My rating: 88/100
See Book Notes for other books I have read.
Edited, with an Introduction, by Carl J. Friedrich of Harvard University
- Categorical Imperative – Kant famously developed a method of making laws based purely on logic.
- Law should not be based on happiness.
- Men are an end in themselves. Men should not be used to achieve some other end.
- Moral law is established by itself on an objective reality, rather than on the backbone of a religion handed down from a God or other method.
- Good and evil are referred to actions, not to sensations of the person.
- There is no such thing as original sin. Evil tendencies in humans are not handed down from our parents, rather, we have our own will which necessitates that we alone are responsible for our sins.
- Jesus cannot be an example for humans. His god-like nature means he is inherently different from us.
- Laws (of force) should not be made to make us ethical.
- People are never entitled to use force against the head of the state or to obstruct him in work or deed, including rebellion.
- The freedom of the pen is the sole shield of the rights of the people.
- Peace – Kant was a huge fan, and the last book gives several useful articles on what an eternal peace would look like practically, also laying down a couple maxims for achieving it.
I enjoyed attempting to read this book. It was my first exposure to words like apodictic and synthetic, and it was a real challenge to stay awake sometimes, much less try to comprehend everything. I merely “floated” through a lot of the content, not understanding it at all, but trying nonetheless.
This particular book is a collection of selected writings from Kant, and not comprehensive. This format was well suited to me because I didn’t want to make a full study of his entire works (a monumental undertaking), but did want more than just a secondary account of his ideas. It’s a digestable 500 pages.
I was very confused by the organization of the various paragraphs, as Kant regularly uses the terminology of Sections, Articles, numbers (1., 2., 3.), number words (First, Second …), letters (a., b., c.), Roman numerals (I, II, III, IV, etc.), Books, Aspects, and several others to organize his works. Here’s a ridiculous example from the Critique of Judgment:
He is very analytical minded, and even without reading his philosophy you can see that he’s analytical. I find it funny, because the procedures I write for my business follow a pretty standard legal-type of format (1.1.2, 1.1.3, 126.96.36.199, etc.) for separating paragraphs. If somebody knows of a clear, indented outline for all of Kant’s works, I would love to see it.
our view is that Kant’s philosophy, existentially speaking, revolves around “peace” and not around “cognition.” The interested layman should not begin, but should end with the Critique of Pure Reason, which ought to be read entire.
Carl J. Friedrich
by Carl J. Friedrich
He succeeded in identifying a fundamental problem and “solved it” for mankind ever after. The problem is: What are the limits of the human mind, what are the forms into which all human thought is cast, what is the function of this instrument given to man as we all know him?
Pietism – 17 century German movement, stressed personal piety over religious formality and orthodoxy.
Kant detested the rigorous regulation and mechanization of religion and this feeling carried him to the point where he rejected all prayer.
[Kant’s] first major effort was directed toward extending the realm of science and restricting the realm of theology.
Kant was highly influenced by Rousseau
Therefore the basic question regarding the objective validity of knowldege in its relation to objects must – this is the key to Kant’s philosophy – be solved in terms of the process of knowing: i.e., through recognizing the peculiar conditions and limitations of the human mind and its reasoning processes.”
Reason comprehends only what it considers according to its own plan; that reason must progress in formulating the principles of its judgments according to fixed laws and that it must compel nature to answer the questions rather than let itself be led around by nature, as if on leading strings.
Idealism, subjectivism, trancendentalism.
For Kant, the term “idealism” denoted a critical recognition of the conditions and limits of all rational knowldege, compunded of hypothesis and verification; in short a kind of “hypotheticism” or experimentalism.
Subjectivism. Kant’s concept of subjectivism denotes an “objective” condition of all knowledge, as he sees it, as patterned by the subject of knowing: man’s mind as the source of all objectively valid judgements about a reality not knowable as it is, in and by itself.
Trancendental. Suggests an other-worldly emphasis in a philosophy whose primary characteristic is its humanistic emphasis upon man’s earthly, finite existence. What Kant has in mind, primarily, is that he is expounding a method which transcends the customary dichotomies by stressing the mode of knowing rather than what is known.
