Kant’sMetaphysics of Morals
WhatKant means by Metaphysics of Morals
Kant’smajor works in ethics were based on his book entitled Groundwork forthe Metaphysics of Morals, which was first published in 1785. Hedefines metaphysics as the study of models as they relate to physicaland ethical actual realities (Kant and W Hastie 1). According toKant, a moral act is an act that is determined through reasoning andnot by sensual instincts, and thus, morality applies to everyrational being. . Basically, metaphysics was aimed at exceedingexperience so as to ascertain the nature of reality as understood inclear reasoning. We can, therefore, determine the worth of a cause byasking whether we could turn the source into collectively relatedmaxims. Kant further talks of categorical imperative which proposesthat we must work in a manner that we can conform to the universallaw (Kant, Mary and Jens 37).
Kantcompares this with the hypothetical imperative which implies thatpeople must work to meet specific ends. The truisms of thehypothetical imperative assert that “do this and this if you desireto attain this and this results” (Kant and W Hastie 1). Based onKant’s philosophy, there is no such a thing as “if” in a moralact. Thus, morality works on categorical imperatives since we need toact in a certain way (Kant and W Hastie 1). When we respect theuniversal law, we must acknowledge that it covers everyone equally.Kant visualizes a supreme society as a kingdom of ends where peopleare perceived as the authors and the audience of the laws theyrespect (Kant, Mary, and Jens47). Likewise, a moral principle isbased on the notion of autonomy. A person with free will does notonly act, but also can imitate and make informed decisions to act ina certain way (Kant, Mary and Jens 47 52-53). In consideration, weact according to the laws we formulated and not based on the commandsof impulse. We can say that we have free will even when we respectthe universal laws because we submit to these laws based on balancedreplications. In summary, by metaphysics of morals, Kant meant theprinciples that guide us on what we ought to do.
Kant,Immanuel, and W Hastie. Introductionto the Metaphysics of Morals.StartPublishing LLC, 2013.
Kant,Immanuel, Mary J. Gregor, and Jens Timmermann. Groundworkof the Metaphysics of Morals.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. Print.