Analecto

9 de julho de 2018

Notes on Kant’s “Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals”.

Filed under: Livros — Tags:, , , — Yurinho @ 19:14

Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals was written by Kant. Here are some notes I made about his text.

  1. Greek philosophy could be divided between logic, ethics and physics.
  2. Knowledge can be formal or material.
  3. Logic is a formal science.
  4. Material science is divided into ethics (laws of freedom) and physics (laws of nature).
  5. Ethics is concerned with things as they should be, while physics deals with things as they are.
  6. The rational, but not empirical, part of physics is called the metaphysics of nature, while the purely rational but not empirical part of ethics is called the metaphysics of morals.
  7. Like science, philosophy should be divided into parts and promote specialization.
  8. Parts of physics: nature’s metaphysics (rational) and empirical physics.
  9. Parts of ethics: practical (empirical) and anthropology of customs (rational).
  10. A metaphysics of customs is necessary because it allows the creation of stable laws, since they would be grounded on universal moral principles (which can only be achieved by distancing oneself from experience as much as possible).
  11. Practical rules are not moral laws, because they are particular .
  12. Without pure moral principles, morality will be subject to perversions.
  13. There is only one reason, which is applied in different ways.
  14. You do not have to be a philosopher to understand moral philosophy.
  15. An easy-to-apply principle that seems sufficient to solve a problem may still be wrong.
  16. All our qualities can be employed for evil, except goodwill, which manifests itself in character.
  17. Happiness, satisfaction with yourself and your condition, can cause presumption.
  18. Even self-control can harm the very controlled person or those who are close to the self-controlled person.
  19. Goodwill is what gives assurance to our virtues, because there is no guarantee that our virtues are being used for good otherwise.
  20. It is easier to break your duties if you are unhappy.
  21. “Duty” is the need to fulfill something by respecting the law.
  22. An action is not moral by its results, but by its motivation.
  23. I must act as if everyone had to imitate me.
  24. Can not the consequences of a lie outweigh the benefit that could be derived from lying?
  25. Before you act, think: “can my action be imitated by everyone?”
  26. The fact that I have good moral principles does not guarantee that I will be able to follow such principles.
  27. The fact that I want something very much does not imply that such a thing is good.
  28. A philosophy becomes popular by vulgarisation, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
  29. When I am acting according to my reason, I am acting by “will,” but when I act in a way that my reason disapproves, I am acting by “coercion.”
  30. Prudence is the ability to choose the means to get the best welfare.
  31. The law coerces.
  32. Desiring a goal also means desiring the means of attaining that goal.
  33. It is not possible to know exactly what happiness is without having experienced it, so many fail at attaining happiness.
  34. If happiness is the best welfare, it should come without maintenance cost, otherwise I would worry about keeping my happiness, but, if I’m worried, I am not happy.
  35. I can not tell someone how she should act to be happy, if I do not even know how to be happy myself.
  36. I can give up on rigid prescriptions if I give up on the goal I intend to achieve by obeying those prescriptions (unless they are unconditional prescriptions).
  37. Categorical imperative: “Act only according to principles that could be transformed into laws to which everyone would submit.”
  38. If an action satisfies the categorical imperative, it is fair (though not necessarily beautiful, not necessarily useful, but only fair).
  39. The difference between “impulse” and “motive” is that the impulse leads to subjective end (we perform this action because I have a personal goal) while motive leads to objective end (we perform this action because this is a goal of public interest).
  40. Practical imperative: “treat yourself and others as means and ends, never just as mere means.”
  41. If you do good by interest, your action is conditioned to interest, that is, you will not do good if you do not profit from it.
  42. If something can be replaced by an equivalent, then it has a “price”, but if it is irreplaceable, then it has no price, but “dignity.”
  43. No moral virtue has a price, since there are no equivalents to moral virtues.
  44. Autonomy is the ability to give to yourself the laws that you must obey.
  45. The opposite of autonomy is the need to accept laws from other sources.
  46. Being good and being happy does not necessarily converge.
  47. We can only know the thing as it shows itself to our senses, but that does not mean that its true self is its apparent self.
  48. Nature dictates laws, which we can not break, that is, we are not totally autonomous.
  49. But that does not mean that nature controls all of our acts, so we have some autonomy.
  50. Our thinking substance , intelligence, is our true self.

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