The usage of these words in the English language is more fully established in a sense contrary to the meaning Kant attached to them. It would really be excusable to use entirely different words which would be more nearly apt to render Kant’s meaning: methodological for transcendental, humanist for subjectivist, and experimentalist for idealist.
The German word Anschauung is commonly rendered as intuition.
The verb anschauen means to look at, to visualize and the substantive derived therefrom means: (a) the act of looking at something, (b) the thing-looked-at, (c) the impression or image in the mind resulting from this.
WahrnehmungBeobachtung … carries with it more of an implication of conscious intent to watch something, than does the term “observe”.
Kant should, in order to be precise, have called the first great Critique that of pure theoretical reason [Critique of Pure Theoretical Reason], so as to contrast it with the second [Critique of Pure Practical Reason] which deals with pure practical reason.
The writer has gradually come to the conclusion that Kant’s whole system is more closely related to his basic political outlook and his sense of the broad revolutionary developments of his time than has commonly been assumed.
“Practical,” [referencing the Critique of Practical Reason] for Kant, is what is related to autonomous action.
noumenon – plural noumena; the object itself inaccessible to experience, to which a phenomenon is referred for the basis or cause of it’s sense content.
There are two primary “forms” which are end-related in the thinking of man: the form of the work of art which is called beautiful because all its constituent parts are harmoniously blended into a whole that has unity, and the form of living beings which is called organic because all ots constituent parts, too, are harmoniously lended into a whole that has unity. By a species of analogical reasoning we look upon such organic entities as if they were directed toward their inherent end by some kind of (to us unknown) creator.
We are presenting three extensive selections to round out the material on Kant’s philosophy to show how he himself applied his critical insights to three of man’s most insistent practical problems: religion, government, and peace.
salus civitatis suprema lex esto – the health of the people should be the supreme law
The Sense of the Beautiful and of the Sublime 
Deep loneliness is sublime, but in a terrifying way.
auto da fe – act of faith
Woman offers the best excuse for men to display the very popular talents of wit, of graciousness and of good manners in their best light.
nothing is more revolting than pure sweetness
Credulity, superstition, fanaticism, and indifferentism.
excresence – an abnormal outgrowth, usually harmless, on an animal or vegetable.
These four digressions listed are to be avoided: credulity, superstition, fanaticism (and enthusiasm), and indifferentism.
Dreams of a Visionary Explained by Dreams of Metaphysics 
Part 1 Forth Chapter
I have purified my soul from prejudices; I have destroyed any blind affection which ever crept in to procure in me an entrance for much fancied knowledge. I now have nothing at heart; nothing is venerable to me but what enters by the path of sincerity into a quiet mind open to all reason – whether thereby my former judgement is confirmed or abolished, or whether I am convinced or left in doubt. Where ever I meet with something instructive, I appropriate it. The judgement of him who refutes my reasons fashions my judgement, after I first have weighed it against the scale of self-love, and afterward in that scale against my presumed reasons, and have found it to have a higher intrinsic value.
I confess that all stories about apparitions of departed souls or about influences from spirits, and all theories about the presumptive nature of spirits and their connection with us, seem to have appreciable weight noly in the scale of hope, while in the scale of speculation they seem to consist of nothing but air.
Second Part Third Chapter
As long as people think it is possible to attain knowledge about things so far off, wise simplicity may call out in vain that such great endeavors are unnecessary. The pleasure accompanying the extension of knowledge will easily make the latter appear a duty, and will consider deliberate and intentional contentedness to be foolish simplicity, opposed to the improvement of our nature.
My note: compare with Pascal, knowledge being both far off and near.
Questions like “How something can be a cause, or possess power.” can never be decided by reason; but these relations must be taken from experience alone.
The fundamental concepts of causes, of forces, and of actions, if they are not taken from experience, are entirely arbitrary, and can be neither proved nor disproved.
Is it good to be virtuous only because there is another world, or will not actions be rewarded rather because they were good and virtuous in themselves? Does not man’s heart contain immediate moral precepts, and is it absolutely necessary to link our thought to the other wold for the sake of moving man here according to his destiny? Can he be called honest, can he be called virtuous, who soul like to yield to his favorite vices if only he were not frightened by future punishment? Must we not rather say that indeed he shuns the doing of wicked things, but nurtures the vicious disposition in his soul; that he loves the advantages of actions similar to virtue, but hates virtue itself? In fact, experience teaches that very many who are instructed concerning the future world, and are convinced of it, nevertheless yield to vice and corruption, and only think upon means cunningly to escape the threatening consequences of the future. But there probably never was a righteous soul who could endure the thought that with death everything would end, and whose noble mind had not elevated itself to the hope of the future.
