Kant - Three Propositions from Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals

Kant - Three Propositions from Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals Essay example
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Immanuel Kant in his work Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals seeks to develop a philosophy of morals contingent on rationality and pure reason…

Introduction

In his second proposition, Kant iterates that the moral worth of an action derives from its maxim and not from its consequences. In further deliverance of this notion, Kant determines that a prescribed action done from duty is determined in its moral worth only by virtue of the principle, or maxim, in “accordance with which it is decided upon”. This implies that the moral worth of the will to do an action lies NOT in its motive or the desired effect from that action, but in the actual principle of the will. In Kant’s view, a will is genuine and morally sound if it is derived from duty alone instead of any ancillary motive where duty simply plays a complementary role instead of being the motivating factor in its entirety. Thus, it must necessarily follow that the person taking the action has recognized an a priori goodwill principle that they seek to fulfill by taking that action; thus, the action has been brought about from duty instead of being committed for a purpose beyond that which imposed by the goodwill, rendering it of sound moral worth. Kant recognizes a third proposition in a similar way which at first seems like in stark contrast to his second proposition but in essence, follows through with the same elements of rationality by inciting a “respect for law” which imposes a duty to respect the moral law. ...
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