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p. 735. The categorical imperativelocked

  • Roger Scruton

Abstract

The Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals which preceded the Critique provides a summary of Kant's moral viewpoint. Both works look at ‘ practical reason’. ‘ The categorical imperative’ looks at what constitutes practical reason and what Kant believed to be the basis of our judgements and decisions. Aristotle would have said that happiness is the motive, Kant cites duty. Through this analysis of duty, Kant's distinctive moral vision can be seen. Kant asks: can we know what to do objectively, or must we rely on our subjective inclination to guide us? The starting point of Kant's ethics is the concept of freedom. Freedom is the ability to be governed by reason.

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