whites resist such an
undertaking and instead focus on individual merit, exceptionalism, or hard work. The act of
interpreting the totality of racial formations is an apostasy that white students and educators
must undertake but one which does not come easy or without costs. The costs are real
because it means whites would have to acknowledge their unearned privileges and disinvest
in them. This is a different tack from saying that whites beneŽ t from renouncing their whiteness because it would increase their
humanity. Whites would lose many of their perks and privileges. So, the realistic appraisal is that whites do have a lot to lose by
committing race treason, not just something to gain by forsaking whiteness. This is the challenge. In his discussion of gender and
race, Terry Eagleton (1996) provokes a distinction between identity politics and class relations. He calls class position relational in a
way that gender and race are not, because possessing a certain skin color or body conŽ guration does not prevent another person
from owning such traits. By contrast, a landless laborer occupies a material position because the gentleman farmer owns the land or
property. Eagleton goes on to say that being black does not mean one is of a different species from a white person. Pigmentation is
not deŽ nitive of a general human experience in the same way that freckle-faced people do not constitute an essentially different
human category. In this, Eagleton exposes the racist and patriarchal imagination by highlighting its contradictions and illogics.
However, his analysis leaves out a more powerful explanation of how racism actually works. Like most
oppressive
systems, racism functions through an illogical rationalization process. For instance, the one-
drop rule, or the Rule of Hypodescent, demarcates blacks from whites by drawing an artiŽ cial
and arbitrary line between them in order both to create more slaves and limit people’s power
to achieve whiteness. Thus, the power of whiteness comes precisely from its ability to usurp
reason and rational thought, and a purely rationalistic analysis limits our understanding of the
way it functions. Despite its contradictions, the contours of racism can be mapped out and analyzed and this is what Cheryl
Harris (1995) attempts when she compares whiteness to owning property. First, whiteness becomes property through the objectiŽ
cation of African slaves, a process which set the precondition for ‘propertizing’ human life (Harris, 1995, p. 279). Whiteness takes the
form of ownership, the deŽ ning attribute of free individ uals which Africans did not own. Second, through the reiŽ cation and
subsequent hegemony of white people, whiteness is transformed into the common sense that becomes law. As a given right of the
individual white person, whiteness can be enjoyed, like any property, by exercising and taking advantage of privileges co-extensive
with whiteness. Third, like a house, whiteness can be demarcated and fenced off as a territory of white people which keeps Others
out. Thus, calling a white person ‘black’ was enough reason, as late as 1957, to sue for character defamation; the same could not be
said of a black person being mistaken for ‘white.’ This was a certain violation of property rights much like breaking into someone’s
house. In all, whites became the subjects of property, with Others as its objects. As Charles Mills (1997) explains, theRacial
Contract is an agreement to misinterpret the world as it is. It is the implicit consensus that
whites frequently enter into, which accounts for their fragmented understanding of the world
as it is racially structured. When confronted with the reality of racial oppression, according to
Hurtado, whites respond with: I will listen to you, sometimes for the Ž rst time, and will seem engaged. At critical points
in your analysis I will claim I do not know what you are talking about and will ask you to elaborate ad nauseam. I will
consistently subvert your efforts at dialogue by claiming ‘we do not speak the same language’.
(cited in McLaren et al., 2001, pp. 211–212; italics in original) The frequent detours, evasions, and detractions
from the circuits of whiteness cripple our understanding of the racio-economic essence of
schools and society. It is a distortion of perfect communication in Habermas’s (1984) sense of
it which creates what I call an altogether ‘ideological speech situation.’ That is, communication
is ideological to the extent that the ‘ideal speech situation’ is systematically distorted, which is
different from saying that it is always a bit distorted. As Hurtado plainly describes, radical
communication about the Contract meets apathy and indifference, perhaps a bit predictably.
Admitting the reality of white racism would force a river of centuries of pain, denial, and guilt
that many people cannot assuage. In several instances, both in colleagues’ courses as well as mine, white students
have expressed their emotions and frustrations through tears when white privilege is confronted. In fact, Rains (1997) has described
the same event occurring in her courses. Although it might seem cynical or unfeeling to analyze critically such an occurrence, it is
important to deploy such a critique in the name of political and pedagogical clarity. It is imperative to address the local moment and
‘be there’ for all students but in slicing through the pathos, one also beneŽ ts from reŽ ection on the moment in its larger, global
signiŽ cance. The times when I have confronted this scenario can be described as the honest interrogation of racial power engaged
by both white and non-white students. At certain moments, some anger has been expressed, sometimes frustration. In general, the
milieu is emotional and politically charged. How can it not be? In one particular case, I witnessed a situation where a black student
interrogated the issue of racial privilege and questioned a white colleague’s comments for failing to do the same. By the end of the
exchange, the white student left the room crying and the discussion halted. In another case, an earnest discussion took place about
racism and ways to address it in schools. A white student cried because she felt frustrated and a little helpless about how she comes
into the fold of becoming an anti-racist educator. After a minute of pause, students of color returned to the discussion at hand, not
breaking their stride. In a third instance, in the midst of discussing the importance of building solidarity between teachers against
racism, a white student cries and asks her colleagues to remember that they must stay cohesive and support each other as comrades
in struggle. A colleague reports a fourth instance where, during a dialogue about the experiences of women of color, a white woman
repeatedly insisted that the real issue was class, not race, because her experiences as a woman were similar to the women of color.
