Kant’s Categorical Imperative

This paper will examine the third formula of Kant’s categorical imperative by scrutinizing the four illustrations he uses to prove his point.

In presenting the one criterion for moral obligation, Immanuel Kant first rejects other moral traditions before his time: among them, the virtue theory, which bases morality on good character traits; and the consequential theory, which bases it on the consequences of actions. In response, he argues that moral actions are based only on a supreme principle of morality, one that is objective, rational and freely chosen which he called the categorical imperative.