Kant’s Metaphysics of Morals

An analysis of the significance of the role of reason in Kant’s fundamental approach in his `Metaphysics of Morals`.

This paper examines how, for the philosopher Kant, an understanding of knowledge is circumscribed by the limitations of sensory experience. It looks at how, in `The Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals`, he delineates an understanding of the law and duty, which has its source a priori and is necessarily uncontaminated by empirical volition and data. It also discusses how his moral philosophy insists that knowledge that is contingent of context and conditions is not the highest knowledge and, in fact, dilutes pure understanding. It shows how Kant explores the ramifications of his view of moral understanding in a rigorous analysis of the action of a priori, synthetic reason and shows how reason acts `in itself` to produce the groundwork for a metaphysics of morals.

Introduction and Overview
Foreground: A general Overview of Some Essential Concepts
An Analysis of Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals
`In the third section of the Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals, Kant attempts to elucidate the difficulty of understanding freedom in a moral sense. His analysis differentiates the knowledge that can be obtained from the senses, through experience, from that which is valid through reason alone. This relates to the seminal element that runs like an intellectual current throughout his work, which is the distinction made between a contingent reality derived from sense experience and a reality or `understanding` that comes from an a priori synthetic reasoning.`