Henry E. Allison

in Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199691531
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731808 | DOI:

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The Introduction emphasizes the importance of the principle of autonomy and describes the structure of both Kant’s work and the commentary on it. It notes that the Groundwork has two tasks: to search for and to establish the supreme principle of morality. Its first two parts are devoted to the first task and use an “analytic” method, which begins with the premise that this principle is implicit in the common understanding of morality and culminates in various formulations of the categorical imperative. The third is concerned with the second task. It uses a “synthetic” method, which eventuates in a “deduction” of this imperative. The commentary consists of four parts; since, in addition to devoting a part to each part of the Groundwork, it contains an analysis of Kant’s Preface and a contrast of Kant’s views with the Wolffian universal practical philosophy and the popular moral philosophy associated with Christian Garve.

Keywords: analytic and synthetic methods; categorical imperative; deduction; Christian Garve; popular moral philosophy; universal practical philosophy; Christian Wolff

Chapter.  5324 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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