Foundations of the metaphysics of morals

If everyone followed this principle, nobody would trust another person when she made a promise, and the institution of promise-making would be destroyed. We know from the third proposition, however, that the moral law must bind universally and necessarily, that is, regardless of ends and circumstances.

However, the fact that we see ourselves as often falling short of what morality demands of us indicates we have some functional concept of the moral law. Its usefulness or fruitfulness can neither add nor take away anything from this value.

Thomas Kingsmill Abbott — So, for example, if I want ice cream, I should go to the ice cream shop or make myself some ice cream. Another interpretation asserts that the proposition is that an act has moral worth only if the principle acted upon generates moral action non-contingently.

All things in nature must act according to laws, but only rational beings act in accordance with the representation of a law. Testing the First Formulation 70 1 Suicide: 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.

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You are only free if you are motivated by reason; and when you are motivated by reason, you are abiding by the categorical imperative, and are thus moral. A third finds in himself a talent which with the help of some culture might make him a useful man in many respects.

Kant opens the preface with an affirmation of the ancient Greek idea of a threefold division of philosophy into logic, physics, and ethics. May I when in distress make a promise with the intention not to keep it?

Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals Summary

This violation of the principle of humanity in other men is more obvious if we take in examples of attacks on the freedom and property of others. A man reduced to despair by a series of misfortunes feels wearied of life, but is still so far in possession of his reason that he can ask himself whether it would not be contrary to his duty to himself to take his own life.

All objects of the inclinations have only a conditional worth, for if the inclinations and the wants founded on them did not exist, then their object would be without value. It is just in this that the moral worth of the character is brought out which is incomparably the highest of all, namely, that he is beneficent, not from inclination, but from duty.

As Kant puts it, there is a contradiction between freedom and natural necessity. From the perspective of practical reason, which is involved when we consider how to act, we have to take ourselves as free.

That means that if you know that someone is free, then you know that the moral law applies to them, and vice versa.

Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals Analysis

If he destroys himself in order to escape from painful circumstances, he uses a person merely as a mean to maintain a tolerable condition up to the end of life. London, New York [etc.In this week's module we saw as a bit of review that Kant, in the Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, had written that someone who is not inclined to help others, but who forces herself to, performs a morally praiseworthy action.

While someone who regularly helps others and enjoys doing so, even if the enjoyment is not selfish, may deserve praise, but her action has no true moral. Foundations of Western Culture II: Renaissance to Modernity Lecture #15 - IX. KANT, THE METAPHYSICAL FOUNDATION OF MORALS: a.

Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals/What Is Enlightenment?

Text: original translation in the public domain. Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals () by Immanuel Kant (Adapted from the translation of T. K. Abbott by A.C. Kibel). The "reverence" for law that such a being exhibits (this is explained in Kant's footnote) is not an emotional feeling of respect for the greatness of the law.

Rather, it is the moral motivation of a person who recognizes that the law is an imperative of reason that transcends all other concerns and interests. I must confess that I found the Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals to be a difficult read.

A densely written and lengthy treatise on a difficult subject, it was almost impenetrable to my cursory (and rather too disjointed) reading/5. Immanuel Kant Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals by Beck, Lewis White and a great selection of similar Used, New and Collectible Books available now.

The Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals was read for Loyola University's PHIL History of Now, two years later, having returned to school to study philosophy, I had incentive to continue the study of Kant's writings beyond those with which the psychiatrist had been familiar/5(K).

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