Moral Obligation In Kant's Analysis

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Further, this essay is also noteworthy and very prophetic, since Kant hints at the distinction between hypothetical and categorical imperatives which became more prominent in his thought as he developed his philosophy.

One ought to do this or that and not some other things.’ This is the formula under which every obligation is proclaimed. Every ought presents a necessity of action and is qualified for two meanings: either I ought to do something as a means if I wish something else as an end, or I ought to achieve my real end directly (that kind of something else). The former we can call the necessity of means (necessita temproblem aticam), and the latter the necessity of ends (necessita temlegalem). Through the first necessity no obligation
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Therefore, given the peculiar sensation and subjective characteristics of the good, the good becomes absolutely indemonstrable. Moral obligation consequently is closely associated with subjectivity. At the end of this essay, Kant concludes that we acquire ‘many’ such simple feelings of the good in practice and that the good is indeed ‘the foundation for all the other practical principles.’ Even though he held that the fundamental principle of obligation still needed to be ‘determined more reliably,’this essay nevertheless indicates that Kant’s early views espoused the idea that ethical obligation or the necessary end is primarily driven by a kind of subjective, simple, and indemonstrable sensation. However, Kant also realized this perspective was problematic because he was cognizant of the deficiency in Wolff’s principle, namely, that subjective feeling is not a demonstrable basis for establishing the necessary end of moral obligation. In response to this dilemma, Kant adopted another psychological approach to describe how the good practically functions. He argues that while one’s immediate good feeling remains indemonstrable to others it could be demonstrable to one’s self. The simple sensation of a good feeling is intuitively irrefutable and psychologically

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