The Metaphysics of Morals by Immanuel Kant Essay

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Through his discussion of morals in the Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, Immanuel Kant explores the question of whether a human being is capable of acting solely out of pure duty and if our actions hold true moral value. In passage 407, page 19, Kant proposes that if one were to look at past experiences, one cannot be certain that his or her rationalization for performing an action that conforms with duty could rest solely on moral grounds. In order to fully explain the core principle of moral theory, Kant distinguishes between key notions such as a priori and a posteriori, and hypothetical imperative vs. categorical imperative, in order to argue whether the actions of rational beings are actually moral or if they are only moral …show more content…
Through his discussion of morals in the Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, Immanuel Kant explores the question of whether a human being is capable of acting solely out of pure duty and if our actions hold true moral value. In passage 407, page 19, Kant proposes that if one were to look at past experiences, one cannot be certain that his or her rationalization for performing an action that conforms with duty could rest solely on moral grounds. In order to fully explain the core principle of moral theory, Kant distinguishes between key notions such as a priori and a posteriori, and hypothetical imperative vs. categorical imperative, in order to argue whether the actions of rational beings are actually moral or if they are only moral because of one’s hidden inclinations.
When Kant says, "For when moral value is being considered, the concern is not with the actions, which are seen, but rather with their inner principles, which are not seen," in page 19, he is suggesting that a person's true motives behind the action are more important in determining if the action holds true moral value. As Jonathan Bennett, a British philosopher of language and metaphysics who translated Kant's Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, says when moral worth is in question it is not a matter of visible actions but of their invisible inner principles. Kant explains that a human being might have inclinations, reasons for doing something, beyond moral reasons. Inclinations are motives
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