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piggywarrior

Kant's Categorical Imperative

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No one here is going to be able to explain Kant to you outright since he has a fairly complex and sizable body of work. He's also not read too much in policy, although I understand his categorical imperative is referenced to some extent in LD. You;ll get more here than you probably will in a single post.

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Kant has alot of spread, i.e. he talks in depth across a breadth of domains of philosophy and theory. He has a basis in metaphysics, ethics and morality, epistemology, theories of the mind, and a number of other fields. 

Kant in CX debate is really only referenced at the metaphysical level, since Util is Trutil unless you read Derrida. People don't read philosophy in CX because nothing in resolution indicates you "ought" to, and most philosophy fails to allow prescriptions of specific actions, i.e an advocacy text. In LD, phil is a strat that allows you to apply a higher level of theory to determine if the resolution ought to be affirmed or negated, but relies on the premise that it is logical to apply certain maxims to specific scenarios. In CX you can possible use phil to negate the resolution or pre-req it, i.e. Derrida and deconstruction (check out the UNT file on OpenEv) but affirming is almost impossible since every instance of the resolution is particular e.g. you don't defend that we substantially reduce legal immigration restrictions in every conceivable way but rather just what is bounded off by the plan text/advocacy statement. 

Also K's are not phil. Almost all of them are utilitarian in nature. Even theories like AnB, Marxism and cap K's, and security K premise themselves off of the deadly impacts of a system that outweigh and turn normative policy commandments. 

To learn Kant best its a good idea to look at the LD reddit, there are some great posts about what literature to get started with and how to use him offensively. Phil as a strat in LD is very powerful in order to add trickery and shadiness to an otherwise static form of debate.

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2 minutes ago, warpathianwrath said:

Also K's are not phil. Almost all of them are utilitarian in nature. Even theories like AnB, Marxism and cap K's, and security K premise themselves off of the deadly impacts of a system that outweigh and turn normative policy commandments. 

Death as an impact does not equate to utill (as in the case of afropess), and particular death - e.g. prioritize genocide before nuclear war - is a fairly common impact. Many Ks (especially French, post-Nietzsche "pomo" style Ks) are explicitly philosophical interrogations of concepts like meaning, the self, metaphysics, etc.

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4 minutes ago, seanarchy said:

Death as an impact does not equate to utill (as in the case of afropess), and particular death - e.g. prioritize genocide before nuclear war - is a fairly common impact. Many Ks (especially French, post-Nietzsche "pomo" style Ks) are explicitly philosophical interrogations of concepts like meaning, the self, metaphysics, etc.

Sure. But when we weigh, we still use a "prevent death" anaylsis regardless of our interp. Even when we read Death K's that say there is no death, there is still something worse than death and that's the impact of the Death K. Even pomo relies on some form of preventing the worsening the world by doing something, i.e. afropess says lets breakdown civil society since fatalism is the only way to solve for the "worse-than-normative-death" status of black people. Nietzsche still relies on preventing consequences good, i.e. let's not securitize and chase down particular solutions every moment of every day and give in to our fears because more happiness results from letting go than trying to prevent shit from happening. Everything past humanism is essentially util - especially critical theory since it relies metaphysically on the fact that some form of pleasure and pain exist and pleasure is better than pain. Any "K" written in the last century as a part of modernism, post-structuralism, or postmodernism in a debate context can only be weighed in a consequentialist fashion since it isn't practical to normatively justify another mechanism to vote. Derrrida is a good counterexample though since he advocates unending respect/appreciation/something for the Other in the face of sacrifice of the Subject. This is very non-consequentialist since it prefers a maxim over the aspects of a particular situation.

I can normatively justify the resolution by saying we ought to affirm since reducing immigration restriction is a way of preventing totalization of the Other.

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There's a lot wrong about this, but I'll just point out a few things.

1) util is not "preventing bad consequences in general" - it's promoting the greatest good for the greatest number, or in it's negative version, preventing the greatest harm for the greatest number. Util is consequentialist, consequentialism is not util.

2) your description of Nietzsche is a description of stoicism. Nietzsche is not concerned with happiness, but with nobility or greatness as an operative way of being - one which is explicitly indifferent to pain and pleasure as guiding principals. Also, what you've described as afropessimist fatalism is actually Warren's black nihilism, which is distinct and is only a call for political fatalism.

3) at the point where you consider "having goals" to be consequentialism, you sort of smush together multiple philosophical perspectives in a way that isn't very helpful - for example, Kant wants everyone to act in accordance with duty (it is his goal to convince people of this), not because it has "good consequences" but because it is critically justified.

4) I have no idea why you think Derrida is not a part of "modernism, post-structuralism, or postmodernism," or why these are even remotely equivalent terms - "everything past humanism is essentially util" is super not true. Like not even a little. Util is a humanism. Kant (not a utilitarian) is a modern philosopher. Bentham (the OG utilitarian) is a modern philosopher and humanist. Nietzsche (not a utilitarian) is a proto-postmodern and proto-poststrucuturalist philosopher - not a humanist. Deleuze (not a utilitarian) is a postmodern and post-structuralist philosopher - not a humanist. Derrida is a postmodern, at first structuralist and later post-structuralist literary critic who commented on philosophy - not a humanist. Wilderson does not fit neatly within these categories but is certainly anti-humanist, anti-utilitarian, and anti-consequentialist in a conventional sense (since genocide exceeds a rational empiricist register).

5) very confused as to why you think it's a logical leap to apply explicitly prescriptive ethical theories (philosophical ones, sometime postmodern or non-utilitarian ones) to situations calling for ethical prescriptions. This is basic applied ethics. It's an entire field which is definitely not pure consequentialism.

Edited by seanarchy

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