Pedra, Papel e Tesoura

6 de maio de 2019

What I learned by reading “Metaphysics of Customs”.

Filed under: Livros — Tags:, , — Yure @ 09:22

Metaphysics of Customs” was written by Immanuel Kant. Below, what I learned from reading this book.

  1. This book is a continuation of the Critique of Practical Reason.
  2. Philosophy books are often accused of being complicated on purpose, just to seem like the author is smarter than he actually is.

  3. All authors of philosophy books should write in a way that non-philosophers can understand.

  4. Often the philosophical process can not be popularized, because it requires a language that is far from the ordinary, but this does not mean that the results of philosophical reflection or research must be offered in lay language.

  5. Popularizing a text that was not written by the person who gets the book out there gives me the opportunity to twist the book’s original meaning.

  6. If we consider philosophy as a body of different disciplines, then there are several philosophies, each giving its contribution to modern thought.

  7. But if we consider philosophy as a single discipline, then each school of thought is part of a process of purification.

  8. So we can not say that the previous school of thought has no importance: it served as a means of perfecting and purification that enables the current state of philosophical thought.

  9. A work of philosophy or science, then, is never entirely yours: it was built upon a cultural baggage that you have and that was acquired through the study of other authors, whether through teachers or books.

  10. There are laws that do not have to be promulgated.

  11. It is permissible to universalize your experience, but it is necessary to be ready when the supposed universality is refuted.

  12. An unnecessary law must cease to be law.

  13. Ethics is experimental.

  14. The path to individual happiness goes through the intimate experience of the individual.

  15. Thus, what brings happiness to one may not bring happiness to another.

  16. “Concupiscence” is the desire that can be transformed into an act, but which has not yet been transformed into an act.

  17. “Free will” is the choice made on the basis of reason alone: ​​if I do something driven by strong emotion, we can say that I did it unintentionally.

  18. Human agency is not always free, but it is never completely savage.

  19. “Moral law” refers to the use of our freedom.

  20. “Legal law” refers only to external acts.

  21. The concept of duty derives from obligation, which, in turn, derives from the categorical imperative: I am obliged, by moral feeling, to act as if everyone would see me and adopt my behavior.

  22. “Imperative” is a rule that gives status of necessity to something that did not have that status before.

  23. “Duty” is something that I am obliged to do, that is, a specific, particular action that seeks to fulfill the moral necessity enunciated by the obligation, which in turn is based on the categorical imperative.

  24. If something is not forbidden, it is automatically allowed.

  25. If something is allowed, it is morally indifferent.

  26. A “person” is a subject responsible for his actions, who is capable of free will.

  27. The opposite of “person” is “thing”.

  28. An action that contradicts duty is called “transgression.”

  29. Whoever transgresses duty is always guilty, but trangressing duty knowing that what you do is a transgression makes you a criminal.

  30. Natural law precedes positive law.

  31. The maxim (rule of personal conduct) that does not take into account universality is immoral: I must act as if the whole world were to act like me.

  32. Maxims come from choice, but laws come from another source.

  33. A categorical imperative is a command.

  34. Is it not strange that the wicked are punished, but the good are not rewarded?

  35. An ethical law makes its goal clear.

  36. If you do your duties, you are only doing what you must, which is not something to be proud of.

  37. Honoring commitments even when there is no risk of punishment for disregarding such commitments is an act of virtue.

  38. An action is fair if it does not hurt anyone’s freedom while it is in accordance with a law respected by all.

  39. A judge can not issue a decision without defined conditions: there must be data on which he can base his decision .

  40. Is it lawful to do violence to those who have done no harm ?

  41. The law can not punish those who commit a crime in order to stay alive: the law can’t give a penalty that is worse than death.

  42. Do no harm.

  43. Secure your property without taking other’s property.

  44. The only innate right is freedom, the other rights have to be acquired.

  45. To lie is to say falsehood on purpose: if you say something false without knowing the truth, you haven’t lied.

  46. “Mine” is something whose use is linked to me in such a way that its use by others, without my consent, would be harmful to me.

  47. It is possible to possess something physically (having the object) or legally (having right to the object).

  48. It is possible say that I “own” a service provided to me by others.

  49. If someone already occupies a land , invading it is a violation the occupant’s rights.

  50. An empirical knowledge is always subjugated to space and time.

  51. An external object is not a far object, but a distinct object.

  52. It is possible to own something that will never be used.

  53. To say that something is mine implies that no one can use that thing without my permission .

  54. You can not have something that already has an owner, except in case of shared possession by mutual agreement between the parties.

