Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Moral - Immanuel Kant

Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Moral - Immanuel Kant

Written by:
Immanuel Kant
Narrated by:
Lian Johnson
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Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
February 2023
2 hours 47 minutes
Immanuel Kant's Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals, also known as the Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, is a seminal work in ethical philosophy. In this text, Kant attempts to establish a foundation for morality that is based on reason and rationality rather than on feelings or consequences.

The central idea in the text is the concept of the 'categorical imperative,' which is a principle that is binding on all rational beings regardless of their personal desires or goals. According to Kant, the categorical imperative is the ultimate test of moral action and serves as a guide for determining whether an action is morally right or wrong.

Kant argues that the categorical imperative can be formulated in different ways, but the most famous version is the 'formula of universal law.' This formula states that one should act only according to the maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law. In other words, if you can imagine a world where everyone acts in the same way as you, and that world would still be morally acceptable, then your action is morally permissible.

Kant also distinguishes between actions that are done from a sense of duty and those that are done from inclination. An action done from a sense of duty is one that is done solely because it is the right thing to do, not because it leads to any personal benefit or pleasure. Kant argues that only actions done from a sense of duty have moral worth and that actions done from inclination are merely praiseworthy but not necessarily moral.

In addition, Kant emphasizes the importance of respecting human dignity and autonomy. He argues that human beings are inherently valuable and that they should never be treated merely as means to an end. Instead, they should always be treated as ends in themselves, which means that their dignity and autonomy should be respected and protected.
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