Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten MOBI â

Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten [Download] ➺ Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten By Immanuel Kant – We shall therefore have to investigate a priori the possibility of a categorical imperative as we have not in this case the advantage of its reality being given in experience so that elucidation of it We shall therefore have to investigate a Metaphysik der PDF/EPUB À priori the possibility of a categorical imperative as we have not in this case the advantage of its reality being given in experience so that elucidation of its possibility should be reuisite only for its explanation not for its establishment In the meantime it may be discerned beforehand that the categorical imperative alone has the purport of a practical law.

About the Author: Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant was an th century philosopher Metaphysik der PDF/EPUB À from Königsberg Prussia now Kaliningrad Russia He's regarded as one of the most influential thinkers of modern Europe of the late Enlightenment His most important work is The Critiue of Pure Reason an investigation of reason itself It encompasses an attack on traditional metaphysics epistemology highlights his own contribution to these.

10 thoughts on “Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten

  1. Roy Lotz Roy Lotz says:

    Confession of Stupidity Lately I’ve been had long and agonizing conversation with my friend about the categorical imperative I was insisting that it didn’t make sense; my friend insisted that it did and that I merely misunderstood it After much deliberation I found to my embarrassment that he was right I had misunderstood it I had misunderstood it badly Now fortunately I think I’ve got a hold on the concept which indeed is not terribly complex though for my brain at least a bit too much Having thought a lot about it I wish to give a fairly pedantic examination of the theory forgive me But first I’d like to explain what it is not and the various ways that I managed to misapprehend it My Mistakes I was under the impression that the categorical imperative was this “Before you do an action consider whether it would work as a universal law; if it would it’s okay; if it wouldn't then it’s forbidden” But I thought to myself “I could will almost literally anything as a universal law I could will universal suicide or a universal fight to the death just so long as I was willing to commit suicide or fight to the death myself” The thought experiment Kant instructed us to perform seemed completely arbitrary; he might as well say “before you do an action imagine if it could be performed on a spaceship”Also I thought “if I give enough ualifications almost anything could work as a universal without anything catastrophic happening” For example I could say “if you are tired going to work on a Tuesday morning hate your job are six foot three inches tall and need to urinate it’s okay to be push people on the street” The conditions given for this action are so specific that nothing would really change Similarly I could say “if you’re really really desperate it’s okay to steal” and it could work In fact I bet that’s already the case The second formulation also confused me “treat people as ends not means” For one I couldn’t see any connection between this formulation and the previous one what does treating people with respect have to do with willing universal laws? What’s the command seemed preposterous I thought “but I treat people as means all the time When I order coffee I don’t do it for the sake of the person selling the coffee” I also thought that there was a contradiction between doing an action for the sake of duty and doing it for the sake of another person; what’s the real ‘end’ the person or the duty? All of my objections managed to completely and totally miss the point My friend got frustrated because I was bringing up all these irrelevant objections and I felt very confused Hope came when I took a long walk and decided that I would attempt to start from Kant’s assumptions which I knew roughly from his Critiues and see if I could get to something that resembled the categorical imperative Here is what I found My Attempt to Derive the Categorical Imperative When we look at nature we often find determinism Euations determine the movement of particles and the temperatures of stars; chemical structures determine the ualities of materials; instincts honed by natural selection determine animal behavior Sometimes we also see random chance We run into an old friend in a distant country or we accidentally drop our mug of beer But freedom is incompatible with either determinism and chance to be free we cannot be said to be determined by anything else nor can we attribute our actions to some random process Nonetheless we cannot help but suppose ourselves free; otherwise we can never decide what to do—since all decision making presupposes freedomWe can relieve this tension in one of two ways One way would be to declare freedom illusory We presuppose freedom when we decide but this is just a feeling of freedom; we are just as determined by natural laws as anything else in nature and just as subject to random processes And here we might ask ourselves what is freedom anyway? Well maybe it's easier to answer when are we not free? When we are compelled to follow a law or directive foisted on us by somebody in power we aren't free because we aren't determining our own actions But when a drug addict sells their property to get a fix we also say they aren't free even though they aren't following some external directive because their desires are determining their actions Last we don't hold accountable a person whose house was destroyed by a hurricane and is reduced to penury because the hurricane might be said to have struck