New User Special Price Expires in

Let's log you in.

Sign in with Facebook


Don't have a StudySoup account? Create one here!


Create a StudySoup account

Be part of our community, it's free to join!

Sign up with Facebook


Create your account
By creating an account you agree to StudySoup's terms and conditions and privacy policy

Already have a StudySoup account? Login here

PHIL-P140 Kant's Groundwork of Metaphysics Chapter 2 Notes

by: Kathryn Brinser

PHIL-P140 Kant's Groundwork of Metaphysics Chapter 2 Notes PHIL-P 140

Marketplace > Indiana University > PHIL-P 140 > PHIL P140 Kant s Groundwork of Metaphysics Chapter 2 Notes
Kathryn Brinser
GPA 4.0

Preview These Notes for FREE

Get a free preview of these Notes, just enter your email below.

Unlock Preview
Unlock Preview

Preview these materials now for free

Why put in your email? Get access to more of this material and other relevant free materials for your school

View Preview

About this Document

Covers perfect and imperfect duties, along with making maxims universal laws.
Introduction to Ethics
Daniel Linsenbardt
Class Notes
phil-p140, ethics, philosophy
25 ?




Popular in Introduction to Ethics

Popular in Department

This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kathryn Brinser on Friday September 16, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL-P 140 at Indiana University taught by Daniel Linsenbardt in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 9 views.


Reviews for PHIL-P140 Kant's Groundwork of Metaphysics Chapter 2 Notes


Report this Material


What is Karma?


Karma is the currency of StudySoup.

You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!

Date Created: 09/16/16
P140 Immanuel Kant’s Groundwork of Metaphysics Chapter 2 Notes- Translation from Popular Moral Philosophy to the Metaphysics of Morals 9-14-16  Almost no examples of actions done only out of duty- almost everything can be chalked up to another motive o We cannot often know whether our own motives are purely duty  All rational living things realize that reason dictates clear moral standards  Cannot construct universal laws based on experiences o All events depend on surrounding circumstances- none can result in moral principles that always apply no matter what o Idea of God is a priori- existence of perfect being comes from innate idea that since we/our world are not perfect, there must be something that is o Understanding a priori ideas helps refine moral sense to avoid non-duty motivations (inclinations)  Wills can be based on objective moral laws/reason or subjective interests  Imperatives- “ought” statements/obligations based on reason o Hypothetical imperatives- what we ought to do given that we will something else; “If you will to do X, you ought to do Y”  When someone has an objective, reason can dictate what they should do  Complicated when regarding abstract goals, like happiness- course of action can vary greatly  Hypothetical imperatives of skill- what we ought to do in order to achieve a goal that we will  Ex. If you will to have a mansion, you ought to have a high-paying job.  Hypothetical imperatives of prudence- what we ought to do to be happy  Ex. If you will to be happy, you ought to sleep at least 4 hours per night.  All humans will happiness, but it cannot guide reason  Truth of moral standards cannot change with circumstance  Cannot have happiness without being omniscient- depends too much on who we are and our circumstances o Categorical imperatives- action is necessary regardless of our will; “You ought to do Y”  We can never be sure that no circumstantial motive exists  Must be derived a priori  Actions must follow requirement of universal validity; act such that your action would make its maxim a universal law of nature- everyone wills it/must follow it o Ex. If people do not act on duties, they accept universal validity of the law but want exception for themselves when they encounter disagreeable circumstances  Duty to not commit suicide- if everyone died, nature would not exist  Duty to borrow money only if we have intention to pay back- if no one paid back debts, no one would lend money  Duty to develop talents- if no one pursued anything, no one would benefit from human potential/capabilities  Duty to assist those in need- if no one helped anyone, no one could find help when they needed it o Argument for Formula of Universal Law  (1) Categorical imperatives must be things that can obligate all rational beings, regardless of their wills at given time; follows from basic concept of categorical imperative  (2) Given (1), when we fulfill categorical imperative “You ought to Y,” result should be an imperative all rational beings could follow, regardless of their wills  (3) If (2) true, we must make maxims that everyone can follow “together and in unison”  “Act only according to that maxim through which you can 1t the same time will that it become a universal law.” (Formula of Universal Law, FUL)  “…[A]ct as if the maxim of your action were to become by your will a universal law of nature.” (Formula of Universal Law of Nature, FLN)1 o Formulations not intended to be definitive or used as rigid, mechanical guides for how to act  Acknowledges difficulty of following FUL/FLN  General principles intended to clarify how to find our duties, but not with certainty  Testing Maxims with FUL/FLN o Question: Is it possible for my maxim to be a universal law?  Yes: Is it possible to will that it becomes universal law?  Yes: Okay to act  No: Imperfect duty to not act  No: Perfect duty to not act  Perfect and Imperfect Duties o Both “categories” of universal laws o Both can be to oneself or others o Perfect duty- cannot be defied just because we have inclinations to do otherwise; hardly ever have exceptions  Ex. To oneself: do not will to commit suicide to avoid an unhappy life To others: do not will to make promises you can’t keep o Imperfect duty- sometimes permissible to violate, but should not be ignored  Ex. To oneself: do not will to not develop your talents for the sake of living in leisure (human wills naturally want to do things, so we can’t really will this anyway) To others: do not will to not give to the needy Work Cited 1Kant, Immanuel. Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals: Revised Edition. Cambridge University Press, 2012, New York.


Buy Material

Are you sure you want to buy this material for

25 Karma

Buy Material

BOOM! Enjoy Your Free Notes!

We've added these Notes to your profile, click here to view them now.


You're already Subscribed!

Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'

Why people love StudySoup

Steve Martinelli UC Los Angeles

"There's no way I would have passed my Organic Chemistry class this semester without the notes and study guides I got from StudySoup."

Amaris Trozzo George Washington University

"I made $350 in just two days after posting my first study guide."

Steve Martinelli UC Los Angeles

"There's no way I would have passed my Organic Chemistry class this semester without the notes and study guides I got from StudySoup."


"Their 'Elite Notetakers' are making over $1,200/month in sales by creating high quality content that helps their classmates in a time of need."

Become an Elite Notetaker and start selling your notes online!

Refund Policy


All subscriptions to StudySoup are paid in full at the time of subscribing. To change your credit card information or to cancel your subscription, go to "Edit Settings". All credit card information will be available there. If you should decide to cancel your subscription, it will continue to be valid until the next payment period, as all payments for the current period were made in advance. For special circumstances, please email


StudySoup has more than 1 million course-specific study resources to help students study smarter. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, our customer support team can help you find what you need! Feel free to contact them here:

Recurring Subscriptions: If you have canceled your recurring subscription on the day of renewal and have not downloaded any documents, you may request a refund by submitting an email to

Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with your subscription, you can contact us for further help. Contact must be made within 3 business days of your subscription purchase and your refund request will be subject for review.

Please Note: Refunds can never be provided more than 30 days after the initial purchase date regardless of your activity on the site.