  55. I have no right to use a person as object.

  56. The Earth’s shape (round) makes it easy for humans to meet.

  57. The unoccupied land is owned by the first person to get in there.

  58. The definite possession is only possible thanks to the laws: in the state of nature, a possession of mine can be subtracted at any moment .

  59. One should not take the land that already belongs to its inhabitants.

  60. A land on which one can not live belongs to everyone.

  61. Every human being is responsible for humanity.

  62. A contract guarantees me a promise, not necessarily the promised thing.

  63. “Sexual union” is the reciprocal use of bodies and abilities, a kind of agreement in which the bodies will be mutually used.

  64. You can’t acquire one’s members without having the right to the entire body.

  65. A “real” marriage should be made between people of the same social class, to prevent inequality in marriage.

  66. Romance without sex is friendship.

  67. The child is a person.

  68. The son did not ask to be born: if we bring a child to a life of suffering, we are criminals.

  69. That being said, you don’t have the right to have children if you can’t raise children.

  70. The child must have dual education: pragmatic (how to survive) and moral (how to be honest).

  71. A child who can survive by themselves is no longer a child.

  72. Money ” is anything that only has value when it is given: in fact, the value of money only appears when we spend it.

  73. If we have a lot of money, but we do not spend it, it’s the same as being poor.

  74. Work force can be exchanged for money.

  75. The more work there is, the more money is put into circulation.

  76. If money is easy to make, money will also be pointless.

  77. Knowledge has a price.

  78. Only legal money can be called “currency.”

  79. The author speaks for himself, the editor speaks for the author.

  80. Publishing a book without authorization puts the publisher’s profits at risk.

  81. It is possible to have merit after death.

  82. If a person lends me something, but never comes to get it back, the thing is effectively mine.

  83. One should not denigrate the image of someone who is absent and can not defend himself unless one is completely certain of what they are talking about.

  84. Slandering a dead person should be tried by the public and not by a court.

  85. Before borrowing something you should tell the owner that you will be responsible (for loss of the object, if something happens to the borrowed object).

  86. Before you lend something, determine the terms of penalty if the borrowed object is damaged or lost.

  87. You can not get something from someone who does not own the object you want.

  88. Because of this, it is wrong to buy stolen goods.

  89. However, if you buy stolen good without knowing that they were stolen, you shouldn’t be punished.

  90. I should be able to recover what is mine even if it is far away.

  91. I can not be forced to make oath.

  92. It is possible to use religion to torture.

  93. The court is the justice of a country.

  94. If I have to live with others, I will adopt the lifestyle of the majority.

  95. A constitution represents the will of the people and holds it together.

  96. The three powers that represent, or rather, should represent the general will : the legislative power, the executive rulers, the judges of the judiciary.

  97. If the executive power also has legislative power, we have a despotic government.

  98. The executive power has no power of judgment.

  99. Whoever commits a crime unintentionally does not deserve punishment, but instruction.

  100. If people cease to be interested in religion, clerical possessions are at stake.

  101. If you do not tell the police what you are doing when they ask you, you are automatically suspect and must explain yourself to the authorities.

  102. The police can not break into my house unless they have a court order.

  103. Tax money should always go into useful things.

  104. The state can force the rich to meet the needs of the poor.

  105. If you play lottery games, you will be poor.

  106. Church is not religion: “church” is a Christian institution with the public worship of God as a goal, but religion comes from within, from the spirit, it is a personal thing, not necessarily associated with special churches, temples or places (John 4: 24).

  107. Humans have spiritual need, the state can not banish religion without causing revolt.

  108. The tithing should be used to pay taxes if the church is not exempt from taxes.

  109. Justice for sale is unfair.

  110. Punishment for crime must be aggravated by the person’s social position: the president who commits crime must be more severely punished, since he serves as national role model.

  111. If you steal, you imply that it is okay to steal, which exposes your goods to being stolen.

  112. Citizens have the right to leave the country.

  113. Nothing wrong with a landlord calling foreigners to live with him.

  114. The landlord can ban an individual from his territory, that is, deport him.

  115. A genuine republic represents the people: a republic that does not represent the people is illegitimate.

  116. The ideal republic is one in which the people are sovereign.

  117. Why do not presidents fight the war?

  118. To go to war, we must renounce peace first.

  119. Where there are weapons, the law is mute.

  120. After a war is won, public property can be looted, but not the private property, that is, the property of each subject of the conquered territory.