My note: live virtuously as if there were no heaven?
“Let us look after our happiness, go into the garden, and work.” – Voltaire in Candide
Critique of Pure Reason 
Introduction 1. The distinction between pure and empirical knowledge
Is there any knowledge that is independent of experience and even of all impressions of the senses. Such knowledge is entitled a priori, and is distinguished from the empirical, which has its sources a posteriori, that is, in experience.
Empirical knowledge is knowledge possible only a posteriori, that is, through experience.
If, then, a judgement is thought with strict universality, that is, in such a manner that no exception is allowed as possible, it is not derived from experience, but is valid absolutely a priori.
Now it is easy to show that there actually are in human knowledge judgments which are necessary and in the strictest sense universal, and which are therefore pure a priori judgments.
That certain modes of knowledge leave the field of all possible experience and have the appearance of extending the scope of our judgments beyond all limits of experience, and this by means of concepts to which no corresponding object can ever be given in experience.
These unavoidable problems set by pure reason itself are God, freedom, and immortality.
The light dove, cleaving the air in her free flight, and feeling its resistance, might imagine that its flight would be still easier in empty space. It was thus that Plato left the world of the senses, setting too narrow a limit to the understanding, and ventured out beyond it on the wings of the ideas, into the empty space of the pure intellect.
The greatest part of the business of our reason consists in analysis of the concepts which we already have of objects.
IV. The Distinction between Analytic and Synthetic Judgments
Analytic – True by virtue of their meaning
Synthetic – True by how their meaning related to the world
Analytic: All bachelors are unmarried. All triangles have three sides. All bodies occupy space.
Synthetic: All bachelors are alone. All creatures with hearts have kidneys. All bodies have mass.
If I say, for instance, “All bodies are extended [i.e. occupy space],” this is an analytic judgement.
But when I say, “All bodies are heavy,” the addition of such a predicate therefore yields a synthetic judgment.
Judgments of experience, as such, are one and all synthetic.
My note: this sentence is one of the reasons why I despise philosophical obtusity! Speak clearly and stop trying to impress us with your words!
How come I then to predicate of that which happens to something quite different, and to apprehend that the concept of cause, though not contained in it, yet belongs, and indeed necessarily belongs, to it?
V. In all Theoretical Sciences of Reason Synthetic A Priori Judgments are Contained as Principles
1. All mathematical judgments, without exception, are synthetic.
Apodictic – incontestable because of having been demonstrated or proved to be demonstrable. Necessarily true or logically certain.
Mathematical propositions are always judgments a priori, not empirical.
The straight line between two points is the shortest is a synthetic proposition.
organon – an instrument of thought or knowledge. A system of rules or principles of demonstration or investigation.
propaedeutic – pertaining to preliminary instruction
Pure reason contains the principles whereby we know anything absolutely a priori.
I entitle transcendental all knowledge which is occupied not so much with objects as with the mode of our knowledge of objects in so far as this mode of knowledge is to be possible a priori. A system of such concepts might be entitled transcendental philosophy.
By way of introduction or anticipation we need only say that there are two stems of human knowledge, namely, the senses and the intellect, which perhaps spring from a common, but to us unknown, root. Through the former, objects are given to us; through the latter, they are thought.
Prolegomena to Every Future Metaphysics That May Be Presented as a Science 
Prolegomena – a treatise serving as a preface or introduction to a book.
My purpose is to convince all those caring to occupy themselves with metaphysics that for the present it is indispensably necessary that they suspend their work, look upon all that has gone before as non-existent and above all, first ask the question: “Whether such a thing as metaphysics is even possible at all?”
Since attempts of Locke and Leibnitz, or rather since the first rise of metaphysics, no event has occurred that could be more decisive for the fortunes of this science than the attack made upon it by David Hume.