by chanceSo we say a person is free when they make coolly rational decisions not forced by some outside party not overwhelmed by some strong desire and not affected by some random process But is this justifiable? Is this really freedom? And do we have it? It seems that even when we're making coolly rational decisions we're still subject to the laws of nature to random events and are still guided by our wants and needs So is freedom—at least in the fundamental sense of an action being undetermined by all previous events nor at all random—is this freedom possible?Kant thinks it is; but he has a job to do in proving that it is possible We can attempt to resolve these conflicts by hypothesizing that there is a part of us that is neither determined nor subject to chanceBut what would this part of us be? I can find two possibilities not mutually exclusive consciousness and rationality Humans are distinguished from other creatures by our self consciousness and by our ability to reason First let us suppose it is consciousness only that makes us free But what are we conscious of? Hunger thirst exhaustion desire and various other things in our surroundings If something external to our bodies forces us to do something we are obviously not free just as a dog is not free when being trained by its master Consciousness seems to make no difference in that case But we also seem not to be free when following some desire For example a dog is probably conscious of hunger too yet we do not usually think that dogs have free will when they pursue food Perhaps you can say you are free because you can chose which desire to satisfy; but then what is the criterion by which one makes such a decision? Another desire?Clearly something extra is needed rationality Our ability to use reason is what sets our decision making apart from that of dogs and cats Using reason we can establish criterion that are not themselves desires We can reign in desire for fast food if we realize that it will have negative long term effects; we can abstain from buying that expensive new luxury car by considering how it would affect our children’s futures Ah but that's not uite enough Because even when we refuse to eat fast food all we're doing is balancing our desire for something salty against our desire for long life In a sense we're still in the position of a drug addict balancing his desire for a fix against his desire for a coat So not only must reason be the criterion but reason must be the motivation for free decisions We must both be determining our own actions and not pursuing some desireNow we are in a position to ask ourselves what is morality? To be moral is to decide to do the right thing; it reuires decision making and therefore can only apply to rational creatures Not only can morality only apply to rational creatures but morality can only apply to creatures insofar as they are rationalAnything non rational therefore cannot be moral Animals and inanimate objects cannot reason so morality cannot apply to them We have previously determined that things like hunger thirst and other desires are non rational; so such things are not the basis of morality Neither is morality concerned with achieving any particular goal in the world because all goals derive their value from desiring them Phrased in a slightly different way all goals are contingent they are only operative when the desire for them is operative; and we know that our desires are ever changing Nor can morality even have anything to do with human nature since all other rational creatures—human alien or angel—would be eually subject to itSo morality being derived from rationality and only applicable to creatures insofar as they are rational must not have anything to do with empirical reality; it is in other words a priori Now morality deals in oughts commands or imperatives—what we should do Since morality cannot take into account states of fact the commands of morality must apply under all conceivable conditions Also since every rational creature is eually subject to the commands of morality all moral imperatives must apply eually to all rational creatures In short morality is eually operative no matter who you are or what you’re doing It is not dependent on any circumstances it is a categorical imperativeFrom this alone we can draw the conclusion that any action which makes an exception of the actor cannot be moral In other words any action which could not be universalized is immoral since the categorical imperative applies to everyone eually at all times Also since morality applies to all rational agents eually any actions which treat a rational agent as not deserving of eual respect is immoral This is to say any action which treats a rational agent as a non rational part of nature is forbidden; there is no valid reason for doing soThis test is a negative test The categorical imperative cannot tell you what to do; it can only tell you what you may not do You may not make an exception of yourself; you may not treat another rational agent as a part of nature In other words act only on maxims that can be willed as universals; never treat other rational agents as means only but as ends in themselves deserving of respect The Categorical Imperative in a Nutshell So Kant does a very clever thing here Kant essentially makes morality and freedom synonymous 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 Rationality is for Kant the basis of free will So when rationality fully determines the will it is the will giving a law unto itself This removes the paradox of freedom We are not free when we are following a law from outside ourselves nor when we are following our own desires; we are only free when we are following the laws we created for ourselves you can see the Rousseau influence here And not only must we abide by these self made laws but we must abide them purely