categorical imperative

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If moral obligation is not spontaneously binding, then mere legality or conformity of the will with the categorical imperative is all that is possible for rational agents.
It is important to recognise that the Categorical Imperative is not
These duties are determined by applying the categorical imperative, Kant's formalization of the moral law, to plans of action (or maxims).
The other statements of the categorical imperative include that known as the "formula of the law of nature" (421); that known as the "formula of the end-in-itself" (429); that known as the "formula of autonomy" (431); and that know as the formula of the "kingdom of ends" (433).
The Kantian element in personalism is treating people as ends in themselves, never merely as means (the famous second formula of the categorical imperative again).
Knowing the categorical imperative, however, provides immediate direction.
43) Therefore, while people are free or autonomous they have to act according to the categorical imperative to be a part of the rational humanity.
The taking apart of, or rather putting back together of Kant's most important ideals, the Categorical Imperative among them, as well as the inclusion of a brief history of Kant's life, the influence Jean-Jacques Rousseau had on the philosopher and notes on Kant's work and insights gleaned from his correspondences with others, offers an understanding of Immanuel Kant that is not seen in many books on the subject.
In the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, any secret would constitute an exception that invalidates the categorical imperative, to act such that one's action could become the maxim for a universal moral law.
Another example: he gives us an extremely helpful account of the "categorical imperative procedure" in Kant, an account that responds to the frequent criticism that the categorical imperative is merely an empty formation, unable to generate any content for its moral demands, or at least unable to do so without illicitly appealing to empirical and consequentialist considerations that seem ruled out.

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