– Another pure concept of the understanding is causality (logical determinism). we can only make sense of the world/universe, by projecting causality (cause & effect) upon it – though in (noumenal) reality, causality does not exist.
– Kant therefore argues that like space & time, causality is an a priori concept – rather than an actual real law.
– This cause cannot lie within nature as it is the cause of nature (our reason and will being part of nature).
– Therefore the cause must be metaphysical (noumenal).
Ethical Theory – Kant’s ethical theory is first properly devised in his short book, ‘Groundwork of a Metaphysic of Morals’ (GMM) (1785).
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– Kant is considered a deontologist, which is to say that an action is morally good if its intention, rather than its consequences, was good.Thus morality implies the immortality of the soul: – Furthermore, Kant argues that, ‘Happiness is the condition of a rational being in the world with whom everything goes according to his wish and will; it rests, therefore, on the harmony of physical nature with his whole end and likewise with the essential determining principle of his will.(ibid.) – Because reason logically dictates that the summum bonum should be achieved, there must be a cause of the harmony of morality and happiness.You may be determined to act socially, biologically, even logically: the belief that every effect in the universe must have been caused by something else (causality).– Kant actually believed in both causality and in free will. He divided reality into two: phenomena (appearances) and noumena (things-in-themselves).– In sum, the summum bonum, which is a result of reason, postulates a necessary harmony between being moral and being happy.This harmony may not be achieved in our lifetime which postulates the immortality of the soul.So, in some cases, one is being moral even when the consequences are knowingly bad. For Kant, morality is doing one’s duty, – But one’s duty is not dictated by a set of prescribed rules, but is rather dictated by one’s own reason. “I would like to earn money for nothing.”) – so a good will must use objective principles.– In GMM, Kant argues that the reason we have reason is not to seek pleasure (as an instinct would suffice for this), but rather therefore to have a good will. (e.g “I would like everyone to be happy.”) – Kant called the most general moral objective principle, the Categorical Imperative, which reads: – Now, as Kant’s morals are based on intentions (objective principles), a problem arises: If everything in the universe is caused by something else, then even the actions I perform are merely determined by prior causes.– The ultimate goal of reason, the highest good, therefore is a combination of virtue and happiness – this Kant calls the summum bonum (Latin for ‘highest good’).– But be careful: the summum bonum is not the reason for being moral – it is rather merely the later goal as a result of being moral.