for the sake of abiding by them because only then are we free and moral Some Implications Before examining whether Kant’s premise holds let us take a moment to ponder out some of the implications of his conclusion In Kant’s system many things commonly regarded as immoral are forbidden lying stealing raping murdering Stealing for example treats people as ends and not means; to steal makes an exception of yourself from a general rule; it cannot be willed as universal This consonance with popular opinion is at first sight at least an encouraging signBut consider further Because Kant has divorced morality from all conseuences and founded it purely on consistency all moral actions are eually moral and all immoral actions are eually immoral This is apparent at once when one considers that one can either be consistent or inconsistent not half consistent; one can either treat someone as an end or not not half as an end Therefore lying and murder are eually immoral and eually forbidden The white lie you told your wife puts you on a level with the murderer in prison This is a chilling conclusion as any punitive system which doles out punishments in proportion to the crime’s conseuences such as ours is itself immoral or at least ammoralAnother odd implication of Kant’s conclusion is that non rational creatures are completely exempted from the system as they do not according to Kant have free will and therefore cannot be bound by morality This means that all bets are off regarding animal cruelty Because animals are non rational there is no restrictions on how one must treat them To pick a grim example slowly torturing a suirrel to death can certainly be willed as a universal without contradiction; the act doesn’t treat a rational agent as a means; thus it is permissible Kant says so much himself Beings whose existence depends not on our will but on nature’s have nevertheless if they are irrational beings only a relative value as means and are therefore called things; rational beings on the contrary are called persons because their very nature points them out as ends in themselves that is as something which must not be used merely as means and so far therefore restricts freedom of action and is an object of respectOne wonders whether this exemption from the strictures of morality applies to young children and the insane who are also not capable of reason If so infanticide is permissible as is the mistreatment of the mentally ill Another chilling conclusionBut perhaps the most striking thing about this chain of reasoning is that as a result of Kant's disdain for empirical facts a moral person has no reason to expect happiness In fact a person acting in accordance with the categorical imperative may reasonably expect to be miserable; their unerring code of behavior would make them easy prey for anyone who wished to take advantage of themThis is not a theoretical objection to Kant But one may reasonably ask then why be moral? The only thing Kant can say is to be free And if you ask why be free? Kant's famous response is to be worthy of happiness But I'm sure many would rather take happiness than worthiness But was Kant Right? Kant’s argument rests on the premise that when one acts rationally one is not determined by anything else Rationality for Kant is not part of the world of nature and is therefore the basis of freedom I am extremely skeptical that this is the case I do not see how anybody could make an absolutely free decision independent of the normal laws of nature We cannot so to speak take ourselves out of the stream of causation It therefore seems likely that freedom is an illusion or a particular kind of ignorance In Spinoza's words men are mistaken in thinking themselves free; their opinion is made up of consciousness of their own actions and ignorance of the causes by which they are conditioned Their idea of freedom therefore is simply their ignorance of any cause for their actions Thus acting in accordance with Kant’s principles would not make a person or less free Refraining from stealing based on the categorical imperative is just as free a decision as eating lunch because of hunger or sleeping because of exhaustion We are always both subject to random processes and to deterministic laws and all our decisions are just as motivated by desires as the drug addict's Even the strict Kantian is motivated by his desire to abide by the categorical imperative Kant makes the subtle and interesting argument that even if rationality doesn’t actually make us free the categorical imperative is still operative because in order to act we must assume we’re free In other words Kant says that even if freedom is an illusion his conclusions still hold But if freedom is an illusion acting according to his principles might be literally impossible for sentient creatures as I suspect is the case; so striving after some “ideal of reason” as Kant calls it hardly seems like the sensible thing to do Moreover because we are not capable of completely free decisions and because morality apparently does have its basis in empirical fact—if it can be said to exist at all—it behooves us to take into account things like human psychology empirical conditions cultural and historical forces and conseuences A moral system that treats lies as euivalent to murder is impracticable; and a moral system that only binds rational agents may lead to inhumane acts Finally no person can be reasonably expected to abide by a moral system that will not lead to their own happiness Parting Thought As I reread this book a feeling suddenly took hold of me admiration I found myself almost in awe of Kant—both of his boldness and his genius Even if I don’t believe his premises are correct I can’t help but think it would be a beautiful thing if such a kingdom of ends were possible It just so happens that the world isn’t as beautiful as Kant’s mind

