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Moral Writings$
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H. A. Prichard and Jim MacAdam

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199250196

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199250197.001.0001

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Kant's Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals *

Kant's Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals *

(p.50) 4. Kant's Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals *
Moral Writings

H. A. Prichard

Oxford University Press

Discusses central aspects of Kant's work on the nature of morality and the basis of moral obligation. In examining the categorical imperative and the hypothetical imperative, emphasizes the real nature of the distinction between these principles: whereas the former is binding upon every one, the latter is binding only upon some individuals, namely those individuals who want the end for which a prescribed action is a means. Also considers the nature of the will, Kant's criterion of the rightness of a right action, and two criticisms of Kant's view of morality that arise from his attempt to offer a general answer to the question ‘Why ought an action be performed?’ Then turns to Kant's proof of freedom, which it is claimed just barely misses making the right point that action is only possible under the idea of freedom. Concludes by examining Kant's proof of immortality and the existence of God.

Keywords:   categorical imperative, end, freedom, God, hypothetical imperative, Kant, means, morality, obligation, right, will

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