First of all, I tried to see whether Hume’s observation could not be made general and soon found that the concept of the connection of cause and effect was not the only one, by a great deal, by which the intellect things a priori of the connections of things, but that metaphysics consists entirely of such concepts. I endeavored to ascertain their number, and as I succeeded in doing this to my satisfaction, namely, out of a single principle, I proceeded to the deduction of these concepts, which I was now assured could not be derived from experience as Hume had pretended, but must have originated in the pure intellect.
The Critique of Pure Reason, which presents the capacity of pure reason in its whole range and limits, remains the foundation to which the Prolegomena are only preparatory.
Plan making is often a luxurious and pretentious mental occupation, whereby one acquires the reputation of a creative genius by demanding what one cannot achieve oneself, by censuring what one cannot improve, and by proposing what one does not know how to find.
This plan is itself obscure, it is not necessary for everyone to study metaphysics.
Introductory Remarks on the Specific Quality of All Metaphysical Knowledge
Firstly, as regards the sources of metaphysical knowledge, its very conception shows that these sources cannot be empirical. Its principles (which include not merely its axioms, but also in fundamental conceptions) consequently can never be taken from experience; since it is not physical but metaphysical knowledge, i.e. knowledge beyond experience, that is wanted.
Metaphysics consists of a priori knowledge, that is, of knowledge derived from pure intellect and pure reason.
C. Synthetic judgments demand a principle other than that of contradiction.
There are synthetic a posteriori judgments whose origin is empirical, but there are also others which are certain and a priori and which spring from pure intellect and reason.
3 Synthetic Judgment Classifications:
- Empirical judgments are always synthetic.
- All mathematical judgments are synthetic.
The essential feature distinguishing pure mathematical knowledge from all other a priori knowledge is that it does not proceed from concepts themselves but always from the construction of concepts
3. Metaphysical judgments proper are synthetic in their entirety. We must distinguish between judgments belonging to metaphysics and metaphysical judgments. Among the former are included many that are analytic, but these only furnish the means for metaphysical judgments proper which form the entire purpose of the science and are all synthetic.
We say substance is that which only exists as a subject.
Section 4 The General Question of the Prolegomena: Is Metaphysics possible at all?
Skepticism is a mode of thought in which reason treats itself with such violence that this skepticism would never have arisen but for reason’s utter despair of satisfying its own chief aspirations.
In the Critique of Pure Reason I went to work synthetically on this question by investigating pure reason itself and from this source I endeavored to determine according to principles the elements as well as the laws of the pure use of reason. This task is difficult and a resolute reader is needed to penetrate step by step into a system which presupposed nothing but itself and which consequently seeks to unfold knowledge from its original germs without depending upon any external fact.
At least we now have some uncontested, a priori, synthetic knowledge, and since such knowledge exists we should not ask whether it is possible, but only ask; how is it possible? We should do this in order to deduce from the principle of the possibility of such existing knowledge the possibility of all other such knowledge.
Section 5 General Question: How is knowledge possible from pure reason?
How are synthetic, a priori propositions possible?
When we speak here of knowledge drived from pure reason, we invariably refer to synthetic and never to analytic knowledge.
Ouodeumque ostendis mihi sic, incredulus odi. (Horace: All that you thus show me, I unbelieving hate.)
Since transcendental philosophy is to establish the possibility of metaphysics, it must precede all metaphysics.
The main transcendental question will be divided into four more questions which will be answered step by step.
- How is pure mathematics possible?
- How is pure natural science possible?
- How is metaphysics in general possible?
- How is metaphysics as a science possible?
Among the principles of this universal physics are to be found some that really possess the universality we require, such as the proposition: substance continues and is permanent, and that according to fixed laws: all which happens is at all times previously determined by a cause. These are really universal natural laws, existing completely a priori. Therefore a pure natural science actually exists, and now the question arises: how is it possible?
The laws of nature can never be known a priori in objects when these objects are considered as things in themselves … Hence we are not concerned here with things in themselves, but merely with things as the objects of a possible experience.
How is it possible to know a priori the necessary laws regulating things as objects of experience? Or, how can the necessary laws, which regulate experience itself in respect to all its objects, be known generally and a priori?
What I do mean is to show how the a priori conditions of the possibility of experience are at the same time the sources from which all the general laws of nature must be derived.
Empirical judgments, in so far as they have objective validity, are JUDGMENTS BASED ON EXPERIENCE; but those which are merely subjectively valid I call judgments based on perception.