  2. Trevor Trevor says:

    When I was studying this book there were no copies available to buy for some reason but then I found it in the local library in a hard back edition printed in the 1930s or something I borrowed it and showed it to my lecturer and he said You ought to steal that they only charge you what it cost the library to buy and that would have been cents back then I said You want me to steal a book on morality? Needless to say he was much better at lecturing on NeitzscheThis is a remarkably difficult book to read not as hard as some of Kant's other works the Critiue of Pure Reason which I've started many times and will probably start many times should only be attempted with fear and trepidation all the same it repays the effort The main problem is Kant's endless sentences he is the Henry James of the philosophy world Some feel that his categorical imperative act in a way that allows you to imagine the maxim that is guiding your action could be used as a universal law for anyone needing to act in similar circumstances my longer than Kant take on it is a fascinating basis for building a moralitySome say that the categorical imperative is just the Christian golden rule written in a way that makes it hard to follow The golden rule not being 'he who has the gold makes the rules' but rather 'treat others as you would be treated yourself' There is something to that but I think it is a little interesting when Kant does it The idea that other people should be treated like ends and not means seems to me to be as good a basis of a moral system as anyone has as yet come up with I'm terribly fond of Kant almost protective of him not because I think he is the greatest philosopher of all time but because he was what we would today consider a boring little man who never left his home town but thought remarkable thoughts He even worked out why the solar system is a flat disk shape pretty cool if you ask me He had world changing thoughts in some waysI would go so far as to say that understanding his idea that one cannot know the thing in itself is perhaps one of the core ideas in understanding virtually all philosophy after him If you were thinking of starting reading Kant and weren't sure where would be a good place to make such a start this wouldn't be too bad a book to buy The other place to look perhaps is the Critiue of the Judgement which is uite an easy read for Kant and fascinating stuff on taste taste in art that is

  3. Darwin8u Darwin8u says:

    “Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law” ― Immanuel Kant Groundwork of the Metaphysics of MoralsPictureWords PhrasesFreedom Autonomy of the Will Categorical Imperative Intuitions of Sense Morally Aught Universal Laws Pure Practical Reason Pragmatic Practical Rational Beings Universality Moral Law External Conditions Happiness Empirical Interests Obligations Reciprocal Conceptions Heteronomy Causality Things In ThemselvesMeaningIn some ways the Categorical Imperative appears like a philosophically formal and universally binding adaptation of the Golden Rule kind of When one sees how many different versions of the Golden Rule have appeared independently in space and time perhaps Kant was onto something Anyway I enjoyed reading this if only because a lot of what I've studied in political philosophy and moral policy was either born out of Kant's thoughts or as a reaction to it Rawls' Veil of ignorance seems to be a recent direct descendent as Kant's social contract was a child of Rousseau Hobbes and Locke

