Kant's Categorical Imperative

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Kant?s Categorical Imperatives of the Fundamental Principle of Morality In section one of Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morality, Kant gives us five propositions that he holds to be our common understanding of morality. In the second section he outlines the Categorical Imperative of the fundamental principle of morality to show that it has a particular form and end to it. Kant uses this Categorical Imperative to show that the five examples of our common understanding are valid. In this paper I will articulate both Kant?s Categorical Imperative for the form of the fundamental principle of morality as well as it?s end, and I will also discuss whether or not these Categorical Imperatives make the five examples legitimate.

Kant begins by formulating the Categorical Imperative of the form of the Fundamental Principle of morality. The form of Kant?s Categorical Imperative is found in the following excerpt, ?Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.?

(Kant 14). This statement means that one should base their actions on the option that correlates with universal law. What Kant means by ?universal law? is a law that would uphold the dignity of all people that acted in this manner. In other words, universal law is an action that would maintain human life and it?s morals if all humans acted this way. For example, if everyone in the world began killing one another, human existence would cease to exist. Therefore murder absolutely could not be included in universal law. But on the other hand, if everyone went out and treated one another with kindness, human existence would continue to carry on. Furthermore, not only would human existence continue on, it would excel into a higher level of moral.