  121. The purpose of the law is to enable perpetual peace.

  122. If you can not prove a particular position, you can try to demonstrate that the question is meaningless.

  123. It does not matter whether peace is possible or not; you have to act as if it is.

  124. Examples are illustration, not proof.

  125. Metaphysical concepts are incorporated even in statements that aim at practical utility.

  126. Even if they work and receive wages, children who have not left their parents’ home still owe them obedience.

  127. A commonly committed injustice doesn’t become a right just because it’s repeated.

  128. It is better to have little money and some freedom than to live in a luxurious place without any freedom.

  129. The church must be subordinate to the state as well.

  130. Metaphysics encompasses a set of pure rational concepts, that is, considered correct by logic, without the need for empirical evidence.

  131. The practical philosopher is one who uses reason to find the best course of action for attainment of general goals (such as “happiness”).

  132. Kant never intended to destroy metaphysics and often affirms it’s need.

  133. Do I have the strength to do what I’m asked to do?

  134. Two goals that are also duties: neighborly love and self-improvement.

  135. Perfection is personal: I can not perfect another person (think of all bad people who have great education).

  136. That means that improvement is up to the person, I can’t really improve a person if they don’t want to improve.

  137. Happiness” is being satisfied with one’s own condition.

  138. If I want to maintain my moral integrity and I can only do that if I am happy, then happiness ceases to be a goal.

  139. Self-love implies the desire to be loved.

  140. Benevolence (goodwill) is not the same as beneficence (good deed): you can say that you “wish the best” for a certain person without moving a finger to help that person out with their own needs.

  141. When you say that a certain man “has no conscience,” you mean that he does not pay attention to the accusations his conscience makes: he prefers to ignore those accusations.

  142. Do good to humanity, even if humanity does not deserve it.

  143. Maybe, in the future, mankind may be worthy of being loved.

  144. Do good also to those who do not feel love.

  145. By practicing the mutual beneficence, love can follow as a consequence.

  146. If one proof is enough, don’t give another.

  147. Having virtue “beyond measure” is already a vice.

  148. Wisdom, strictly speaking, is practical: the philosopher whose philosophy has no practical implication may well not be interested in wisdom at all.

  149. It is possible to be more virtuous than enough.

  150. The dialogical method is an attempt to bring to consciousness something that is already known.

  151. If I come to the conclusion that I have an unavoidable responsibility, I am automatically obliging myself to it.

  152. A duty to myself is automatically a duty to all mankind.

  153. I must perfect myself beyond the point where nature put me at birth.

  154. I must preserve my life.

  155. Suicide is homicide.

  156. Getting rid of a healthy part of one’s own body is not morally justifiable.

  157. Proving that masturbation is wrong is a difficult task because masturbation does no harm to anyone.

  158. It is possible to keep something in your heart and speak something completely opposite to what you feel.

  159. Drugs should only be used in medical situations: using them for pleasure is abuse.

  160. A banquet is a formal invitation to excess.

  161. “Lie” is intentional untruth: if you said something wrong because you did not know the truth, you did not lie, but you made a mistake.

  162. One should not do good through lying.

  163. The human being lies to himself often.

  164. One lies to oneself by professing something in which one does not believe because of a possibility of gaining something from it.

  165. Another example is to say that I, as a Christian, love the laws of God, when in fact I am only afraid of punishment.

  166. “Avarice” is not to spend when necessary.

  167. There is no middle ground between truth and lies.

  168. Why would you want money if you don’t want to spend it?

  169. If you find yourself above the law, you are arrogant.

  170. It is not worthy of a human being to bow before another human being, since they are fundamentally equals.

  171. If a person makes themselves a doormat, step on them.

  172. It is possible to stop paying attention to the conscience, but you can not help but hear its voice.

  173. The first command of all duties to oneself: know thyself.

  174. Although there is no relation of rights and duties between human beings and nonhuman beings, the human being still has at least duties to nature in general, as a whole, having to watch over the natural beauties in order to exercise the human capacity to love and abstain from cruelty to animals in order to preserve the human ability to feel empathy.

  175. The animal must be rewarded for a job well done.

  176. A duty to an animal is a duty to one’s own self, for it aids in the enhancement of one’s humanity, which has repercussions on the proper treatment among fellow humans.

  177. Everyone should have a religion.

  178. Human beings have an obligation to develop their capacities.

  179. Even if you are satisfied with the number of skills you already have, it is always helpful to improve their quality more and more.