  4. Vicky "phenkos" Vicky "phenkos" says:

    Covid 19 is first and foremost a social disease If we ever needed an example of Kant's categorical imperative Covid 19 is the best we could find Remember that Kant distinguishes between hypothetical and categoricaI imperatives Examples of the former include if I want to lose weight I need to go on a diet 'If I want to win the next general election I need tocomplete as necessary' In other words going on a diet is not good in itself but is only good if one wantsneeds to lose weight The action is good given a certain aim As Kant puts it The hypothetical imperative thus says only that the action is good for some possible or actual aim But there are actions that are good in themselves and this what morality is aboutMorality says Kant cannot be based on hypothetical imperatives Morality is about what is good in and for itself We are moral beings because and insofar as we do the right thing just because it is the right thing to do not because we hope to gain something out of it A very different kind of imperative comes in here the categorical imperative Finally there is one imperative that without being grounded on any other aim to be achieved through a certain course of conduct as its condition commands this conduct immediately This imperative is categorical It has to do not with the matter of the action and what is to result from it but with the form and the principle from which it results; and what is essentially good about it consists in the disposition whatever the result may be This imperative may be called that of moralityIn other words when it is a uestion of morality the law does not allow of euivocations No ifs no buts But how do we know what's the moral thing to do in any given case? To help Kant gives a series of formulations of which the best known one is the so called FUL or The Formula of Universal Law ‘‘Act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law’’When I make it my maxim to practice social distancing ie when I practice social distancing consistently as a principle of my actions rather than incidentally my maxim is consistent with a giving of a universal law always and at all circumstances practice social distancing I do it because it's the right thing to do and not because I hope to gain something out of it By contrast if I only practice social distancing when it suits me my maxim is not consistent with the giving of a universal law because I act haphazardly One time I practice social distancing and at another time not To put it simply I don't practice social distancing because it's the right thing to do but because and insofar as I feel like it Let's see now how FUL applies to dealing with Covid 19 What we know so far is that the coronavirus is extremely contagious It will get transmitted far easily than flu viruses we are familiar with In addition infected people can infect others even if they do not present any symptoms In fact if I understand this correctly coronavirus is very infectious at its early stage ie before the carrier presents any or serious symptoms If people infected with Coronavirus practice social distancing haphazardly that means that the transmission rate is going to be far higher than if people were to practice social distancing consistently because it's the right thing to do We know that of those infected a percentage will die Given the exponential rate of the growth of infection see Manny's review here the number of infected people will increase at a rate that will soon outstrip the capacity of the national health service system to copeIf I understand correctly there is currently only one way to deal with the coronavirus which is to cause it to run out of carriers However there are two strategies to bring this about The one followed by the Chinese involves aggressive testing and draconian enforcement of social distaning The other strategy is the one favoured by the British government In its purest form this strategy is premised on the idea that the virus will run out of carriers when the vast majority of the population has been infected with the virus and has become immune whilst a smaller high risk group waits it out by self isolating The former staregy appears to have worked in Wuhan but it has come at a cost that Western countries may not be willing to pay It reuires a disciplined population and it is easier to be enforced by an authoritarian government The latter strategy is easier for the population to accept initially but will lead to a considerably higher number of deaths in the long run Is there a categorical imperative here and if so what does it bid us do? It may seem obvious that if one values human life practicing social distancing strictly is the right thing to do right now But you see I put in an 'if' there Does this make my imperative hypothetical? An adept dialectician might push me on this; what does it mean to value human life? Are all lives eually valuable? When doctors have to make decisions on who is to live and who is to die don't they flout this universal value? And won't they have to make such decisions whatever their personal code of ethics when hospitals run out of ventilators? It is being vigorously denied that an adviser to the PM allegedly argued against strict measures to contain the coronavirus because that would hurt the economy But even assuming that such arguments were never voiced the fact is that this strategy uses older people or people with underlying health problems as 'collateral' Are we happy to see this happen? One has to ponder this possibility carefully

  5. Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Joshua Nomen-Mutatio says:

    I was the annoying guy in class who kept insisting that the categorical imperative was the Golden Rule with a thick convoluted veneer of the most difficult writing in philosophical history slathered all over it Of course it is slightly different than the Golden Rule but I'd say only trivially so I understand Kant's influence importance etc I just can't stand his writing And I do think that his ideas as influential as they were were often failures And again the writing is painfully bad regardless of the intelligence within every fan of Kant's philosophy admits this as far as I know great philosopher terrible writer Also I find deontological ethics moral precepts divorced from their conseuences goodness for goodness sake etc to be a failure especially in light of superior conseuentialist positions like preference utilitarianism One can be a moral realist without recourse to positing imaginary realms divorced from human happiness and suffering where ethics magically emerge from I mean how smart can a person be who really believes that lying is always unethical regardless of the circumstance? It takes about two seconds to conjure up a situation in which lying would absolutely be the right thing to do Nazis looking for your Jewish friends that are hiding in your attic According to the genius Kant it would be wrong to say that they're not upstairsFor an antidote to reading a book like this look to work on ethics done by Peter Singer Bernard Williams Simon Blackburn and Derek Parfit

  6. E. G. E. G. says:

    Translator's PrefaceCommentary and Analysis of the Argument The Approach to Moral Philosophy Outline of a Metaphysic of Morals Outline of a Critiue of Practical Reason Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals NotesIndex