When a faculty of color informed her that she was monopolizing the discussion and in the process invalidated the voices of women
of color, the white woman cried and was unable to continue. In all these cases, we observed the guilt of whiteness prompting the
women to cry in shame. Made to recognize their unearned privileges and confronted in public, they react with tears of admission.
Discussing (anti)racism is never easy and is frequently suppressed in mainstream classroom conditions. The establishment of
the right conditions is precious but often precarious. In the Ž rst case, we must keep in mind
that it was the black student who felt dehumanized and subsequently felt enough courage to
express her anger about comments she perceived to be problematic. The act of crying by the white
student immediately positioned the black student as the perpetrator of a hurt and erased/deraced the power of her charge. A
reversal of sorts had just occurred. The white student earned the other students’ sympathy and the professor followed her to the
hallway to comfort her white the black student nursed her anger by herself. Likewise, I could not help but feel for the white student.
Upon reŽ ection, an important difference needs to be discussed. In the act of crying, the student attenuated the centuries of hurt
and oppression that the black student was trying to relay. In the act of crying, the student transformed racism into a local problem
between two people. I couldn’t help feeling that other students in the class thought the black person was both wrong and racist,
erasing/deracing the institutional basis of what she had to say. The room’s energy suddenly felt funneled to the white student.
Clearly, there are more ‘harmonious’ ways of teaching the topic of race and racism. However, they also often forsake radical critique
for feelings. Feelings have to be respected and educators can establish the conditions for radical empathy. That said, anger is also a
valid and legitimate feeling; when complemented by clear thought, anger is frighteningly lucid. Thus, a pedagogy of politeness only
goes so far before it degrades into the paradox of liberal feel-good solidarity absent of dissent, without which any worthwhile
pedagogy becomes a democracy of empty forms. White comfort zones are notorious for tolerating only small, incremental dozes of
racial confrontation (Hunter & Nettles, 1999). This does not suggest that educators procure a hostile environment, but a pedagogical
situation that fails to address white racism is arguably already the conduit of hostility. It fragments students’ holistic understanding
of their identity development through the ability of whiteness to deform our complete picture of the racial formation. It practices
violence on the racialized Other in the name of civility and as long as this is the case, racial progress will proceed at the snail pace of
white racial consciousness. White race traitors and progressive Others shall piece together a whole from the fragmentary pieces that
whiteness has created out of this world. The
Contract challenges educators of the new millennium to
explain the untruth of white perspectives on race, even a century after Du Bois’s initial challenge. Obviously, this
does not mean that whites cannot grasp the Contract; many do, but they cannot accomplish this from the white point of view, a
world-view which, according to Gibson, projects a ‘delusional world,’ ‘a racial fantasyland,’ and ‘a consensual hallucination’ (cited in
Mills, 1997, p. 18). With the rise of globalization, education—which prides itself for inculcating into students knowledge about the
real world—struggles to represent the world in the most real way possible. White epistemology can be
characterized as fragmentary and Ž eeting because white livelihood depends on this double
helix. It is fragmentary because in order for whiteness to maintain its invisibility, or its
unmarked status, it must by necessity mistake the world as non-relational or partitioned (Dwyer
& Jones, III, 2000). This allows the white psyche to speak of slavery as ‘long ago,’ rather than as a
legacy which lives today; it minimizes racism toward non-white immigrants today through a
convenient and problematic comparison with white immigrants, like the Irish or Jews. It is also
fleeting because it must deny the history of its own genesis and the creation of the Other. It can
only be concerned with ‘how things are and not how they got to be that way.’ As a socio-spatial epistemology,
whiteness sees the world upside-down. Mills (1997) and I agree when he says: Thus on matters
related to race, the Racial Contract prescribes for its signatories an inverted epistemology, an
epistemology of ignorance, a particular pattern of localized and global cognitive dysfunctions
(which are psychologically and socially functional), producing the ironic outcome that whites
will in general be unable to understand the world they themselves have made. (p. 18; italics in
original) According to Mills, whiteness concerns itself with racial details and misses the totality of the
Racial Contract. Like the way it partitions the world according to its own image, whiteness
constructs history as separate racial details without coherence. As a result, it fails to provide our students
the language to link together California’s Proposition 187 (anti-immigrant), 209 (anti-afŽ rmative action), and 227 (anti-bilingualism)
as related to white hegemony. With the exception of particular Asian ethnic groups (to which I will return later), all three legislations
limit the rights of students of color. Fortunately, white and non-white activists have countered such measures with unrelenting
protests and public organizing because, as Hopson et al. (1998) remind us, ‘[R]ecognizing and valuing language varieties and multiple
ways of speaking among students is a precondition to understanding how to teach them’ (p. 5). As a racial epistemology, whiteness
is necessarily idealist in order to construct the Other as abstract, rather than concrete. Enslavement, discrimination, and
marginalization of the Other work most efŽ ciently when they are constructed as an idea rather than a people. They can be more
easily controlled, aggregated as the same, or marked as unchanging and constant when textbooks idealize them as inconsequential
to the history and evolution of humankind. In effect, whiteness eggs us on to yoke together different peoples around the globe
under the sign of sameness.
CASE
THIS FW HAS EVERY CLAIM A KANT FW NEEDS AND NO WARRANT FOR ANY OF
THEM
Korsgaard’s constructivism is just wrong—assumes there’s no intrinsic value
and is just intuitive assertion—takes out procedural realism and means their
epistemology is just as bad as ours. Their card literally has no warrants. This
card destroys their syllogism.
Fitzpatrick 5, The Practical Turn in Ethical Theory: Korsgaard’s Constructivism, Realism, and the Nature of Normativity Author(s):
by William J. FitzPatrick Source: Ethics, Vol. 115, No. 4 (July 2005), pp. 651-691 BE

