Immanuel Kant's, Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals

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In Kant’s book, The Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, he believes that the “good will” is only good in itself and that reason is what produces the “goodness” of the “good will.” According to Kant, to act out of a “good will” means to act out of “duty,” or doing something because you find it necessary to do. Also, “good will” is will that is in accordance with reason. He believes everyone has a moral obligation or duty to do actions and he backs his theory up by discussing his idea of the “moral law.” The “moral law”, according to Kant, is when one is to act in accordance with the demands of practical reason, or acting done solely out of respect of duty. He says that moral laws will make you will in a certain way and is not subject to something further. Moral laws apply to all rational being in all places at all times. Overall, he believes that morality is on a basis of a priori, or preceding experience. This type of moral law commands us to be truthful from respect for the law and to do the right thing. Morality is about categorical commands that we ought to follow simply because it is the right thing to do. By categorical commands, or categorical imperative, it is supposed to provide us with a way to make moral judgments, which means it is a law. It is a way of coming up with the idea how any action can be rational. He means since all externals are taken from morality, moral commands must be categorical. In his book, Kant explains that he makes five things perfect clear: 1. All moral concepts have their origin entirely a priori in reason. 2. Moral concepts can’t be formed by abstraction from any empirical knowledge or, therefore, from anything contingent. 3. This purity or non-empiricalness of origin is what gives them the dignity of serving as supreme practical principles. 4. Any addition of something empirical takes away just that much of their influence and of the unqualified worth of actions performed in accordance with them.

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