Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Ethics

Longmans, Green (1900)
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What is morally permissible, and what is morally obligatory? These questions form the core of a vast amount of philosophical reasoning. In this landmark work, Kant proposes the concept of a maxim, which functions as a guide to appropriate action under a given set of circumstances. By universalizing the maxim, morally permissible and obligatory behavior becomes clear. The German philosopher's test, known as the Categorical Imperative, is a logical proof of the Golden Rule and the centerpiece of this work. It constitutes Kant's best-known contribution to ethical discussion, and a familiarity with its constituents is essential to students of philosophy, religion, and history.



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