Considered in itself, this version of the argument seems more promising. Whether it truly fares better, however, will depend on
whether it has really been shown that, in the course of solving the practical problem in the first two premises, one would necessarily
be treating oneself as if one were the unconditionally valuable, value-conferring source of the value of one’s ends (3a and 4a). To
answer this question, we need first to clarify the required notion of treating something as if it had a certain property by acting in a
certain way. The general idea seems to be this: in acting in a certain way, one treats X as if it were F insofar as the action is
predicated on one’s taking it to be the case that p, and p could in fact be the case only if X were F. So insofar as any action of mine is
predicated on my taking it to be the case that my end is good, and my end could be good only if I were an unconditionally valuable
source of its value, I am—simply by so acting—treating myself as if I were an unconditionally valuable source of the value of my end.
The burden of the argument would thus be to show that it is indeed the case that S: My ends
could be good only if I were the unconditionally val- uable source of their value. Only if this is so can
it be said that in pursuing ends I judge to be good I am treating myself as if I were the unconditionally valuable, value- conferring
source of the value of my ends. Now S is a value-theoretic claim about the true dependency of the value
of ends on agents. Ironically, this sounds like just the sort of metaphysical construal of value
conferral that Korsgaard herself re- nounced in favor of claims simply about how we allegedly must see and value
things and ourselves.50 The latter, of course, was the focus of the first interpretation of the argument, which failed. We are
thus back to what looks like a crucial metaphysical claim about how things truly stand with
respect to the source of value. Setting this tension to one side, we may notice that, in relying on S, the positive
constructivist argument depends entirely on the success of sweeping negative arguments
against realism. For if even a very mod- est form of realism were true, S would be false. If, for example, severe
animal suffering is intrinsically bad—bad in a way that is not derived from facts about the
conditions of my exercise of agency—then my end of stopping a forest fire could be good
quite apart from any value conferral on my part. Unless we have been given independent
reason to reject such claims, we have no reason to accept S. It is not obvious that Korsgaard’s general attack
on realism (Sec. II) will help here, since that was focused on the problem of normative force rather than on the present question
whether ends can be good in a relevantly nonderivative way, violating S. And in any case, one of my aims is precisely to deflate her
critique of realism. If that is successful, then, it
will not only answer her objections to realism but will also undermine
support for the positive constructivist argument as presently construed, insofar as that argument
depends on the prior rejection of realism. Apart from relying on an independent rejection of realism, Kors- gaard’s support
for S seems to come down to a simple intuition: if I didn’t matter, then it couldn’t matter
whether my ends were realized or frustrated; if it matters that my ends be realized, then that implies that I am an
important being.51 This reasonable intuition, however, has force only in connection with ends having to do
with my own welfare and fulfillment. My end of taking piano lessons in order to develop musically, for example,
would indeed not matter if I were worthless and my welfare counted for nothing. But there is no similar intuitive pull
to say anything parallel about any number of other ends I might pursue, as in the forest fire
example. And even with respect to ends that do pertain to the agent’s own welfare, all that is compelling is that the agent-
neutral importance of the ends’ being realized is conditional on the importance of the agent or of the agent’s welfare. Nothing
follows about the agent’s being the value-conferring source of the choice wor- thiness of the ends
themselves in the sense that what makes these ends worth pursuing is explained by the agent’s desires, inclinations, or choices
together with the fact that the agent is unconditionally valuable and endorses those desires or makes those choices.52

