An analysis of morality in groundwork of the metaphysics of morals by immanuel kant

However, in a later work The Metaphysics of MoralsKant suggests that imperfect duties only allow for flexibility in how one chooses to fulfill them. Even with a system of moral duties in place, Kant admits that judgment is often required to determine how these duties apply to particular circumstances.

Morality works according to a categorical imperative because we must act in a given way simply because the motive is admirable, not because we have calculated that we can achieve certain ends as a result. Popularity is entirely unimportant for Kant; instead, must be a moral system free of theology, anthropology, physics, etc.

Mary Gregor and Jens Timmermann. For example, the preservation of ones life is a duty, but people do this would of self interest, not because it is a duty. The categorical imperative represents the accordance of the subjective maxim with the objective law, and accordance alone is the content of the imperative.

These two different viewpoints allow Kant to make sense of how we can have free wills, despite the fact that the world of appearances follows laws of nature deterministically. So we are committed to freedom on the one hand, and yet on the other hand we are also committed to a world of appearances that is run by laws of nature and has no room for freedom.

Summary of Kant’s Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals

The maxim is only moral when his self-inclination is removed if he were suicidal, yet chose to keep living because of his duty. Yet, given limitations on our time, energy and interest, it is difficult to see how full rationality requires us to aim to fully develop literally all of our talents.

If something is absolutely valuable, then we must act only on maxims that can be universal laws. A hypothetical imperative is a command that also applies to us in virtue of our having a rational will, but not simply in virtue of this.

Likewise, while actions, feelings or desires may be the focus of other moral views, for Kant practical irrationality, both moral and prudential, focuses mainly on our willing. If it is, then, fourth, ask yourself whether you would, or could, rationally will to act on your maxim in such a world.

Because an action is moral on account of its being reasoned, the moral worth of an action is determined by its motive, or the reason behind the action, not by its consequences.

Kant's Moral Philosophy

Moreover, Kant begins the Groundwork by noting that character traits such as the traditional virtues of courage, resolution, moderation, self-control, or a sympathetic cast of mind possess no unconditional moral worth, G 4: Thus, supposing that the taxi driver has freely exercised his rational capacities in pursuing his line of work, we make permissible use of these capacities as a means only if we behave in a way that he could, when exercising his rational capacities, consent to — for instance, by paying an agreed on price.

For example, Kant claims that the duty not to steal the property of another person is narrow and perfect because it precisely defines a kind of act that is forbidden. A maxim of an action is its principle of volition. The result, at least on one version of this interpretation Wolffis that we either act rationally and reasonably and so autonomously or we are merely caused to behave in certain ways by non—rational forces acting on us and so heteronomously.

Kant also distinguishes vice, which is a steadfast commitment to immorality, from particular vices, which involve refusing to adopt specific moral ends or committing to act against those ends.

If I do the necessary mathematics to divide a line in half, I will divide a line in half. Thomas Kingsmill Abbott ; introduction by Marvin Fox. Whether the will is actually free we can never know, but we still act in accordance with the idea of freedom.

Kant held that ordinary moral thought recognized moral duties toward ourselves as well as toward others. Suppose for the sake of argument we agree with Kant.

The argument is based on the assumption that our faculties have distinct natural purposes for which they are most suitable, and it is questionable whether Kant can avail himself of this sort of argument.

This, at any rate, is clear in the talents example itself: To appeal to a posteriori considerations would thus result in a tainted conception of moral requirements. Following Hillwe can understand the difference in duties as formal: This is a third reason he gives for an a priori method, and it appears to have been of great importance to Kant: That is, do such imperatives tell us to take the necessary means to our ends or give up our ends wide scope or do they simply tell us that, if we have an end, then take the necessary means to it.

Similarly, ethics contains an empirical part, which deals with the question of what—given the contingencies of human nature—tends to promote human welfare, and a non-empirical part, which is concerned with an a priori investigation into the nature and substance of morality.

Schneewindet al. What naturally comes to mind is this: Kant confirms this by comparing motivation by duty with other sorts of motives, in particular, with motives of self-interest, self-preservation, sympathy and happiness. Kant uses four examples in the Groundwork, one of each kind of duty, to demonstrate that every kind of duty can be derived from the CI, and hence to bolster his case that the CI is indeed the fundamental principle of morality.From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes, tests, and essays.

May 05,  · Notes on Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. Preface: Defines metaphysics as pure philosophy limited to "determinate objects of the understanding." There can be both a metaphysics of nature (of physics) and of morals (ethics), the second of which can be broken down into the empirical (practical.

Immanuel Kant () established a metaphysics of morals based on the idea that rationality drives morality. His categorical imperative is still seen by many philosophers as a philosophically. Groundwork for the Metaphysic of Morals, published inis Kant’s first major work in ethics.

Like the Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics, the Groundwork is the short and easy-to-read version of what Kant deals with at greater length and complexity in. Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (German: Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten; ; also known as the Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, Grounding of the Metaphysics of Morals and the Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals) is the first of Immanuel Kant's mature works on moral philosophy and remains one of the most Genre: Philosophy.

Groundwork Immanuel Kant Preface norm for making correct moral judgments, morality itself will be subject to all kinds of corruption. ·Here is the reason for that·.For something to be morally good, it isn’t enough that.

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An analysis of morality in groundwork of the metaphysics of morals by immanuel kant
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