1 IMMANUEL KANT Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals [Edited and reduced by J. Bulger, Ph.D.] PREFACE 1. Kant defines rational knowledge as being composed of two parts, the Material and Formal. 2. Formal philosophy: Logic, a priori principles, pure i.e., nothing empirical. 3. Material philosophy: deals with objects and the laws that they are subject to, i.e., has an empirical aspect. Two parts of material philosophy: a. physics the law or doctrine of nature laws of nature, and how everything does happen and b. ethics law or doctrine of morality laws of freedom, how it is affected by nature, and how everything ought to happen. (The sensible world of duty) 4. Empirical: founded on experience. 5. A priori: not based on the empirical, i.e., pure rational thinking 6. A posteriori: based on the empirical 7. Metaphysics: A priori pure principles as applied to determinate objects of the understanding, i.e., material philosophy. Since material philosophy has two parts so must metaphysics have two parts: a. metaphysics of nature, (physics has both an empirical and a rational part) and b. metaphysics of morals (ethics has an empirical or practical anthropology part and the rational or moral part) 8. Just as physics has an empirical and a rational part so ethics also has an a. empirical part called practical anthropology, and b. rational part called morals. 9. Metaphysics of both morals and nature ought to precede practical anthropology and physics. 10. Why is it of utmost necessity to work out a pure moral philosophy that is cleared of all that is empirical? So we can determine how much pure reason can accomplish. Everyone admits that if a law is to be morally valid, then the ground of obligation must not be in the nature of man nor in the circumstances of the world, rather it must be sought a priori in the concepts of pure reason. 11. Obligations based on empirical grounds are called practical rules but never moral laws. Moral laws rest entirely on the a priori. However, judgment sharpened by experience is needed in order to distinguish in what cases moral laws are applicable, and for determining how to influence humans into conformity. 12. Morals are liable to corruption if the guide and supreme norm of correctly estimating them are missing. Moral conformity is not enough, it must be done for the sake of the moral law, i.e., pure philosophy (metaphysics) must precede the practical. The mixing of both approaches, a priori and empirical, does not deserve the name of philosophy and still less does it deserve the name of moral philosophy. 13. Transcendental philosophy: pure thinking, i.e., objects are cognized completely a priori. 14. Purpose of this text is to establish the supreme principle of morality. We proceed analytically from ordinary knowledge to a determination of the supreme principle and then back again synthetically to ordinary knowledge where the application of the supreme principle is found.
2 FIRST SECTION Transition From The Ordinary Rational Knowledge Of Morality To The Philosophical 1. The good will is the only thing good without qualification. Everything else can be good only with qualifications as everything else may also be bad and harmful if the will is not good Why is the good will an indispensable condition of being even worthy of happiness? 393 A. the good will keeps you from becoming prideful or arrogant because of your happiness. B. the good will is a necessary condition for making happiness universally conformable to happiness end. C. the good will makes one able to delight in being a rational and an impartial spectator. 3. The good will s value is not dependent on being useful. However, the useful does relate to attracting amateurs or the uninitiated If our natural constitution is that of being suitably adapted to the purpose of life, then every organ must be that which is best adapted for that end. If reason is inefficient or incompetent in attaining happiness then reason must not be for the purpose of attaining happiness. If our preservation, welfare or happiness were the end of nature then instinct would be the best means of attaining that end. If our cultivated reason devotes itself to the aim of enjoying life and happiness then the further away we will get from true contentment and misology develops. If you are a misologist then you envy the common man who lives by instinct. If the propositions above are true then reason must have a purpose other than that of attaining happiness. The propositions above are true Therefore: reason s purpose is not for attaining happiness If reason is a practical faculty that influences the will then reason s function must be to produce a will good in itself. If one has a will then one has reason. Goodwill is the summum bonum on which all other goods depend, even of the desire for happiness. Purpose of reason can be determined only by reason and not by inclination The good will as the summum bonum is not a new discovery, and thus does not need to be taught, rather it only needs to be elucidated Since the concept of duty includes the concept of a good will, Kant investigates the concept of duty. If you investigate the concept of duty then the good will will shine forth more brightly. 