Kant believes that moral reasons for action are catEgorical imperatives which override all other reasons for action, including reasons based on happiness. In the first half of the chapter, some interesting variations on standard Egoism are set out, and it is explained why Kant thought that Egoism could not be a genuine rival to the moral law. The second half of the chapter takes a different approach, however, developing an entirely new, distinctively Kantian version of Egoism that is not based on happiness. Kantian Egoism parallels the moral law: it is a theory of self-regarding catEgorical imperatives. In discussing this theory, some fundamental issues in Kant's practical philosophy are addressed; in particular, a new ‘realist’ account is given of the importance of rational nature and the way in which it is the source of other kinds of value, which is an improvement on the more familiar constructivist interpretations of Kant.
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