My note: Perception vs Experience
It can never be objectively valid and therefore appropriate for an experience if it is not subordinated to a priori principles rendering their knowledge based on experience possible in the first place. Hence phenomena must be subsumed under three concepts. Of these the first is the concept of substance upon which is based all determination of existence as a concept of the thing itself. the second concept is that of cause and effect in so far as a succession of phenomena, that is, an event, is met with. The third concept is that of reciprocal action in so far as co-existence is to be known objectively. these a priori principles are those upon which objectively valid, though empirical, judgments are based. these principles are the proper laws of nature which may be termed dynamic.
Quantitas qualitatis est gradus – The quantity of quality is a matter of degree.
But then our question is not how things in themselves, but how knowledge based on experience of things in regard to the aforementioned judgments is arrived at, that is, how things as objects of experience can and should be subsumed under the above intellectual concepts. My note: that is, experiential knowledge of things becomes a priori knowledge of concepts.
This is true not because they are derived from experience, but because experience is derived from them. This completely reversed mode of linking mind and experience never occurred to Hume.
From this conclusion flows the following result of all previous researches: “All synthetic a priori principles are nothing more than principles of possible experience.
In the light of the foregoing, two important and even altogether indispensable, albeit exceedingly dry, investigations are necessary. In the first of these investigations it was shown that the senses do not, in concreto, furnish pure intellectual concepts, but only the pattern for their use, and that the object that conforms to this pattern is only encountered in experience which as we have seen is the product that the intellect fashions from materials of sense. In the second investigation it was shown that our pure intellectual concepts cannot be used for thinking about anything outside the field of experience because these concepts merely prescribe the logical form of jedgment in respect to images or things-looked-at.
First: How is nature possible at all in its material sense in accordance with what is seen and observed? How are space, time, and what fills them both, namely the ofject of sensation, possible at all? The answer is that they are possible by means of the quality of our senses.
Second: How is nature possible at all in its formal sense, as the sum-total of the rules to which all phenomena must be subject if they are to be considered as connected in experience? The answer has to be that nature is only possible in theis sense by means of the quality of our mind. In keeping with this quality, all images resulting from sense impressions are necessarily referred to a consciousness. By means of this referring of images to a consciousness, the peculiar method of our thinking according to rules becomes possible, and in turn through this method experience is possible.
The intellect does not derive its laws (a priori) from nature but prescribes them to nature.
My note: Some natural laws exist only in the intellect and not in nature or experience.
How is Metaphysics Possible At All?
metaphysics: ability to reason without experience
immanent – taking place within the mind of the subject and having no effect outside of it.
We must refrain from all explanations of the order of nature that are derived from the will of a Supreme Being, because that would no longer be a philosophy of nature, but a confession that we are at the end of such a philosophy. My note: There is no philosophy of nature if God is deterministic.
My note: We can use pure reason, that is, purely intellectual a priori concepts completely outside of experience in order to better understand experiences.
At first scepticism, in order to aid the empirical use of the mind claimed that all that went beyond this empirical use was nugatory and deceptive. But as it gradually became evident that the very same principles that we use in experience were a priori and that these principles, imperceptibly and apparently with justification, carried the mind way beyond experience, a doubt began to be thrown on the principles of experience themselves. … But then extraordinary confusion arose in all knowledge, for it could not be determined how far reason was to be trusted and why only so far and no farther.
Considering the nature of our soul, what man can stand attaining a clear consciousness of himself as a subject, and attaining the conviction that the soul’s phenomena cannot be explained materialistically, without asking what the soul really is?
Who then does not feel himself, though prohibited from losing himself in the transcendent ideas, constrained to go beyond all the concepts verifiable by experience to seek rest and contentment in the concept of a Being whose possibility cannot be refuted either?
Reason recognizes that something exists outside itself to which it can never attain, but it does not recognize that it can ever be perfected itself in its inner progress.
I might attribute intellect to the deistic concept of God; yet I have no concept whatever of any intellect other than one like my own.
If I sever intellect from the senses in order to arrive at a pure intellect nothing remains but the mere form of thought without any images.
Everything in nature must have been originally designed for some useful purpose.