Their procedure isn’t inescapable—people could just be shmagents.


David Enoch 6 [studied law and philosophy in Tel Aviv University, where he earned his B.A. and LL.B. in 1993. After completing his
military service and clerking for Justice Dorit Beinisch at the Supreme Court, David turned to graduate studies in philosophy, first in
Tel Aviv University, and then at the NYU Philosophy Department, where he earned his Ph.D. in May, 2003], “Agency, Shmagency:
Why Normativity Won't Come from What Is Constitutive of Action”, The Philosophical Review, Vol. 115, No. 2 (Apr., 2006), BE

Or consider Korsgaard's hope of grounding a reply to the skeptic in what is constitutive of


action.23 We are to imagine, then, someone who remains indifferent when we tell him that his actions are immoral or irra tional.
He then reads Korsgaard and is convinced that self-constitution¶ is a constitutive aim of action, so that you cannot even count as an
agent and your bodily movements cannot even count as actions unless you aim at self-constitution of the kind Korsgaard has in
mind. And assume that our skeptic is even convinced that-miraculously24-morality and indeed the whole of practical rationality can
be extracted from the aim¶ of self-constitution. Do we have any reason to believe that now he will care about the immorality or
irrationality of his actions? Why
isn't he entitled to respond along the following lines: "Classify my
bodily movements and indeed me as you like. Perhaps I cannot be classified as an agent
without aiming to constitute myself. But why should I be an agent? Perhaps I can't act without
aiming at self-constitution, but why should I act? If your reasoning works, this just shows that
I don't care about agency and action. I am perfectly happy being a shmagent-a nonagent¶ who
isvery similar to agents but who lacks the aim (constitutive of agency but not of shmagency) of
self-constitution. I am perfectly happy performing shmactions-nonaction events that are very
similar to actions but that lack the aim (constitutive of actions but not of shmactions) of self ¶
constitution." Has Korsgaard put us in a better spot vis-a-vis this why-be an-agent (rather than a shmagent) problem than we
were vis-a-vis the why-be-moral or why-be-rational challenges with which we-or at least Korsgaard-started? Consider again the
example of the house and the shoddy builder, and suppose we manage to convince him that certain¶ standards-standards he
previously did not care about and regularly failed to measure up to-are constitutive of being a house. It seems he is entitled to
respond: "Very well then, I guess I am not engaging in the project of building a house but rather in the project of building a shmouse,
of which these standards aren't constitutive. So what is it tome how you classify my project?"¶ At times Korsgaard writes as if she
thinks no such retort-either¶ in the house case or in the metaethical or metanormative case-is pos sible. In Lewis's (1996, 60) terms,
at times Korsgaard writes as if she¶ believes that the threat that your inner (and outer) states
will fail to deserve folk-theoretical names (such as "action") is indeed a threat that will strike terror
into the hearts of the wicked.25 But no support is offered¶ for this surprising claim. And notice that Korsgaard's
problem here is not merely that the skeptic is unlikely to be convinced by such a maneuver.
The problem runs deeper than that because the skeptic should not be convinced.26 However strong
or weak the reasons that apply to him and require that he be moral, surely they do not become stronger when he realizes that
unless he complies with morality his bodily movements¶ will not be adequately described as actions.

Equality justifies util—we take our own interests to be reasons, so we must do


the same for others. Util is also an internally consistent rule that doesn’t
contradict itself.
PETER SINGER 99 [Centre for Human Bioethics Monash University], “Practical Ethics Second Edition”, Cambridge University
Press, 1999, ghs//BZ

Can we use this universal aspect of ethics to derive an ethical theory that will give us guidance about right and wrong? Phi- losophers from the Stoics to
Hare and Rawls have attempted this. No attempt has met with general acceptance. The problem is that if we describe the universal aspect of ethics in
bare, formal terms, a wide range of ethical theories, including quite irrec- oncilable ones, are compatible with this notion of universality; if, on the other
hand, we build up our description of the uni- versal aspect of ethics so that it leads us ineluctably to one particular ethical theory, we shall be accused
of smuggling our own ethical beliefs into our definition of the ethical - and this definition was supposed to be broad enough, and neutral enough, to