  7. Luís Luís says:

    If your reason commands you to help raise an old lady who has inadvertently fallen at your feet you are obeying a categorical imperative and your act is moralIf you hope that by helping him you will have a reward you are obeying a hypothetical imperative and in my opinion it not earned for the tip

  8. Jeremy Jeremy says:

    It's probably a product of having been in grad school for too long but somehow I found myself really liking this piece I don't even care that it's not applicable to real life at least his methods are based on tying human action to univsersal principles that anyone can participate in instead of trying to create this really creepy classistelitist system of morality which the ancient greeks oozed over And unlike the clunky inhuman ethical systems espoused by anylitic thinkers Kant is at least willing to acknowledge the connundrum of trying to act from a rational principle with no recourse to lived experience And the way he tries to conceptually map out the different parts of the psyche while it's probably wrong and kind of creepily mechanistic is still a refreshing break from the messy useless soup of abstractions that a lot of other thinkers would subseuently indulge in ie Hegel If nothing else it forced me to confront my own complacency about not even being willing to really listen to Kant's arguements

  9. Gary Beauregard Bottomley Gary Beauregard Bottomley says:

    Never trust what modern writers say about classic works of Philosophy Kant is not only relevant because of the influence he had on latter day thinkers but as with this work he has something to say which makes mince meat out of most of the present day writers If this book had been published for the first time last year most readers would have thought it was the greatest book they had read in the decade or even in their lifetimesThere is a little bit of getting used to the special language that Kant uses but it's really not hard to follow if you are familiar with Kant I am not a philosopher but I want to learn my purpose and how best to be 'good' He'll use 'synthetic' and 'analytic' the trick I use is since 'synthetic' starts with 's' think 'senses' and analytic is another word for math so think 'math' for 'a posteriori' and 'a priori' I put them in this order because 'a posteriori' relates to the senses synthetic and is after the fact or after experience 'a priori' relates to 'analytic' before the fact or from first principles or deductively as in a mathematical system Two other Kantian words are 'subjective' think 'self' sense it starts with 's' and 'objective' is an 'object' or thing outside of yourselfKant is really not hard to follow and this work in particular was clearly written such that any one can really follow it because he obviously wants as wide an audience as possible for what he is going to tell the reader Now I will admit that Critiue of Pure Reason' was hard at first but once I looked up those words in the above paragraph I ended up loving what he had to say and how he said it With Kant you always get a uniue way of looking at something and it's not always as important what he concludes as how he gets there He even says something like that at the end of CPR but with this book how he gets there and what he says are both well worth the effortThe reason he wants such a wide audience is because what he's going to tell the reader is an answer to one of the two great universal truths we all seek 1 knowledge justified true beliefs about the world Aristotle starts his Metaphysics with this fact and 2 knowledge of the good or divine Plato's formulation This book is all about the second truth we all want and to know about the 'good' one must first understand what the good is This is what he does within this bookKant builds a 'ground' based on reason to get at what our unconditional duties are in which we need to grasp the unconditional practical reason morality as maxims universal laws or as he says 'categorical imperatives' Or in other words he uses the infinite to get at our finite understanding of how we should approach life His methodology is always a pleasure to behold and will teach anyone including me how to think better and his conclusions are one of the best guides on how to live a moral life that I've encountered I like the Golden Rule and parts of the Sermon on the Mount I like JS Mill's utilitarian philosophy and I just love Kant's Categorical Imperatives A combination of all three is how I choose to liveIn the end we earthlings need to understand what it means to be good All moral philosophy at its root combines empathy with reciprocity of some kind and call for us to be 'good' in some fashion but 'what is the good or divine' is not obvious except usually in some circular fashion and this book gives an extraordinarily good account for it Don't worry about the technical language because overall it is written to be understood and is an incredibly good self help book that could easily replace almost all the rest of the current best sellers especially the vile self help books which I walk past in the bookstore

  10. Christopher Christopher says:

    I like Kant but there are some fairly obvious issues with deontology That is not to say that this is not good stuff I think it should be reuired reading for humans generally The issue is that ethics is not easy Understatement If you have it in you after this read The Critiue of Pure Reason If you want the light version read The Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics If the Critiue is a shot of espresso the Prolegomena is light and sweet

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