Immanuel Kant Concept Of Morality

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Topic One Immanuel Kant was an extremely influential philosopher in the 18th century, who many consider to be the father of modern philosophy. His groundbreaking work on morality is best exemplified in his book, The Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals. This book introduces readers to the concepts of morality and the idea of what it means to have good will. Metaphysics is defined as a branch of philosophy that deals with the first principle of things which includes concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time and space. In this book, Kant explains that all rational knowledge is either formal or material. Formal philosophy is known as logic, and the material philosophy deals with determinate objects and laws that those …show more content…
Kant describes the categorical imperative as, “A categorical imperative, which declares an action to be of itself objectively necessary without reference to any purpose hold an apodictic practical principle” (25). While that quote seems confusing, it can be explained quite simply. Kant says that the CI is a set of rules that is to be followed by everyone due to their moral obligations. He goes on to explain that the CI is a necessary action that has an end in itself. Based upon this explanation, one can assume that the categorical imperative could be considered a necessity because it applies to everyone. This claim has a direct connection with another of Kant’s definitions. Kant defines a command as, “the representation of an objective principle insofar as it necessitates the will” (24). Following this logic, the CI can be considered a command in which the action performed is determined by reason and only reason, which in turn makes the action unconditionally good. Therefore, the categorical imperative is considered the right thing to do because the action commanded by it is led by reason rather than desire. Due to its nature, the CI is not subjectively binding and it does not simply apply to one individual. Returning to the original definition of the categorical imperative, one must also consider the apodictic principle. This principle describes how the action is attained and bound by …show more content…
The first proposition states that in order to have moral worth, an action must be done out of moral duty. The second proposition states that the moral worth of something is determined by an act of willing. This is essentially just doing the right thing regardless of whether your actions are rewarded. The final proposition talks about how moral worth states that moral duty is done because of a respect for the law. This is an example of a maxim. A maxim, per Kant, can be defined as, “the subjective principle of acting must be distinguished from the objective principle, viz., the practical law” (30). Kant uses contradiction to test the moral worth of maxims. On page 32, Kant explains that “some actions are so constituted that their maxims cannot without contradiction even be thought as a universal law of nature, much less be willed as what should become one” (32). Kant goes on to talk about the universality of moral

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