8. Kant presents four categories of actions. A. actions done in contrary to duty, i.e., selfish set aside B. actions done in accordance with duty but the motivation is because of external punishment or rewards, i.e., selfish set aside C. actions done in accordance with duty but the motivation is because of inclination not duty, i.e., selfish set aside D. actions done in accordance with duty, not because of inclination, but because it is one s duty to do those actions, i.e., moral worth good case to investigate Although happiness is an universal inclination, happiness should be promoted not from inclination but from duty Scripture commands us to love our neighbor and even our enemy. Love as a feeling is an inclination. Inclinations cannot be commanded. Love, in general, must also be considered as principles of action, i.e., practical not feelings. Practical love can be commanded Kant s three propositions: A. Moral actions must be done from duty in order to have moral worth. B. Action done from duty gets its moral worth not from attaining its purpose material a posteriori incentive, but in the maxims, i.e., the subjective principle of volition, according to which the action is determined formal a priori principles of volition/will C. Duty is the necessity of an action done out of respect for the law respect is never attached to inclinations but only to the will which subjectively legislates. (Note: respect is a feeling, however, it is self-produced by means of reason and therefore not an inclination) If Kant s three propositions are true then I should never act except in such a way that I can also will that my maxim should become a universal law categorical imperative. 13. How does the universality of the categorical imperative work? Maxims are not that of actions, rather, they are of principles of conduct Reason does not think of the categorical imperative abstractly in its universal form, but does always have it actually in view and does use it as the standard of judgement universality of maxims If ordinary people without the aid of philosophy can and do in fact determine what is moral what purpose is there for philosophy? Innocence is glorious but easily led astray. Satisfaction of ones inclinations results in happiness. Reason commands without promising the inclinations anything. Thus arises the natural corruptions of dignity through the natural dialectic of inclinations and duty. Therefore practical reason, when cultivated, seeks help in philosophy
3 SECOND SECTION Transition From Popular Moral Philosophy To A Metaphysics of Morals 1. Doubts always can be raised as to the purity of one s motives and thus whether it has moral worth. 406 The concern is not with the action, which are seen, but rather with their inner principles which are not seen. Most of our actions are in accordance with duty but based on our selves instead of upon the strict command of duty which often requires selfdenial. 407 But the question is not whether this or that has happened but that reason of itself and independently of all experience commands what ought to happen, e.g., even though there might never yet have been a sincere friend, still pure sincerity in friendship is nonetheless required of every man determined a priori to be a duty Moral laws hold not merely for men [gender] but for all rational beings in general, [i.e., all rational human beings] and not merely under contingent conditions with exceptions, rather, moral laws must be absolutely necessary. Moral laws are not empirical, they are completely a priori in pure, but practical reason. Examples serve only as encouragement and as a derivation for morality If one were to take a vote as to whether pure rational knowledge separated from everything empirical, i.e., metaphysics of morals, or whether popular practical philosophy is to be preferred certainly the latter would preponderate. This descent to popular thought is commendable once the ascent to the principles of pure reason has occurred and has been satisfactorily accomplished, i.e., metaphysics. However, [good] philosophers get little hearing when they summon people away from popular empirical thought not based on a priori metaphysics. Popularity results in a disgusting mishmash of patchwork observations and half-reasoned principles in which shallow minds revel because it is good for the chitchat of everyday life. Metaphysics must come before the empirical. The public, which demands popularity, must wait Metaphysics of morals must precede the empirical, i.e., anthropology, theology, physics, and so forth. Popularity fails to determine the criteria of morality, which is essential for any discussion of morality. Popularity will disgustingly mishmash human nature at one time, perfection at another, happiness at still another, or maybe the fear of God, and so forth. A mixed moral philosophy compounded both of incentives drawn from feelings and inclinations and at the same time of rational concepts, makes the mind waver between motives that cannot be brought under any principle and that can only by accident lead to the good but often can also lead to the bad. 411 from the universal concept of a rational being in general Everything works according to laws/principles. If we have practical/objective wills then we are rational beings. We have practical/objective wills Therefore: we are rational beings. If you have practical/objective will then you have subjective a priori reason. We have practical/objective wills Therefore: we have subjective a priori reason. If you have subjective a priori reason then you are able to act practically/objectively on laws/principles. We have subjective a priori reason. Therefore: we can act practically/objectively If the derivation of practical/objective action from laws requires reason, then the will is practical/objective reason. The derivation of practical/objective action from laws requires reason Therefore: the will is practical/objective reason. If we have a practical/objective will then the will is subjectively necessary by a priori reasons. We have a practical/objective will. Therefore: the practical/objective will is subjectively necessary by a priori reasons. 