The Formula of Humanity (FH)

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:
The Formula of Humanity (FH)

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This chapter deals with Kant’s second formulation of the categorical imperative: the formula of humanity as an end in itself (FH). It examines Kant’s claims that a categorical imperative presupposes something of absolute value; that this must have the status of an end in itself, and that humanity or rational nature is the only thing that could meet this condition. It argues that this end must be understood in the negative sense as something not to be acted against, rather than in the positive sense as something to be attained. In light of this, it examines FH, which maintains that humanity (whether in one’s own person or that of others) is always to be respected as an end in itself and never treated merely as a means, and considers Kant’s application of this principle to the four examples that considered under FLN.

Keywords: absolute value; categorical imperative; end in itself; formula of humanity; means; rational nature

Chapter.  18866 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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