KANT IMPERATIVO CATEGRICO PDF

Zujar First, unlike anything else, there is no conceivable circumstance in which we regard our own moral goodness as worth forfeiting simply in order to obtain cafegrico desirable object. Indeed, it is hard to imagine any life that is recognizably human without the use of others in pursuit of our goals. It does not, in other words, apply to us on the condition that we have antecedently adopted some goal for ourselves. A human impdrativo in which the Moral Law is decisive is motivated by the thought of duty.

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Hypothetical imperatives tell us which means best achieve our ends. They do not, however, tell us which ends we should choose. The typical dichotomy in choosing ends is between ends that are "right" e. Kant considered the "right" superior to the "good"; to him, the "good" was morally irrelevant. Such judgments must be reached a priori , using pure practical reason. The distinction, it is imperative each action is not empirically reasoned by observable experience, has had wide social impact in the legal and political concepts of human rights and equality.

As a part of the world of sense, he would necessarily fall under the natural law of desires and inclinations. However, since the world of understanding contains the ground of the world of sense and so too of its laws, his actions ought to conform to the autonomy of the will, and this categorical "ought" represents a synthetic proposition a priori.

The will is therefore the faculty of desire considered not so much in relation to action as choice is but rather in relation to the ground determining choice in action. The will itself, strictly speaking, has no determining ground; insofar as it can determine choice, it is instead practical reason itself.

Insofar as reason can determine the faculty of desire as such, not only choice but also mere wish can be included under the will. That choice which can be determined by pure reason is called free choice.

That which can be determined only by inclination sensible impulse, stimulus would be animal choice arbitrium brutum. Human choice, however, is a choice that can indeed be affected but not determined by impulses, and is therefore of itself apart from an acquired proficiency of reason not pure but can still be determined to actions by pure will.

But the idea of lawless free will , that is, a will acting without any causal structure, is incomprehensible. Therefore, a free will must be acting under laws that it gives to itself. Although Kant conceded that there could be no conceivable example of free will, because any example would only show us a will as it appears to us—as a subject of natural laws—he nevertheless argued against determinism.

He proposed that determinism is logically inconsistent: the determinist claims that because A caused B, and B caused C, that A is the true cause of C. Applied to a case of the human will, a determinist would argue that the will does not have causal power and that something outside the will causes the will to act as it does.

But this argument merely assumes what it sets out to prove: viz. Secondly, Kant remarks that free will is inherently unknowable. Since even a free person could not possibly have knowledge of their own freedom, we cannot use our failure to find a proof for freedom as evidence for a lack of it. The observable world could never contain an example of freedom because it would never show us a will as it appears to itself, but only a will that is subject to natural laws imposed on it.

But we do appear to ourselves as free. Therefore, he argued for the idea of transcendental freedom—that is, freedom as a presupposition of the question "what ought I to do?

A moral maxim must imply absolute necessity, which is to say that it must be disconnected from the particular physical details surrounding the proposition, and could be applied to any rational being. This leads to the first formulation of the categorical imperative, sometimes called the "universalizability principle": [3] "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.

Because laws of nature are by definition universal, Kant claims we may also express the categorical imperative as: "Act as if the maxims of your action were to become through your will a universal law of nature. The first division is between duties we have to ourselves versus duties we have to others. Kant also, however, introduces a distinction between "perfect" and "imperfect" duties, [4] which requires more explanation: Perfect duty[ edit ] According to his reasoning, we first have a perfect duty not to act by maxims that result in logical contradictions when we attempt to universalize them.

The moral proposition A: "It is permissible to steal" would result in a contradiction upon universalisation. The notion of stealing presupposes the existence of personal property, but were A universalized, then there could be no personal property, and so the proposition has logically negated itself. In general, perfect duties are those that are blameworthy if not met, as they are a basic required duty for a human being. Imperfect duty[ edit ] Second, we have imperfect duties, which are still based on pure reason, but which allow for desires in how they are carried out in practice.

Because these depend somewhat on the subjective preferences of humankind, this duty is not as strong as a perfect duty, but it is still morally binding.

As such, unlike perfect duties, you do not attract blame should you not complete an imperfect duty but you shall receive praise for it should you complete it, as you have gone beyond the basic duties and taken duty upon yourself. Imperfect duties are circumstantial, meaning simply that you could not reasonably exist in a constant state of performing that duty. This is what truly differentiates between perfect and imperfect duties, because imperfect duties are those duties that are never truly completed.

Most ends are of a subjective kind, because they need only be pursued if they are in line with some particular hypothetical imperative that a person may choose to adopt. For an end to be objective, it would be necessary that we categorically pursue it. The free will is the source of all rational action. But to treat it as a subjective end is to deny the possibility of freedom in general.

Because the autonomous will is the one and only source of moral action, it would contradict the first formulation to claim that a person is merely a means to some other end, rather than always an end in themselves. On this basis, Kant derives the second formulation of the categorical imperative from the first. By combining this formulation with the first, we learn that a person has perfect duty not to use the humanity of themselves or others merely as a means to some other end.

As a slave owner would be effectively asserting a moral right to own a person as a slave, they would be asserting a property right in another person.

This would violate the categorical imperative, because it denies the basis for there to be free rational action at all; it denies the status of a person as an end in themselves. The second formulation also leads to the imperfect duty to further the ends of ourselves and others.

If any person desires perfection in themselves or others, it would be their moral duty to seek that end for all people equally, so long as that end does not contradict perfect duty. Likewise, the second formulation lays out subjective conditions: that there be certain ends in themselves, namely rational beings as such. A universal maxim, however, could only have this form if it were a maxim that each subject by himself endorsed.