6. If there is an objective/practical principle/law that necessitates the will then you have a command. If there is a command then you have an imperative. If there is an imperative then you have an ought statement. Will is not necessarily determined by objective/practical law Will has a subjective a priori constitution. If God s will is always good then there can be no ought statements that can pertain to him. Therefore: there are no ought statements, imperatives, or commands for God. If God s will is a subjectively perfect then God s will is always in agreement with the objective/practical law. God s will is subjectively perfect. Therefore: God s will is always in agreement with the objective/practical law. If you have an imperative then you have a subjective imperfection of the will. Mankind has imperatives Therefore: mankind s will is subjectively imperfect All imperatives command either hypothetically or categorically. Hypothetical: practical necessity as a means for attaining some end. Categorical: Actions that are logically necessary in itself, without reference to an end All moral concepts have their seat and origin completely a priori in reason. They cannot be abstracted from anything empirical which is contingent. Principles should be derived 3
4 8. Sciences have a practical part consisting of problems saying that some end is possible for us and of imperatives telling us how it can be attained, i.e., hypothetical imperatives or rules of skill or technical belonging to art (This is analytic as far as willing is concerned. If the proposed result can come about only by means of such an action, then the propositions is analytic). 415 Bisecting a line. The end is given. Principles of the will not law Since parents do not know what ends their children may be presented, parents have their children learn many different kinds of things so that they can acquire the various skills necessary for attaining various ends. 415 There is one certain end that all mankind has by their very essence, and thus may be presupposed a priori, and that is happiness, i.e., hypothetical imperatives or counsels of prudence or pragmatic belonging to welfare Happiness is indeterminate as it must be determined empirically and would require omniscience. Riches?, knowledge?, long life?, health? Therefore counsels not commands. Happiness is not an ideal of reason but of imagination. The end is merely possible. (This also is analytic) Principles of the will not law There is one imperative that is not concerned with an empirical end, rather what is essentially good is the mental disposition, i.e., good will. This is the imperative of morality, i.e., categorical imperatives or commands (laws) of morality belonging to free conduct This can only be investigated by a priori methods. Practical law, i.e., necessary. It is an a priori synthetic practical proposition Maxim: subjective principle of acting practical law, and must be distinguished from the objective principle Only one categorical imperative (known as the formula of universal law): Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law All imperatives of duty can be derived from the universal law. First practical principle of the will; the universal imperative of duty: Act as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will a universal law of nature Perfect duty to oneself. Example of suicide. Contradiction between law of self-preservation and law self-annihilation. 15. Perfect duty to others. Example of borrowing money. Contradiction between meanings of borrowing. 16. Imperfect duty to oneself. Example of developing one s talents. Contradiction between being a rational being that necessarily wills that all his faculties be developed and a rational being that does not will that his faculties be developed. 17. Imperfect duty to others. Example of charity. Contradiction between not being charitable to others and the selfdeprivation that would occur if he were in need. 18. The cannon of morality is that we must be able to will that a maxim of our action become a universal law Two tests: 1. Contradiction of conception or law perfect or irremissible duty. 2. Contradiction in willing test imperfect or meritorious duty In any transgression of a duty we do not actually will that our maxim should become a universal law rather we only take the liberty of making an exception to the law for ourselves, i.e., a contradiction in our own will. But there is really no contradiction here. Rather, at one moment our action is in accord with that of reason objective necessity, and at another moment our action is in accord with that of inclinations subjective exceptions. We actually acknowledge the validity of the categorical imperative and merely allow ourselves a few exceptions Duty must be practical, unconditioned necessity of action, i.e., it must hold for all rational beings a priori, and for this reason only can it be a law for all human wills. If duty were to be derived from the natural condition of humanity or from certain feelings and propensities then