encompass all serious candidates for the status of 'ethical theory'. Since so many others have failed to overcome this obstacle to deducing an ethical
theory from the universal aspect of ethics, it would be foolhardy to attempt to do so in a brief introduction to a work with a quite different aim. Never-
theless I shall propose something only a little less ambitious. The universal aspect of ethics, I suggest, does provide a per- suasive, although not
conclusive, reason for taking a broadly utilitarian position. My reason for suggesting this is as follows. In
accepting that ethical
judgments must be made from a universal point of view, I am accepting that my own interests
cannot, simply because they are my interests, count more than the interests of anyone else. Thus my very
natural concern that my own interests be Iooked after must, when I think ethically, be
extended to the interests of others. Now, imagine that I am trying to decide between two
possible courses of action - perhaps whether to eat all the fruits I have collected myself, or to share them with others. Imagine, too, that
I am deciding in a complete ethical vacuum, that I know nothing of any ethical considerations - I am, we might say, in a pre-ethical stage ofthinking.
How would I make up my mind? One thing that would be still relevant would be how the possible courses of action will affect my interests. Indeed, if
we define 'interests' broadly enough, so that we count anything people desire as in their interests (unless it is incompatible with another desire or
desires), then it would seem that at this pre-ethical stage, only one's own interests can be relevant to the decision. Suppose I then begin to think
ethically, to the extent of re- cognising that my own interests cannot count for more, simply because they are my own, than the interests of others. In
place of my own interests, I now have to take into account the in- terests of all those affected by my decision. This
requires me to weigh
up all these interests and adopt the course of action most likely to maximise the interests of
those affected. Thus at least at some level in my moral reasoning I must choose the course of action that
has the best consequences, on balance, for all affected. (I say 'at some level in my moral reasoning' because, as we
shall see later, there are utilitarian reasons for believing that we ought not to try to calculate these consequences for every ethical decision we make in
our daily lives, but only in very unusual circumstances, or perhaps when we are reflecting on our choice of general principles to guide us in future. In
other words, in the specific example given, at first glance one might think it obvious that sharing the fruit that I have gathered has better consequences
for all affected than not sharing them. This may in end also be the best general principle for us all to adopt, but before we can have grounds for
believing this to be the case, we must also consider whether the effect of a general practice of sharing gathered fruits will benefit all those affected, by
bringing about a more equal distribution, or whether it will reduce the amount of food gathered, because some will cease to gather anything if they
know that they will get sufficient from their share of what others gather.) The
way of thinking I have outlined is a form of
utilitarianism. It differs from classical utilitarianism in that 'best consequences' is understood
as meaning what, on balance, furthers the inter- ests of those affected, rather than merely
what increases pleasure and reduces pain. (It has, however, been suggested that classical utilitarians like Bentham and John
Stuart Mill used 'pleasure' and 'pain' in a broad sense that allowed them to include achiev- ing what one desired as a 'pleasure' and the reverse as a
'pain'. If this interpretation is correct, the difference between classical utilitarianism and utilitarianism based on interests disappears.) What does this
show? It does not show that utilitarianism can be deduced from the universal aspect of ethics. There are other ethical ideals - like individual rights, the
sanctity of life, justice, purity, and so on - that are universal in the required sense, and are, at least in some versions, incompatible with utilitarianism. It
does show that we very swiftly arrive at an initially utilitarian position once we apply the universal
aspect of ethics to simple, pre-ethical decision making. This, I believe, places the onus of proof on
those who seek to go beyond util- itarianism. The utilitarian position is a minimal one, a first base
that we reach by universalising self-interested decision making. We cannot, if we are to think ethically, refuse to take this step. If we are to be

