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Book Title: Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals/On a Supposed Right to Lie Because of Philanthropic Concerns|
The author of the book: Immanuel Kant
Date of issue: July 1st 1993
ISBN 13: 9780872201675
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 1.83 MB
Read full description of the books Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals/On a Supposed Right to Lie Because of Philanthropic Concerns:Everyone seems to complain that the text is dry and hard to follow, but honestly, it's not bad at all. I read it as a freshman, and it was probably the first philosophy that I'd read that dealt so strongly in absolutes. I was impressed by his vehement (and gutsy) assertion that a priori principles must still apply empirically, regardless of the situation's specific details.
It's been years since I've read this, and Kant still stands out in my mind as one of the most powerful philosophers that I've ever studied. I shall try as best I can to explain why, but memory being what it is, many of the details are fuzzy.
Those familar with Kant's works will not be surprised by the meticulous detail, the unimpeachable logic, and the sound reasoning behind his arguments. He has a way of getting right at the heart of an issue and analyzing the bejabbers out of it, for want of a better expression. One example from this text is Kant's study of motive's effect on morality: he examined different ways of thinking that could be selfish or altruistic, demonstrated how they could coexist within the same mind, and just kept delving deeper and deeper. With Kant, there always seems to be another layer, and even when he concludes that it is impossible to be sure even of one's own motivation (and therefore the extent of one's moral fortitude) he has still provided, if not an answer, the next best thing. Kant gives readers a frame for thinking through these issues; he lays out his philosophy, but then he tests it repeatedly, even brutally, which shows not only the strength of his arguments but also his eagerness to fully understand the ideals he seeks and to apply these same parameters consistently to the many changes and unpredictabilities of daily life.
I kind of admire Kant for not trying to come up with a philosophy that can be changed during specific situations. Instead, he maintained that because of the great variety of circumstance, it was absolutely necessary to have a philosophy that would never change.
Read information about the authorImmanuel Kant was an 18th-century philosopher from Königsberg, Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia). He's regarded as one of the most influential thinkers of modern Europe & of the late Enlightenment. His most important work is The Critique of Pure Reason, an investigation of reason itself. It encompasses an attack on traditional metaphysics & epistemology, & highlights his own contribution to these areas. Other main works of his maturity are The Critique of Practical Reason, which is about ethics, & The Critique of Judgment, about esthetics & teleology.
Pursuing metaphysics involves asking questions about the ultimate nature of reality. Kant suggested that metaphysics can be reformed thru epistemology. He suggested that by understanding the sources & limits of human knowledge we can ask fruitful metaphysical questions. He asked if an object can be known to have certain properties prior to the experience of that object. He concluded that all objects that the mind can think about must conform to its manner of thought. Therefore if the mind can think only in terms of causality–which he concluded that it does–then we can know prior to experiencing them that all objects we experience must either be a cause or an effect. However, it follows from this that it's possible that there are objects of such a nature that the mind cannot think of them, & so the principle of causality, for instance, cannot be applied outside experience: hence we cannot know, for example, whether the world always existed or if it had a cause. So the grand questions of speculative metaphysics are off limits, but the sciences are firmly grounded in laws of the mind. Kant believed himself to be creating a compromise between the empiricists & the rationalists. The empiricists believed that knowledge is acquired thru experience alone, but the rationalists maintained that such knowledge is open to Cartesian doubt and that reason alone provides us with knowledge. Kant argues, however, that using reason without applying it to experience will only lead to illusions, while experience will be purely subjective without first being subsumed under pure reason. Kant’s thought was very influential in Germany during his lifetime, moving philosophy beyond the debate between the rationalists & empiricists. The philosophers Fichte, Schelling, Hegel and Schopenhauer saw themselves as correcting and expanding Kant's system, thus bringing about various forms of German Idealism. Kant continues to be a major influence on philosophy to this day, influencing both Analytic and Continental philosophy.
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