Self-Legislation and Self-Command in Kant’s Ethics

ERIC ENTRICAN WILSON
PACIFIC PHILOSOPHICAL QUARTERLY 96.2 (2015): 256-278

Abstract:  In his later writings, Kant distinguishes between autonomy and self-mastery or self-command. This article explains the relation between these two ideas, both of which are integral to his understanding of moral agency and the pursuit of virtue. The author points to problems with other interpretations of this relation and offer an alternative. On his view, self-command is a condition or state achieved by those agents who become proficient at solving problems presented by the passions. Such agents are able to stick to the results of self-legislation over time and thereby achieve a form of temporally extended freedom.