it would not necessarily hold for every rational being all of this can indeed yield a maxim valid for us, but not a law Everything empirical is unsuitable and detrimental to the contribution to the principle of morality as an absolutely good will must consist in a principle of action that is free from all influences that are contingent If what serves the will as the objective ground of its selfdetermination is an end; and if this end is given by reason alone, then it must be equally valid for all rational beings. Thus subjective ends rest on incentives, and objective ends depend on motives valid for every rational being The grounds for the categorical imperative, i.e., practical law is in a being of absolute worth, i.e., every rational being as an end in itself All objects of inclinations have only conditional value. Inclinations are the sources of needs that are so far from having absolute value that it is a universal wish of every rational being to be wholly free from them Things: non-rational beings that have only relative value as means. Persons: rational beings and thus ends in themselves and objects of respect. Persons are not merely subjective ends but they are objective ends Second practical principle of the will; the practical imperative: Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of another, always at the same time as an end and never simply as a means Apply the second practical imperative to the above examples of suicide, false promise, neglect of talents, and lack of charity. Did you get the same results as when you applied the universal imperative of duty to those examples? What is the supreme limiting condition for freedom of action and of all subjective ends? Objectively, the ground of all practical legislation lies in the form of universality. Subjectively, the ground of all practical legislation lies in the end, i.e., every rational being as an end in himself.
5 30. Third practical principle of the will: the formula of autonomy: The will of every rational being is a will that legislates universal law The will is subject to the law only because the will is itself the author, i.e., self-legislating. This willing for duty s sake, without regard to interests, is what distinguishes a categorical imperative from a hypothetical one. 431 Everything is to be done from the maxim of such a will as could at the same time have as its object only itself regarded as legislating universal law not on any interests All attempts to discover the principle of morality has failed because it was not seen that man is subject only to his own universal legislation in accordance with his will. For when man is thought as being merely subject to a law then the law had to carry with it some interest functioning as an attracting stimulus or as a constraining force for obedience because the law did not arise as a law from his own will, i.e., heteronomy and thus conditional Kingdom: a systematic union of different rational beings through common laws. Kingdom of ends: a whole both of rational beings as ends in themselves and also of the particular ends which each may set for himself. 34. Formula of the kingdom of ends: All rational beings stand under the law that each of them should treat himself and all others never merely as means but always at the same time as an end in himself. 35. Membership requirements for the kingdom of ends: A rational being becomes a member when he legislates in it universal laws while also being himself subject to these laws through duty. Sovereign: A rational being becomes sovereign in the kingdom of ends when as legislator he is himself subject to the will of no other and therefore he is not compelled by duty, i.e., he is completely independent being without needs and with unlimited power adequate to his will. To be either a member or sovereign is made possible by freedom of the will without regard to feelings, impulses and inclinations Duty is the universal relation of rational beings to one another in which the will, as legislator, makes them ends in themselves with dignity because they obey no laws except those that they themselves enact Whatever has a price can be replaced by something else as its equivalent, i.e., relative worth. Whatever is above all price, and therefore admits of no equivalent, has a dignity, i.e., is an end in itself has intrinsic or absolute worth Universal self-legislation is the source of all worth giving self-legislation dignity and respect. Autonomy is therefore the ground of dignity All maxims have: 1. A form, which consists in universality unity of will: maxims must be so chosen as if they were to hold as universal laws of nature. 2. A matter, which is the ends plurality of its matter: maxims must include rational beings as ends in themselves. 