persuaded that we should go beyond utilitar- ianism and accept non-utilitarian moral rules or
ideals, we need to be provided with good reasons for taking this further step. Until such
reasons are produced, we have some grounds for remaining utilitarians.

Applying Kantian autonomy to politics justifies the original position


John Rawls 99, A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999), BE

Moral philosophy
For one thing, he begins with the idea that moral principles are the object of rational choice. They define the moral law that men can ratio- nally will to govern their conduct in an ethical commonwealth.

becomes the study of the conception and outcome of a suit- ably defined rational decision.
This idea has immediate consequences. For once we think of moral principles as legislation for
a kingdom of ends, it is clear that these principles must not only be acceptable to all but public
as well The description of the original
. Finally Kant supposes that this moral legislation is to be agreed to under conditions that characterize men as free and equal ra- tional beings.

position is an attempt to interpret this conception . I do not wish to argue here for this interpreta- tion on the basis of Kant’s text. Certainly some will want to read him

a person is acting
differently. Perhaps the remarks to follow are best taken as suggestions for relating justice as fairness to the high point of the contractarian tradi- tion in Kant and Rousseau. Kant held, I believe, that

autonomously when the principles of his action are chosen by him as the most adequate
possible expression of his nature as a free and equal rational being . The principles he acts upon are not adopted because of his social position or

the veil of ignorance


natural endowments, or in view of the particular kind of society in which he lives or the specific things that he happens to want. To act on such princi ples is to act heteronomously. Now
deprives the persons in the original position of the knowledge that would enable them to
choose heteronomous principles. The parties arrive at their choice together as free and equal
rational persons knowing only that those circumstances obtain which give rise to the need for
principles of justice it adds the feature that the
. To be sure, the argument for these principles does add in various ways to Kant’s conception. For example,

