Immanuel Kant'sGroundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals

Immanuel Kant'sGroundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals: A Commentary

Dieter Schönecker
Allen W. Wood
Translated by Nicholas Walker
Copyright Date: 2015
Published by: Harvard University Press
Pages: 228
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  • Book Info
    Immanuel Kant'sGroundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals
    Book Description:

    A defining work of moral philosophy,Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Moralshas been highly influential and famously difficult. Dieter Schönecker and Allen Wood make clear the ways this work forms the basis of our modern moral outlook and how moral law relates to freedom and free will within Kant's overall philosophy.

    eISBN: 978-0-674-73621-4
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. 1 Kant’s Preface: The Metaphysics of Morals and the Strategy of the Groundwork
    (pp. 1-31)

    The first part (1.1) of this chapter examines the central task and methodology of theGroundworkand the nature of the ‘transitions’ between the different sections of Kant’s text. The second part (1.2) investigates Kant’s concept and project of a ‘metaphysics of morals.’ The final part (1.3) summarizes the basic points and conclusions of our analysis. The discussion in this chapter may appear rather dry and abstract. However, it should afford a helpful view of the basic structure of theGroundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals(GMS),¹ allowing us to concentrate in what follows on the fundamental arguments in Kant’s...

  5. 2 Section I of the Groundwork: The Good Will, Duty, and the Derivation of the Categorical Imperative
    (pp. 32-94)

    We shall begin with a brief overview of the structure and argument of the first section of theGroundwork(2.1). The structure of our analysis and commentary will then essentially follow the basic structure of the text: we shall examine the concept of a will that is good in itself (2.2), proceed to Kant’s analysis of the concept of duty (2.3 ), and conclude with a discussion of Kant’s first derivation and formulation of the categorical imperative (2.4). Finally, we provide a brief summary of the entire argument (2.5).

    It is not difficult to grasp the overall structure and organization...

  6. 3 Section II of the Groundwork: Practical Reason, Imperatives, and Kant’s Formulas
    (pp. 95-174)

    We begin with an overview of the structure and basic argument of GMS II (3.1). Then we shall address the issue of reason as a practical faculty and the division of rational principles into categorical and hypothetical imperatives (3.2). The question regarding the possibility of hypothetical imperatives merits separate discussion in its own right (3.3 ) before we examine Kant’s various formulas for the categorical imperative and his attempt to derive different duties from these formulas (3.4). Finally, we summarize the main results (3.5).

    The opening pages of GMS II constitute one of the key passages where Kant explicitly distinguishes...

  7. 4 Section III of the Groundwork: The Deduction of the Categorical Imperative
    (pp. 175-218)

    We shall begin by looking at the structure and the task of GMS III (4.1); it is particularly important to do this because significant misunderstandings can easily arise here. Among other things, this final section is centrally concerned with freedom and its relationship to morality (4.2). The other, quite decisive point concerns Kant’s demonstration of the validity of the CI, or what he calls its ‘deduction’ (4.3). Finally, as before, we offer a brief summary of the argument (4.4).

    In GMS III the question regarding the possibility of the CI furnishes the title of Section 4 of the text, and...

  8. 5 Bibliography
    (pp. 219-228)
  9. Index
    (pp. 229-236)