  180. Organize your skills according to your goal.

  181. Science is theoretical, wisdom is practical.

  182. Physical education is as important as the study of science; the scientist, if he does not have a body or has a body that is not healthy, to the point of not serving it’s purpose, can not put the knowledge he has in practice.

  183. Your future job should be related to what you do best.

  184. Self-improvement should be directed toward the goal you pursue.

  185. As we will never reach perfection, there is always room for improvement.

  186. There are two types of duties that we maintain with others: those that imply mutual obligation and those that do not imply.

  187. Love and respect are not the same.

  188. “Philanthropy” is love to all human beings.

  189. “Misanthropy” is the opposite: it is hatred of all human beings.

  190. “Selfishness” is a form of love that doesn’t extend to other human beings.

  191. “Shyness” is a lack of means to express the love that you feel towards someone.

  192. I have to do to others what I want done to me.

  193. The principle of love is divided into: beneficence, gratitude and solidarity.

  194. You have to take care of your own body.

  195. When you feel good about the well-being of others, you are benevolent.

  196. When you work for the welfare of others, you are beneficent.

  197. It is rare to find someone who makes the well-being of others their goal.

  198. Working for the happiness of the needy is everyone’s duty.

  199. If the other is in need, granting him a benefit should not be done by seeking something in return.

  200. The limit of beneficence is selflessness: even though you should help others, you should not do that to the point of neglecting your own needs.

  201. I can not be beneficent to the other by imposing on him my own patterns of happiness: I have to know what makes the person happy and then do it to them.

  202. A person is rich when he has an excess of power to achieve his goals.

  203. The government can be unjust to the point of making it’s citizens deliberately poor, in order to make citizens need the beneficence of state.

  204. If I cause harm to someone and then repair it, it is not beneficence.

  205. Recognition is a kind of gratitude.

  206. The ancients deserve respect, but that does not mean that the new generation is always worse.

  207. It is easier to do good if evil is affecting you, because that makes you unable to be indifferent to evil.

  208. The vices that work against love: envy , ingratitude , malice.

  209. Envy that does not manifest externally is called “jealousy”, the envy that you keep to yourself.

  210. Envy is the feeling of pain originated by seeing others having a good time.

  211. Envy only occurs in people dissatisfied with their own condition.

  212. If something happens to any human being, it is in our interest to investigate.

  213. Malice and the desire for revenge go hand in hand.

  214. Revenge is never is just, because it’s an application of my own concept of justice, while justice is supposed to be universally valid.

  215. Only God can be perfectly just.

  216. No punishment should be applied when you are angry; the anger leads us to punish in excess, that is, to commit abuse.

  217. A crime that would render human nature abhorrent is what we call an “inhuman” attitude.

  218. The human being is between the angel and the animal in the scale of perfection, but that does not make it a hybrid of the two.

  219. Everything has value, even if it is negative value.

  220. A human being should treat himself as human and other humans as humans too.

  221. It is immoral to treat a human being as if it were less than human.

  222. Honor is respect to others: if they respect you, you are honored.

  223. One should not despise a human being because of one of his faults, because a fault alone does not make anyone a bad person.

  224. A “scandal” is an offense to honor accompanied by a bad example that could be followed by others.

  225. Pride is counterproductive: the more respect you demand, the less others respect you.

  226. Respect must be earned before it is claimed.

  227. “Detraction” is to publish one’s particular defect or flaw, causing scandal (it’s gossip, in other words).

  228. If you want to know about people’s private lives, you are always wrong.

  229. “Scorn” or “mockery” is to turn one’s faults into laugh matter, differing from “joke”, which is to turn qualities into laugh matter.

  230. “Friendship” is the union of two or more persons by mutual love and respect.

  231. A person who angers you or saddens you on purpose is not your friend.

  232. It is an act of love when a friend says, tactfully, that you are wrong.

  233. The real friend is there for you when you need.

  234. There is a need to reveal our secrets because we want to be accepted.

  235. The friend will hear your secrets and will not reveal them.

  236. Good friends are rare.

  237. Do not isolate yourself.

  238. Virtue should be fashionable!

  239. Virtue is not innate.

  240. There are two ways of teaching science: lecture (expository lesson) and by questioning (building the reasoning through questions thrown to the audience).

  241. The teacher has to be a role model because children also learn by imitating.

  242. Do not tell someone to be like someone eles or you might cause envy.

  243. If you are a good role model, people will copy you if they have common sense.

  244. A “good enough” heart wants to at least share its happiness with others.

  245. If the student does not know the answer, suggest one.

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