Freedom and Morality in Kant's Ethics Essay

2235 WordsOct 18, 20079 Pages
Kant's Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals is an exploration and argument that seeks a universally binding first principle for morals. Kant presents an essay in which empirical observations and facts are not adequate to answer the question of, why be moral? Instead Kant relies on theoretical concepts, such as autonomy, morality, duty and goodwill to explain how necessity and causality are ordered. In this essay I will attempt to explain the Kantian connection between freedom and morality. In order to demonstrate the relationship between the Kantian notion of freedom and morality, I will first briefly summarize Kant's broader explanations of good will, duty and the categorical imperative. Kant begins his argument with the…show more content…
I think that these statements are bold because it suggests that freedom and morality are inextricably tied together. It seems that Kant is asserting the analytical proposition, that is, freedom equals morality. Although Kant makes a strong connection between morality and freedom, Kant uses this analytical position only for logical purposes. He states this in section 450, "Freedom and self legislation are …. Reciprocal concepts. (But)… one of them cannot be used to explain the other or to supply its grounds, but can at most be used only for logical purposes." However, Kant points out that morality is a synthetic proposition. "The principle of morality is, nevertheless, a synthetic proposition… because this property of the will's maxim can never be found by analyzing the concept of good will." (448). According to Kant an analysis of freedom is necessary to support the synthetic analysis of morality. If an agent wished to explore one, then she would be forced to explore the other just as equally. However, to discover morality, one must also examine the meaning of a good will in conjunction with freedom. However, the main thrust of this analytical claim is that the implications of freedom provide compelling reasons to act on the Categorical Imperative. Before a connection between the
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