Transcendental ideas, if they do not instruct us positively, at least serve to repudiate the audacious assertions of materialism, naturalism and fatalism that narrowly restrict the field of reason.
scholia – an explanatory note or comment
How is Metaphysics Possible as a Science
For this is an advantage upon which metaphysics, alone among all possible sciences, can count with confidence; that metaphysics can be brought to completion and into a firm state where it cannot change any further and where it is not capable of any enlargement through new discoveries.
abduce – to draw or take away
In case the challenge [of metaphysics as a science] should be accepted, I must forbid two things: First, any playing with probability and conjecture, which is as inappropriate to metaphysics as to geometry, and second, any solution by means of the magic rod of so-called sound common sense which does not work alike for everyone but shifts according to personal characteristics.
Idea for a Universal History with Cosmopolitan Intent
It is to be hoped that what appears to be complicated and accidental in individuals, may yet be understood as a steady, progressive, though slow, evolution of the original endowments of the entire species.
All natural faculties of a creature are destined to unfold completely and according to their end.
In man (as the only rational creature on earth) those natural faculties which aim at the use of reason shall be fully developed in the species, not in the individual.
vitiate – to impair the quality of; make faulty.
Nature has intended that man develop everything which transcends the mechanical ordering of his animal existence, entirely by himself and that the does not partake of any other happiness or perfection except that which he has secured himself by his own reason and free of instinct.
It remains perplexing that earlier generations seem to do their laborious work for the sake of later generations, in order to provide a foundation from which the latter can advance the building which nature has intended.
The means which nature employs to accomplish the development of all faculties is the antagonism of men in society, since this antagonism becomes, in the end, the cause of a lawful order of this society. I mean by antagonism the asocial sociability of man, i.e. the propensity of men to enter into a society, which propensity is, however, linked to a constant mutual resistance which threatens to dissolve the society.
Thanks are due to nature for his quarrelsomeness, his enviously competitive vanity, and for his insatiable desire to possess or to cruel, for without them all the excellent natural faculties of mankind would forever remain underdeveloped. Man wants concord but nature knows better what is good for his kind; nature wants discord. Man wants to live comfortably and pleasurable but nature intends that he should raise himself out of lethargy and inactive contentment into work and trouble and then he should find means of extricating himself adroitly from these latter. The natural impulses, the sources of asociability and continuous resistance from which so many evils spring, but which at the same time drive man to a news exertion of his powers and thus to a development of his natural faculties, suggest the arrangement of a wise creator and not the hand of an evil spirit who might have ruined this excellent enterprise or spoiled it out of envy.
My thoughts on this: What if it is possible that God intended us to struggle and feel pain and overcome these adversities, but we instead invented the idea of heaven where we do not need to experience any of these things. What an insult to the creator if such is the case!
The latest problem for mankind, the solution of which nature forces him to seek, is the achivement of a civil society which administers law generally.
A perfectly just civic constitution, must be the supreme task nature has set for mankind.
Man therefore needs a master who can break man’s will and compel him to obey a general will under which every man could be free. But where is he to get this master? Nowhere else but from mankind.
My note: Very interesting to note that this is not from God.
The problem of the establishment of a perfect civic constitution depends upon the problem of a lawful external relationship of the states and cannot be solved without the latter.
All wars are therefore so many attempts (not in the intention of men, but in the intention of nature) to bring about new relations among the states and to form new bodies by the break-up of the old states to the point where they cannot again maintain themselves alongside each other and must therefore suffer revolutions until finally, partly through the best possible arrangement of the civic constitution internally, and partly through the common agreement and legislation externally, there is created a states which, like a civic commonwealth, can maintain itself automatically.
As long as states will use all their resources for their vain and violent designs for expansion and thus will continually hinder the slow efforts toward the inner shaping of the minds of their citizens, and even withdraw from their citizens all encouragement in this respect, we cannot hope for much because a great exertion by each commonwealth on behalf of the education of their citizens is required for this goal. Every pretended good that is not grafted upon a morally good frame of mind is nothing more than a pretense and glittering misery. Mankind will probably remain in this condition until, as I have said, it has struggled out of the chaotic condition of the relations among its states.
The history of mankind could be viewed on the whole as the realization of a hidden plan of nature in order to bring about an internally – and for this purpose also externally – perfect constitution; since this is the only state in which nature can develop all faculties of mankind.