This leads to the concept of self-legislation. Each subject must through his own use of reason will maxims which have the form of universality, but do not impinge on the freedom of others: thus each subject must will maxims that could be universally self-legislated. The result, of course, is a formulation of the categorical imperative that contains much of the same as the first two. We must will something that we could at the same time freely will of ourselves.

After introducing this third formulation, Kant introduces a distinction between autonomy literally: self-law-giving and heteronomy literally: other-law-giving.

This third formulation makes it clear that the categorical imperative requires autonomy. It is not enough that the right conduct be followed, but that one also demands that conduct of oneself. Other formulations[ edit ] In the Groundwork, Kant goes on to formulate the categorical imperative in a number of different ways following the first three; however, because Kant himself claims that there are only three principles, [9] little attention has been given to these other formulations.

Moreover, they are often easily assimilated to the first three formulations, as Kant takes himself to be explicitly summarizing these earlier principles. Thus Kant presents the notion of the hypothetical Kingdom of Ends of which he suggests all people should consider themselves never solely as means but always as ends.

We ought to act only by maxims that would harmonize with a possible kingdom of ends. We have perfect duty not to act by maxims that create incoherent or impossible states of natural affairs when we attempt to universalize them, and we have imperfect duty not to act by maxims that lead to unstable or greatly undesirable states of affairs.

Application[ edit ] Although Kant was intensely critical of the use of examples as moral yardsticks, because they tend to rely on our moral intuitions feelings rather than our rational powers, this section will explore some applications of the categorical imperative for illustrative purposes. Further information: Doctrine of mental reservation Kant asserted that lying, or deception of any kind, would be forbidden under any interpretation and in any circumstance.

In the Groundwork, Kant gives the example of a person who seeks to borrow money without intending to pay it back.

This is a contradiction because if it were a universal action, no person would lend money anymore as he knows that he will never be paid back. The maxim of this action, says Kant, results in a contradiction in conceivability[ clarify ] and thus contradicts perfect duty.

With lying, it would logically contradict the reliability of language. If it were universally acceptable to lie, then no one would believe anyone and all truths would be assumed to be lies. In each case, the proposed action becomes inconceivable in a world where the maxim exists as law.

In a world where no one would lend money, seeking to borrow money in the manner originally imagined is inconceivable. In a world where no one trusts one another, the same is true about manipulative lies. The right to deceive could also not be claimed because it would deny the status of the person deceived as an end in itself. The theft would be incompatible with a possible kingdom of ends. Therefore, Kant denied the right to lie or deceive for any reason, regardless of context or anticipated consequences.

Theft[ edit ] Kant argued that any action taken against another person to which he or she could not possibly consent is a violation of perfect duty interpreted through the second formulation. If a thief were to steal a book from an unknowing victim, it may have been that the victim would have agreed, had the thief simply asked. However, no person can consent to theft, because the presence of consent would mean that the transfer was not a theft.

Because the victim could not have consented to the action, it could not be instituted as a universal law of nature, and theft contradicts perfect duty. Suicide[ edit ] Kant applied his categorical imperative to the issue of suicide motivated by a sickness of life in The Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, [12] writing that: A man reduced to despair by a series of misfortunes feels sick of life, but is still so far in possession of his reason that he can ask himself whether taking his own life would not be contrary to his duty to himself.

Now he asks whether the maxim of his action could become a universal law of nature. But his maxim is this: from self-love I make as my principle to shorten my life when its continued duration threatens more evil than it promises satisfaction.

There only remains the question as to whether this principle of self-love can become a universal law of nature. One sees at once that a contradiction in a system of nature whose law would destroy life by means of the very same feeling that acts so as to stimulate the furtherance of life, and hence there could be no existence as a system of nature. Therefore, such a maxim cannot possibly hold as a universal law of nature and is, consequently, wholly opposed to the supreme principle of all duty.

The man asks himself how the universality of such a thing works. While Kant agrees that a society could subsist if everyone did nothing, he notes that the man would have no pleasures to enjoy, for if everyone let their talents go to waste, there would be no one to create luxuries that created this theoretical situation in the first place.

Thus, it is not willed to make laziness universal, and a rational being has imperfect duty to cultivate its talents. Kant concludes in The Groundwork For as a rational being he necessarily wills that all his faculties should be developed, inasmuch as they are given him for all sorts of possible purposes.

He proposes a fourth man who finds his own life fine but sees other people struggling with life and who ponders the outcome of doing nothing to help those in need while not envying them or accepting anything from them. While Kant admits that humanity could subsist and admits it could possibly perform better if this were universal, he states in Grounding: But even though it is possible that a universal law of nature could subsist in accordance with that maxim, still it is impossible to will that such a principle should hold everywhere as a law of nature.

For a will that resolved in this way would contradict itself, inasmuch as cases might often arise in which one would have need of the love and sympathy of others and in which he would deprive himself, by such a law of nature springing from his own will, of all hope of the aid he wants for himself. According to Kant, man has the imperfect duty to strengthen the feeling of compassion, since this feeling promotes morality in relation to other human beings.

However, cruelty to animals deadens the feeling of compassion in man. Criticisms[ edit ] The Golden Rule[ edit ] The first formulation of the categorical imperative appears similar to the Golden Rule. In its negative form, the rule prescribes: "Do not impose on others what you do not wish for yourself. In effect, it says that you should act toward others in ways that you would want everyone else to act toward others, yourself included presumably.

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