My doctoral project offers a reconstructive account of Kant on the pedagogical power of moral exemplars. I argue that, on a certain reconstruction of Kantian moral education, we find ourselves in need of images to make moral progress. Specifically, we need exemplars whose actions reveal the possibility of morality, and so impart to us an impression of morality on both a perceptual and ideological level. However, not wishing to be doomed to an externally-compelled moral education forever, it is important to find other sources for these impressions of morality. And so, we turn inwards. Indeed, if moral exemplarity is only ever so exemplified in token actions (thanks to Kant’s claims about motivational opacity), then we should ourselves be able to provide reflexive impressions of morality–or so Kant ought to claim if the foregoing statements are sound. The final part of my reconstructive account is therefore about how we can be examples to ourselves on Kant's account. The peculiar dynamic at work in intrapsychic exemplarity provides the key to understanding Kant on self-esteem, and is moreover corroborated by contemporary psychological accounts. In this project, I build on my published research on moral hydraulics in Plato (2018), and on my published work on Kant's naturalised theory of freedom in the Metaphysics of Morals (2016).

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