3. A determination, which is subjectively practical totality of its system of ends: maxims as self-legislated must harmonize with a possible kingdom of ends as a kingdom of nature, i.e., as a practical idea for bringing about what does not exist but can be made actual by our conduct. (This is in contrast to teleology which considers nature as a kingdom of ends, i.e., as a theoretical idea for explaining what does in fact exists). These three concepts bring the moral law nearer to intuition and thereby closer to feeling Unconditional good will: Its maxims when universalized never conflict with itself. Supreme law: Act always according to that maxim whose universality as a law you can at the same time will. Categorical imperative can be expressed: Act according to maxims which can at the same time have for their object themselves as universal laws of nature. The principle: So act in regard to every rational being (yourself and others) that he may at the same time count in your maxim as an end in himself. This is the same as: Act on a maxim which at the same time contains in itself its own universal validity for every rational being. Formal principle of these maxims: So act as if your maxims were to serve at the same time as a universal law for all rational beings Morality is the relation of actions to the autonomy of the will, i.e., to the possible legislation of universal law by means of the maxims of the will. That action which is compatible with the autonomy of the will is permitted; that which is not compatible is forbidden That will whose maxims are necessarily in accord with the laws of autonomy is a holy, or absolutely good will. The dependence of a will which is not absolutely good upon the principle of autonomy (i.e., moral necessitation) is obligation, which cannot therefore be applied to a holy, or absolutely good will. Objective necessity of action from obligation is called duty Neither fear nor inclination, but sole respect for the subjective universal law is the incentive which can give an action moral worth. Our will as a self-legislator of universal laws by means of maxims make us the proper object of respect. The capacity to self-legislate universal laws and at the same time subject ourselves to this legislation gives humanity its dignity. 440 Autonomy of the Will As the Supreme Principle of Morality 44. Autonomy of the will: The property that the will has of being a law to itself independently of any property of the objects of volition. Principle of autonomy: Always choose in such a way that in the same volition the maxims of the choice are at the same time present as universal law The practical rule of autonomy is an imperative that cannot be proved analytically. It is a synthetic proposition that must 5
6 be cognized completely a priori. The principle of autonomy is the sole principle of morals. 440 Heteronomy of the Will As the Source of All Spurious Principles of Morality 46. All actions that are not based on the categorical imperative of self-legislating of universal maxims are hypothetical imperatives. When the object gives the law either by inclination or on representations of reason, rather than the will then it is heteronomy, i.e., dependent on cause and effect. 441 Classification of All Possible Principles of Morality Founded upon the Assumed Fundamental Concept of Heteronomy 47. All principles are either empirical or rational. 48. Empirical principles: based on either physical happiness or moral feeling, which are both wholly unsuited to serve as the foundation for moral laws, (though moral feeling is closer to morality and its dignity than is one s own happiness) 49. Rational principles: based on the rational concept of perfection as an effect of our will, or on the concept of an independent perfection (the will of God). 442 The ontological concept of perfection unavoidably presupposes the morality that it has to explain. Nevertheless, it is better than the theological concept, whereby morality is derived from a divine and most perfect will. This is because we cannot intuit divine perfection but can only derive it from our own concepts and because if it is not so derived then it will be derived from a desire for glory and dominion combined with the frightful representations of might and vengeance and any system of morals based on such notions would be directly opposed to morality, i.e., heteronomy If Kant had to choose between moral feeling or independent perfection, both not capable of serving as the foundation of morality, he would choose independent perfection because there is at least an appeal to pure reason and a will good in itself rather than sensibility. These principles are heteronomy of the will and as the first ground of morality they must, consequently, necessarily fail in their purpose. Both cases the will never determines itself immediately by the thought of an action, but only by the incentive that the anticipated effect of the action has upon the will: I ought to do something because I will something else. A law given by the above would be one given by nature, and as a law of nature it could only be known and proved through experience and would as a result be only contingent and therefore not fit for morality. Law of nature is always heteronomy of the will; the will does not give itself the law, but a foreign impulse does by means of the subject s nature Absolutely good will, whose principle is the categorical imperative, is indeterminate as regards all objects and contains the form of willing which is autonomy. Autonomy is the very foundation of morality There is only one law that the will of every rational being imposes on itself, i.e., the fitness of maxims of every good will to make themselves universal laws. This is a synthetic practical a priori proposition. This has not been proved rather it has only been shown that if we do have a universally accepted concept of morality then autonomy of the will unavoidably is the very foundation. Therefore if you believe morality is real then autonomy of the will is true and absolutely necessary as an a priori principle
