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Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals

Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals by Immanuel Kant
By: (1724-1804)

The Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals, also known as The Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals or Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals or Grounding of the Metaphysics of Morals, is Immanuel Kant's first contribution to moral philosophy. It argues for an a priori basis for morality. Where the Critique of Pure Reason laid out Kant's metaphysical and epistemological ideas, this relatively short, primarily meta-ethical, work was intended to outline and define the concepts and arguments shaping his future work The Metaphysics of Morals. However, the latter work is much less readable than the Fundamental Principles.

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This eBook was prepared by Matthew Stapleton.

1785

FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF THE METAPHYSIC OF MORALS

by Immanuel Kant

translated by Thomas Kingsmill Abbott

PREFACE

Ancient Greek philosophy was divided into three sciences: physics, ethics, and logic. This division is perfectly suitable to the nature of the thing; and the only improvement that can be made in it is to add the principle on which it is based, so that we may both satisfy ourselves of its completeness, and also be able to determine correctly the necessary subdivisions.

All rational knowledge is either material or formal: the former considers some object, the latter is concerned only with the form of the understanding and of the reason itself, and with the universal laws of thought in general without distinction of its objects. Formal philosophy is called logic. Material philosophy, however, has to do with determinate objects and the laws to which they are subject, is again twofold; for these laws are either laws of nature or of freedom... Continue reading book >>


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