principles chosen are to apply to the basic structure of society ; and premises charac- terizing this structure are used in deriving the principles of justice.
But I believe that this and other additions are natural enough and remain fairly close to Kant’s doctrine, at least when all of his ethical writings are viewed together. Assuming, then, that the reasoning in favor of the princi- ples of justice is correct, we can say that
when persons act on these principles they are acting in accordance with principles that they would choose as rational and independent persons in an original position of equality. The principles of their actions do not depend upon social or natural contingencies, nor
do they reflect the bias of the particulars of their plan of life or the aspirations that motivate them. By acting from these principles persons express their nature as free and equal rational beings subject to the general conditions of human life. For to express one’s
nature as a being of a particular kind is to act on the principles that would be chosen if this nature were the decisive determining element. Of course, the choice of the parties in the original position is subject to the restrictions of that situation. But when we
knowingly act on the principles of justice in the ordinary course of events, we deliberately assume the limitations of the original position. One reason for doing this, for persons who can do so and want to, is to give expression to one’s nature. The principles of justice
are also analogous to categorical imperatives. For by a categorical imperative Kant understands a principle of con- duct that applies to a person in virtue of his nature as a free and equal rational being. The validity of the principle does not presuppose that one has a
particular desire or aim. Whereas a hypothetical imperative by contrast does assume this: it directs us to take certain steps as effective means to achieve a specific end. Whether the desire is for a particular thing, or whether it is for something more general, such as
certain kinds of agreeable feelings or pleasures, the corresponding imperative is hypo- thetical. Its applicability depends upon one’s having an aim which one need not have as a condition of being a rational human individual. The argument for the two principles of
justice does not assume that the parties have particular ends, but only that they desire certain primary goods. These are thi ngs that it is rational to want whatever else one wants. Thus given human nature, wanting them is part of being rational; and while each is
presumed to have some conception of the good, nothing is known about his final ends. The preference for primary goods is derived, then, from only the most general assumptions about rationality and the condi- tions of human life. To act from the principles of
justice is to act from categorical imperatives in the sense that they apply to us whatever in particular our aims are. This simply reflects the fact that no such contin- gencies appear as premises in their derivation. We may note also that the motivational assumption of
mutual disinter- est parallels Kant’s notion of autonomy, and gives another reason for this condition. So far this assumption has been used to characterize the cir- cumstances of justice and to provide a clear conception to guide the reasoning of the parties. We have
also seen that the concept of benevo- lence, being a second-order notion, would not work out well. Now we can add that the assumption of mutual disinterest is to allow for freedom in the choice of a system of final ends.30 Liberty in adopting a conception of the
good is limited only by principles that are deduced from a doctrine which imposes no prior constraints on these conceptions. Presuming mu- tual disinterest in the original position carries out this idea. We postulate that the parties have opposing claims in a suitably
general sense. If their ends were restricted in some specific way, this would appear at the outset as an arbitrary restriction on freedom. Moreover, if the parties were conceived as altruists, or as pursuing certain kinds of pleasures, then the principles chosen would
apply, as far as the argument would have shown, only to persons whose freedom was restricted to choices compatible with altruism or hedonism. As the argument now runs, the principles of justice cover all persons with rational plans of life, whatever their content,
and these principles represent the appropriate restrictions on freedom. Thus it is possible to say that the constraints on conceptions of the good are the result of an interpretation of the contractual situation that puts no prior limitations on what men may desire.
There are a variety of reasons, then, for the motivational premise of mutual disinterest. This premise is not only a matter of realism about the circumstances of justice or a way to make the theory manageable. It also connects up with the Kantian idea of autonomy.
There is, however, a difficulty that should be clarified. It is well ex- pressed by Sidgwick.31 He remarks that nothing in Kant’s ethics is more striking than the idea that a man realizes his true self when he acts from the moral law, whereas if he permits his actions to be
determined by sensuous desires or contingent aims, he becomes subject to the law of nature. Yet in Sidgwick’s opinion this idea comes to naught. It seems to him that on Kant’s view the lives of the saint and the scoundrel are equally the outcome of a free choice (on
the part of the noumenal self) and equally the subject of causal laws (as a phenomenal self). Kant never explains why the scoundrel does not express in a bad life his charac- teristic and freely chosen selfhood in the same way that a saint expresses his characteristic
and freely chosen selfhood in a good one. Sidgwick’s objection is decisive, I think, as long as one assumes, as Kant’s exposition may seem to allow, both that the noumenal self can choose any consistent set of principles and that acting from such principles, whatever
they are, is sufficient to express one’s choice as that of a free and equal rational being. Kant’s reply must be that though acting on any consistent set of principles could be the outcome of a decision on the part of the noumenal self, not all such action by the
phenomenal self expresses this decision as that of a free and equal rational being. Thus if a person realizes his true self by expressing it in his actions, and if he desires above all else to realize this self, then he will choose to act from principles that manifest his nature
as a free and equal rational being. The missing part of the argument concerns the concept of expression. Kant did not show that acting from the moral law expresses our nature in identifiable ways that acting from contrary principles does not. This defect is made
good, I believe, by the conception of the original position. The essential point is that we need an argument showing which principles, if any, free and equal rational persons would choose and these principles must be applicable in practice. A definite answer to this
ques- tion is required to meet Sidgwick’s objection. My suggestion is that we think of the original position as in important ways similar to the point of view from which noumenal selves see the world. The parties qua noumenal selves have complete freedom to
choose whatever principles they wish; but they also have a desire to express their nature as rational and equal members of the intelligible realm with precisely this liberty to choose, that is, as beings who can look at the world in this way and express this perspective
in their life as members of society. They must decide, then, which principles when consciously followed and acted upon in everyday life will best manifest this freedom in their community, most fully reveal their independence from natural contingencies and social
accident. Now if the argument of the contract doctrine is correct, these principles are indeed those defining the moral law, or more exactly, the principles of justice for institutions and individuals. The description of the original position resembles the point of view of
noumenal selves, of what it means to be a free and equal rational being. Our nature as such beings is displayed when we act from the principles we would choose when this nature is reflected in the conditions determining the choice. Thus men exhibit their freedom,
their independence from the contingen- cies of nature and society, by acting in ways they would acknowledge in the original position. Properly understood, then, the desire to act justly derives in part from the desire to express most fully what we are or can be,
namely free and equal rational beings with a liberty to choose. It is for this reason, I believe, that Kant speaks of the failure to act on the moral law as giving rise to shame and not to feelings of guilt. And this is appropriate, since for him acting unjustly is acting in a
manner that fails to express our nature as a free and equal rational being. Such actions therefore strike at our self-respect, our sense of our own worth, and the experience of this loss is shame (§67). We have acted as though we belonged to a lower order, as though
we were a creature whose first principles are decided by natural contingencies. Those who think of Kant’s moral doctrine as one of law and guilt badly misunderstand him. Kant’s main aim is to deepen and to justify Rousseau’s idea that liberty is acting in accordance

