Fundamental Principles Of The Metaphysic Of Moralsby Immanuel Kant
The nature and theoretical underpinnings of ethics have been an intellectual driving force animating the pursuits of great scholars. In the Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals (1785) Immanuel Kant, one of the most powerful philosophical minds of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, inquires into the true nature of morality. In rejecting/i>… See more details below
The nature and theoretical underpinnings of ethics have been an intellectual driving force animating the pursuits of great scholars. In the Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals (1785) Immanuel Kant, one of the most powerful philosophical minds of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, inquires into the true nature of morality. In rejecting the results or consequences of action as the foundation of moral judgments, he denies that good or bad effects have any relevance in the moral evaluation of human behavior. Instead, we must rely upon the Good Will for guidance. What is this Will upon which so much emphasis is placed, and how does it act as the foundation for behavior that can be assessed as truly moral? In this groundbreaking work, Immanuel Kant outlines an ethical perspective that has been a vital force in the Western world.
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Kant is not considered as one of the more accessible philosophers, and most of his monumental works are too long and beyond reach of an average reader. This short book is still fairly advanced and conceptually sophisticated, but fortunately due to its length it does not go much too deep in philosophical concepts. The book deals on several occasions with the central concept in Kant's moral philosophy, and that is the concept of categorical imperative. This imperative can be summed up in Kant's famous dictum: "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law." Several other famous Kant concepts - like practical reason, pure reason, treating humans like ends and not as means in moral considerations, etc. - are dealt with throughout the book. You might need to read the book several times before you get a better understanding of what is being discussed, but again, since it is so short, this can be easily done. The language of the translation sounds a bit archaic to the modern ear, but this does not obscure the meaning at all. Overall, reading this book would be a worthwhile endeavor and as good of a starting point to start reading Kant as they come.
I wish I was able to read the book, but, unfortunately, some of the words were covered by large streaks of black ink and markings. Will definitely be returning, but might buy the full-length book, instead. I am still rather more interested in understanding his study.