Kant 's Grounding For The Metaphysics Of Morals

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In Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, Immanuel Kant seeks to develop a clear understanding of moral principles. Qualities of character and fortune can be exercised for either good or bad purposes, and only the good will is naturally and inherently good. Humans are at once rational and natural beings; our reason and natural characteristics are distinct from each other. Kant suggests that we must choose either to follow our rational or natural capacities. Although man’s highest purpose may seem to be self-preservation and happiness, as rational beings our highest purpose is to develop this good will. Our instinct leads us to the pursuit happiness and self-preservation, but the will developed by our reason would be good in itself and…show more content…
The good will calls for certain obligations known as duties. Kant suggests that duty ought to be done out of acknowledgement of the importance of moral law. The first proposition of duty that Kant puts forward states that actions are good only when they are committed out of a sense of duty. Moral actions are not done in the desire of a particular result, and the importance is instead found in the purpose behind the action. Kant argues that moral worth is never found in what is hoped to be attained by a certain choice, but in the maxim according to which the action was done. Duty should always be done out of recognition of significance of abiding by the moral law. Kant claims that our actions are not completely moral if they are done only out of a sense of duty or obligation. Rational beings possess a will in that we can act in accordance to our own principles. We can choose to either align our will with the moral law and reason or with our personal needs, interests, and desires. Reason imposes certain demands, which Kant deems imperatives. Hypothetical imperatives desire an action for a certain result, not as an end in itself. Categorical imperatives command an action in and of itself that is not based on our needs and desires: “but what sort of law can that be the thought of which must determine the will without reference to any expected effect, so that the will can be called
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