Essay Kant 's Philosophy And Philosophy

2023 Words Dec 2nd, 2016 9 Pages
A seminal philosopher across fields from epistemology to aesthetics and politics, Immanuel Kant is famous best known for his work in ethics and his famous categorical imperative. At the heart of his conception of the moral law is the question of how virtue and happiness relate. In his Critique of Pure Reason, Kant describes the immortality of the soul and the ontology of a supreme being as being fundamentally unknowable through theoretical human reason, neither able to proved or disproved. However, his thesis in The Critique of Practical Reason asserts the human ability to know the realm of the noumenal through the logical consequences of the moral law, virtue, and happiness. While a plethora of thinkers addressed the relationship between virtue and happiness before Kant, he uses two different schools to generalize to common approaches to this topic. The Epicureans and the Stoics represent two major and quite different views on the question of how virtue and happiness relate. Kant summarizes their divergence succinctly: “The Epicurean said: to conscious of one’s maxims as leading to happiness is virtue. The Stoics said: To be conscious of one’s virtue is happiness.” While diametrically opposed in their moral priorities, both schools see virtue and happiness as deeply connected, if not directly proportional. In contrast, Kant understands virtue and happiness as two mutually exclusive spheres. However, in order to defend his philosophy of the moral law, Kant must make sense…

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