Would Immanuel Kant oppose alternative rock?
If we were to universalize the maxim "It is permissible to listen to alternative rock" then "alternative" rock would become mainstream, since everyone would listen to it. This of course creates a contradiction, implying we have a perfect duty not to listen to alternative rock.
(I'm not trying to be silly. I think I've wildly misinterpreted Kant, and I was wondering if you could clear it up.)
You might say that just because alt. rock was permitted, that doesn't mean everyone would listen to it. But if stealing was permitted, it doesn't logically follow that everyone would steal. (Same goes for lying.)
I'm not a Kant scholar so can't say much helpful about your interpretation of Kant (the contradiction test has always puzzled me), but there is an assumption in your argument that seems worth questioning. You suggest that if everyone listened to alternative rock, it wouldn't be alternative anymore, and so there is a contradiction in generalizing the maxim. But I wonder if it is essential to alternative rock that it is "alternative"? It seems to me that alternative rock is a kind of music (I kind I like a lot) that is not defined by its being alterantive, but by the norms of the genre. There are kinds of rock that aren't mainstream, but aren't "alternative rock" either. They are just unpopular. So "alternative rock" is not equivalent to "unpopular rock" or "non-mainstream rock". Philosophers sometimes distinguish two ways of using descriptions. One way is to pick something out, but once you've picked it out using the description, you can talk about that thing even in contexts where it...