7 THIRD SECTION Transition From A Metaphysics Of Morals To A Critique Of Pure Practical Reason The Concept of Freedom Is the Key for an Explanation Of the Autonomy of the Will 1. If you are rational then you have a will. Will is a kind of causality. Freedom is the property of this causality in that it is independent of any determination by alien causes. If you are non-rational then you are caused to act by natural necessity, (i.e., alien causes and not the will) heteronomy. Freedom is not a property of will in accordance with laws of nature. Freedom is causality in accordance with immutable laws of a special kind. Freedom of the will is autonomy, i.e., the property that the will has of being a law to itself Freedom of the will is equivalent to the categorical imperative acting only on those maxims that can be a universal law Freedom of the will is the principle of morality. Therefore free will and a will subject to moral laws are one and the same If freedom of the will is presupposed then morality is presupposed. Morality is a synthetic proposition, i.e., properties of morality cannot be found by analyzing the good will. 447 Freedom Must Be Presupposed as a Property of the Will of All Rational Beings 3. If morality is a law only for rational beings then morality must be valid for all rational beings. [If you have morality then you have will] If morality must be derived solely from freedom then freedom is the property of the will of rational beings If you cannot act in any other way than under the idea of freedom then you are free from a practical point of view. Practical: causality in reference to its object. Practical reason is based on a priori causes not by outside or foreign influences, i.e., impulses. 448 Concerning the Interest Attached to the Ideas of Morality 5. Freedom cannot be proved, rather it must be presupposed. If we are to think of a being as rational and as endowed with consciousness of its causality as regards action then we must presuppose freedom, i.e., as endowed with a will The following at first appears to be circular reasoning: We assume we have freedom of the will so that we may think of ourselves as obligated to moral laws in the order of ends. We think of ourselves as obligated to these laws because we have attributed to ourselves freedom of the will. (Freedom and self-legislation of the will are both autonomy and are therefore reciprocal concepts.) All representations that come to us without our choice (such as those of the senses) [secondary qualities] enable us to know objects only as they affect us; what they may be in themselves remains unknown to us. [primary qualities] We must assume that behind the appearance there is something else which is not appearance, namely, things in themselves, [primary qualities or prime substance] Inasmuch as we can never cognize them except as they affect us [secondary qualities], we must admit that we can never come any nearer to them nor ever know what they are in themselves. 8. There is a world of sense which can vary considerably according to the difference of sensibility [secondary qualities] There is a world of understanding which always remains the same [primary qualities], which is the basis of the [secondary qualities]. 9. Since man can attain knowledge about himself only through inner sense, [secondary qualities] it follows that he cannot know what he is [primary qualities]. Therefore: with regard to mere perception and the receptivity of sensations, he must count himself as belonging to the world of sense; but with regard to whatever there may be in him of pure activity (whatever reaches consciousness immediately and not through affecting the senses) he must count himself as belonging to the intellectual world, of which he has, however, no further knowledge Two standpoints from which man can regard himself and know the laws of all his actions: 1. insofar as he belongs to the world of sense he is subject to laws of nature, a posteriori, (heteronomy) 2. insofar as he belongs to the intelligible world he is subject to laws that are founded only on reason, a priori, i.e., independent of nature that is the empirical As a rational being in the intelligible world one has freedom, i.e, independence from the determining causes of the world. Freedom is inseparably connected with autonomy, and autonomy is inseparably connected with the universal principle of morality, which is the ideal ground of all actions of rational beings, just as natural law is the ground of all appearances We assume we have freedom of the will intelligible world, so that we may think of ourselves as obligated to moral laws in the order of ends world of sense. We think of ourselves as obligated to these laws world of sense, because we have attributed to ourselves freedom of the will intelligible world. When we think of ourselves as free, we transfer ourselves into the intelligible world as members and we know that the autonomy of the will, together with its consequence, is morality. When we think of ourselves as obligated, we consider ourselves as belonging to the world of sense, (inclinations generate the feeling of obligation) and yet at the same time to the intelligible world (source of the obligation)
