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Kant's Moral Philosophy


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to:

  • BA students in Philosophy, who have successfully completed their first year, and who have also completed at least 10 EC’s of the mandatory components of their second year, including: Political Philosophy.

  • Pre-master’s students in Philosophy who are in possession of an admission statement, and for whom this course is part of their programme.


This course provides an opportunity for students to broaden and deepen their understanding of Kant’s moral philosophy by closely analyzing primary texts and engaging with interpretative and normative debates. The course covers Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, selections from the Critique of Practical Reason and the Metaphysics of Morals, and related essays. Topics to be discussed include the nature and grounds of morality, the idea of freedom as autonomy, what basic moral duties we have towards ourselves and others, and the relationship between moral theory and practice.

Course objectives

This course aims to give students a comprehensive and systematic understanding of key aspects of Kant’s moral philosophy.

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:

  • fundamental concepts in Kant’s moral philosophy;

  • interpretive debates about how to understand Kant’s key arguments and the relationship between his central works in moral philosophy;

  • central normative debates about the implications of Kant’s moral philosophy.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • knowledgeably discuss questions about how Kant’s moral philosophy is best interpreted;

  • think independently and critically about the nature, value, and implications of Kant’s moral philosophy.


The timetable is available on the following websites:

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance is required.

Course load

Total course load 10 EC x 28 hours = 280 hours

  • Attending seminars (13 weeks x 3 hrs): 39 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature: 130 hours

  • Preparation seminars: 13 hours

  • Writing papers: 98 hours

Assessment method

Midterm paper: 40%
Final paper: 60%


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of the two subtests.


The resit covers the entire exam (100%) and consists of of paper.
Active participation in class is required for admission to the resit.
Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the first examination cannot take the resit.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • Course information

  • Announcements

  • Reading list

  • Submitting essays and obtaining feedback

Reading list

  • Immanuel Kant, Practical Philosophy, ed. and trans. Mary J. Gregor. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

  • Jens Timmermann, Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals: A Commentary. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Other readings will be made available via Blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetables for courses and exams.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. J.S. Gledhill


Not applicable.