An Introduction to Kant's Ethics by Roger J. Sullivan

By Roger J. Sullivan

This can be the main up to date, short and obtainable creation to Kant's ethics to be had. It methods the ethical conception through the political philosophy, hence permitting the reader to understand why Kant argued that the felony constitution for any civil society should have an ethical foundation. This technique additionally explains why Kant idea that our uncomplicated ethical norms should still function legislation of behavior for everybody. the amount additionally features a specific observation on Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant's most generally studied paintings of ethical philosophy.

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In the Foundations Kant occasionally clouded the difference between the Law of Autonomy as a principle analytically elucidating the concept of a perfectly rational (or holy) agent and that same principle as an imperative obligating us, given that we are imper43 An Introduction to Kant's Ethics fectly rational human agents. As a consequence, his claims in 440 and 447 that the principle of morality is not analytically true can certainly seem perplexing. Because Kant stressed that the Categorical Imperative is a "synthetic a priori proposition," it may be helpful to touch on this topic.

Our choosing to act in a certain way does not have the empirical consequence of causing everyone to act in the same way; we obviously do not have such power. Nor, as John Stuart Mill later claimed, is the Categorical Imperative a test of the desirability of the consequences or of the unity of those consequences under the title of happiness. If empirical consequences are irrelevant, obviously any interest we might have in such consequences is also of no moral importance. 51 An Introduction to Kant's Ethics CONSISTENCY WITH OTHER MAXIMS A maxim that fails the first test of consistency is thereby shown to be contrary to duty and so is morally forbidden.

As a consequence, his claims in 440 and 447 that the principle of morality is not analytically true can certainly seem perplexing. Because Kant stressed that the Categorical Imperative is a "synthetic a priori proposition," it may be helpful to touch on this topic. In the analytic proposition, "A perfectly moral agent always acts on the Law of Autonomy," the predicate ("always acts on the Law of Autonomy") makes explicit only (at least part of) the meaning of the subject ("a perfectly moral agent").

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