8 How Is a Categorical Imperative Possible? 13. If I were solely a member of the intelligible world, then all my actions would perfectly conform to the principle of the autonomy of a pure will actions resting on the supreme principle of morality. If I were solely a part of the world of sense, then my actions would have to be taken as in complete conformity with the natural law of desires and inclinations, i.e., with the heteronomy of nature actions resting on that of happiness. Since the intelligible world contains the ground of the world of sense then the intelligible world is directly legislative for my will. Since the idea of freedom is in this legislative law, then I am subject to this autonomy of the will. Consequently, I must regard the laws of the intelligible world as imperatives for me, and the actions conforming to these imperatives as duties. Therefore categorical imperatives are possible because the idea of freedom makes me a member of an intelligible world If I were a member only of the intelligible then all my actions would accord with the autonomy of the will. I am not a member only of the intelligible world. Since I am a member of both the intelligible world and the world of sense then my actions ought to accord with the autonomy of the will. This categorical ought presents a synthetic a priori proposition in which the will is affected by both, a. the sensuous desires and, b. the intelligible world of the pure and practical There is no one, not even the meanest villain when using reason does not wish to possess the qualities of following good maxims. But because of his inclinations and impulses he cannot and so at the same time he wishes to be free from such inclinations which are a burden to him. Therefore, the moral ought is a necessary would insofar as he is a member of the intelligible world, and is thought by him as an ought only insofar as he regards himself as being at the same time a member of the world of sense Concerning the Extreme Limit of All Practical Philosophy 16. On the one hand, all men think of themselves as free as far as their will is concerned. Freedom is not a concept of objective experience. Therefore, freedom is only an idea of reason whose objective reality is in itself questionable. On the other hand, whatever happens is determined without any exception according to laws of nature. Determinism, like freedom, is also not a concept of experience, i.e., necessity is a priori knowledge. However, determinism proves its reality by experience. As a result, there arises a dialectic of reason, since the freedom attributed to the will seems to contradict the necessity of nature. If we think of man in a different sense and relation when we call him free from when we regard him as being a part of nature and therefore as subject to the laws of nature, then this contradiction disappears When man thinks of himself as intelligence endowed with a will and consequently with causality, he puts himself into relation with determining grounds of a kind altogether different from the kind when he perceives himself as a phenomenon in the world of sense (as he really is also) and subjects his causality to external determination according to laws of nature. Now he soon realizes that both can and indeed must hold good at the same time. That man must represent and think of himself in this twofold way rests, on the one hand, upon the consciousness of himself as an object affected through the senses and, on the other hand, upon the consciousness of himself as intelligence, i.e., as independent of sensuous impulses in his use of reason (and hence as belonging to the intelligible world) All we know about the intelligible world is that pure reason, independent of sensibility, gives the law. Since man s proper self is only as intelligence those laws apply to him immediately and categorically. We are not responsible for our inclinations and impulses and they are not even ascribed to our proper self, i.e., our will, although we do ascribe to our will any indulgence which we might extend to them if we allow them any influence on our maxims to the detriment of the rational laws of our will The concept of an intelligible world is only a point of view which reason sees itself compelled to take outside of appearances in order to think of itself as practical Reason would overstep all its bounds if it undertook to explain how pure reason can be practical. This is exactly the same problem as explaining how freedom is possible. We can explain nothing but what we can reduce to laws whose object can be given in some possible experience. But freedom is a mere idea, whose objective reality can in no way be shown in accordance with laws of nature and consequently not in any possible experience. Therefore, the idea of freedom can never admit of comprehension or even of insight, because it cannot by any analogy have an example falling under it. It holds only as a necessary presupposition of reason in a being who believes himself conscious of a will, i.e., of a faculty distinct from mere desire Some people have falsely construed that moral feeling is the standard of our moral judgment. Moral feeling must be regarded as the subjective effect that the law exercises upon the will, since reason alone furnishes the objective grounds of such moral feeling In order to will what reason alone prescribes as an ought for sensuously affected rational beings, there certainly must be a power of reason to infuse a feeling of pleasure or satisfaction in the fulfillment of duty, and hence there has to be a causality of reason to determine sensibility in accordance with rational principles. But it is quite impossible to discern, i.e., to make a priori conceivable, how a mere thought which itself contains nothing sensuous can produce a sensation of pleasure or displeasure, i.e., we must consult experience alone. However, experience can provide us with no relation of cause and effect except between two objects of experience. Consequently, there is for us men no possibility at all for an explanation as to how and why the universality of a maxim
