Macquarie University
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Perfection and morality: a commentary on Baumgarten's Ethica Philosophica and its relevance to Kantian ethics

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posted on 2022-03-28, 18:31 authored by Toshiro Osawa
Baumgarten's Ethica Philosophica (first ed. 1740) exerted significant influence on the development of Kant's moral philosophy. However, the extent of this influence often remains unnoticed, since this book has never been translated into a modern language. This thesis seeks to explore this influence. The first part reconstructs the historical and philosophical framework within which Baumgarten's ethics developed, with chapters on the historical background, Leibniz, and Wolff. The last chapter of this first part closes the framework by sketching Kant's transformation of the relation between faith and reason, philosophy and natural theology, a relation central in Baumgarten's ethics. The second part provides a thorough commentary of Ethica, showing the ways in which Kant continued to depend on the metaphysical apparatuses and indeed many of the central ethical concepts inherited from his predecessor, at the same as he altered them radically.


Table of Contents

Part I. Baumgarten's intellectual background -- Chapter one. General historical background -- Chapter two. Leibniz -- Chapter three. Christian Wolff -- Chapter four. Kant's grounding of ethics in religion -- Part II. Baumgarten's Ethica philosophica -- Chapter five. Baumgarten's definition of ethics and its religious ground -- Chapter six. Duties towards oneself -- Chapter seven. Duties towards others -- Chapter eight. Special ethics.


Bibliography: pages 236-251. Theoretical thesis. Includes bibliographical references

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy

Department, Centre or School

Department of Philosophy

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Jean-Philippe Deranty


Copyright Toshiro Osawa 2013. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (x, 251 pages)

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