The original position may be viewed, then,


with a law that we give to ourselves. And this leads not to a morality of austere command but to an ethic of mutual respect and self-esteem.32

as a procedural interpreta- tion of Kant’s conception of autonomy within the and the categorical imperative

framework of an empirical theory The principles regulative of the kingdom of ends are those .

that would be chosen in this position, and the description of this situation enables us to
explain the sense in which acting from these principles expresses our nature as free and equal
ra- tional persons . No longer are these notions purely transcendent and lack- ing explicable connections with human conduct, for the procedural con- ception of the original position allows us to make these ties. Of course, I have

departed from Kant’s views in several respects. I cannot discuss these matters here; but two points should be noted. The person’s choice as a noumenal self I have assumed to be a collective one. The force of the self’s being equal is that the principles chosen must
be acceptable to other selves.

It’s still consistent with proportional retribution—sentences are too long now
and extending, so plea bargains just compensate for that—turns retribution.
Sentencing Project no date, “Criminal Justice Facts Our criminal justice system today is like a bicycle stuck in one gear: the
prison gear. The United States is the world’s leader in incarceration.” Sentencing Project, no date, BE

Harsh sentencing laws like mandatory minimums, combined with cutbacks in parole release,
keep people in prison for longer periods of time. The National Research Council reported that half of the
222% growth in the state prison population between 1980 and 2010 was due to an increase of
time served in prison for all offenses. There has also been a historic rise in the use of life
sentences: one in nine people in prison is now serving a life sentence, nearly a third of whom are sentenced to life without
parole.