9 as a law, and hence morality, interests us. This much is certain: the moral law is valid for us not because it interests us heteronomy, rather moral law is valid for us because it comes from our will as intelligence and hence from our proper self The question as to how a categorical imperative is possible can be answered to the extent that there can be supplied the sole presupposition of freedom. To presuppose this freedom of the will is not only quite possible but is without any further condition also necessary for a rational being conscious of his causality through reason and hence conscious of a will as he makes such freedom in practice, i.e., in idea, the underlying condition of all his voluntary actions. But as to how pure reason can be practical is beyond the power of human reason, and all the effort and work of seeking such an explanation is wasted. It is just the same as if I tried to find out how freedom itself is possible as causality of a will. I could flutter about in the intelligible world, yet I have not the slightest acquaintance with such a world and can never attain such acquaintance by all the efforts of my natural faculty of reason. [secondary qualities do not even resemble the primary qualities making it impossible to know what the prime substance is like] The intelligible world signifies only what is left after I have excluded from the determining grounds of my will everything that belongs to the world of sense. What remains is reason s form, viz., the practical law of the universal validity of maxims and as a cause determining the will Reason should not search for a supreme motive of morality that is empirical. Reason should not dwell in empty space, i.e., space of transcendent concepts. The idea of a pure intelligible world regarded as a whole of all intelligences to which we ourselves belong as rational beings, (i.e., universal kingdom of ends in which we conduct ourselves according to maxims of freedom as if they were laws of nature), is a useful and permissible idea. Concluding Remark 25. Reason cannot render conceivable the absolute necessity of an unconditioned practical law, e.g., the categorical imperative. Even though we do not grasp the practical unconditioned necessity of the moral imperative, we do nevertheless grasp its inconceivability. This is all that can be fairly asked of a philosophy which strives in its principles to reach the very limit of human reason. 9
10 1. Kant defines rational knowledge as being composed of two parts, what are they? A. Subjective and Objective B. Material and Formal C. Correct and Incorrect D. Universal and Particular 2. Deontological is derived from the Greek deon which means: A. The high road B. Duty or obligation C. Utility D. None of the above 3. Kant s first formulation of the categorical imperative is: A. I ought not to act except in such a way that I can will my maxim to become a universal law. B. I ought not to act except in such a way that my maxim promotes the greatest amount of happiness. C. I ought not to act except in such a way that I can will my actions to become a universal law. D. I ought not to act except in such a way that I can will my maxim to be a duty to myself 4. Kant s second formulation of the categorical imperative was: A. I ought not to treat any person merely as a means to their happiness B. I ought not to treat any person merely as a means to an end C. I ought not to treat any person except as a means to an end D. None of the above 5. Which of the following did Kant use as a perfect duty to oneself? A. Keep one s promises B. Developing one s talents C. Not to commit suicide D. Give to charity 6. Which of the following did Kant use as a imperfect duty to oneself? A. Keep one s promises B. Developing one s talents C. Not to commit suicide D. Give to charity 7. Which of the following did Kant use as a perfect duty to others? A. Keep one s promises B. Developing one s talents C. Not to commit suicide D. Give to charity 8. Which of the following did Kant use as a imperfect duty to others? A. Keep one s promises B. Developing one s talents C. Not to commit suicide D. Give to charity 9. For Kant nothing can be called good without qualification except what? A. Your ethics teacher B. Intelligence C. Money D. Good will 10. What is a hypothetical imperative? A. Any action that hypothetically fulfills one s duties. B. Any action that is a means to an end C. Any action that is not a categorical imperative D. Both B and C 11. What does it mean to be universal self legislators? A. It means that we make the laws for the universe B. It means that because we are free we each individually generate universal laws and we submit ourselves to these universal laws because we are free. C. It means we are to be the supreme law makers in the universe and everyone must submit to our laws D. All of the above. 12. The categorical imperative tests the admissibility of maxims by testing their consistency. To be universalizable, according to Kant, a maxim must: A. Be capable of being conceived and willed without contradiction. B. Be capable of promoting the greatest happiness C. Be capable of being conceived and will in alignment with intuition D. Be capable of maximizing the greatest good. 10