The first page of Thucydides, says Hume, is the real beginning of history.
What is Enlightenment? 
Enlightenment is man’s leaving his self-caused immaturity. Immaturity is the incapacity to use one’s intelligence without the guidance of another.
Sapere Aude! (latin, Dare to Know!) Have the courage to use your own intelligence! is therefore the motto of the enlightenment.
Therefore a public can only arrive at enlightenment slowly.
All that is required for this enlightenment is freedom; and particularly the least harmful of all that may be called freedom, namely, the freedom for man to make public use of his reason in all matters.
The public use of a man’s reason must be free at all times, and this alone can bring enlightenment among men.
A clergyman is obliged to teach his pupils and his congregation according to the doctrine of the church which he serves, for he has been accepted on that condition. But as a scholar, he has full freedom, in fact, even the obligation, to communicate to the public all his diligently examined and well intentioned thoughts concerning erroneous points in that doctrine and concerning proposals regarding the better institution of religious and ecclesiastical matters.
As a priest (a member of an organization) he is not free and ought not to be, since he is executing someone else’s mandate. On the other hand, the scholar speaking through his writing to the true public which is the world, like the clergyman making public use of his reason, enjoys an unlimited freedom to employ his own reason and to speak in his own person.
An age [people] cannot conclude a pact and take an oath upon it to commit the succeeding age to a situation in which it would be impossible for the latter to enlarge even its most important knowledge to eliminate error and altogether to progress in enlightenment.
A prince should not consider it beneath him to declare that he believes it to be his duty not to prescribe anything to his subjects in matters of religion, but to leave to them complete freedom in such things.
Metaphysical Foundations of Morals 
Nothing can possibly be conceived in the world, or even out of it, which can be called good without qualification, except a GOOD WILL. Intelligence, wit, judgment, and the other talents of the mind, however they may be named, or courage, resolution, perseverance, as qualities of temperament, are undoubtedly good and desirable in many respects. But these gifts of nature may also become extremely bad and mischievous if the will which is to make use of these gifts, and which therefore constitutes what is called character, is not good.
Moderation in the affections and passions, self-control and calm deliberation are not only good in many respects, but even seem to constitute part of the intrinsic worth of a person; but they are far from deserving to be called good without qualification, although they have been so unconditionally praised by the ancients.
A good will is good not because of what it performs or effects, nor by its aptness for attaining some proposed end, but simply be virtue of the volition.
We assume, as a fundamental principle, that no organ designed for any purpose will be found in the physical constitution of an organized being, except one which is also the fittest and best adapted for that purpose.
We find that the more a cultivated reason applies itself with deliberate purpose to enjoying life and happiness, so much more does the man lack true satisfaction.
misology – hatred of reason
The existence of world order has a different and far nobler end for which, rather than for happiness, reason is properly intended. therefore this end must be regarded as the supreme condition to which the private ends of man must yield for the most part.
Reason is imparted to us as a practical faculty; that is, as one which is to have influence on the will.
Nature’s true intention must be to produce a will, which is not merely good as a means to something else but good in itself.
The case is different, when adversity and hopeless sorrow have completely taken away the relish for life; if the unfortunate one, strong in mind, indignant at his fate rather than despondent or dejected, longs for death and yet preserves his life without loving it.
To secure one’s own happiness is a duty, at least indirectly; for discontent with one’s condition under pressure of many anxieties and amidst unsatisfied wants might easily become a great temptation to transgression from duty.
The second proposition is: That an action done from duty derives its moral worth, not from the purpose which is to be attained by it, but from the maxim by which it is determined. Therefore the action does not depend on the realization of its objective, but merely on the principle of volition by which the action has taken place, without regard to any object of desire.
The third proposition, which is a consequence of the preceding two, I would express thus: Duty is the necessity of an action, resulting from respect for the law.
Thus moral worth of an action does not consist of the effect expected from it.
All so called moral interest consists simply in respect for the law.
It is a wholly different thing to be truthful from a sense of duty, than to be so from apprehension of injurious consequences.
“Can you will that your maxim should also be a general law?” If not, then my maxim must be rejected.
The necessity of acting from pure respect for the practical law of right action: is what constitutes duty, to which every other motive must yield, because it is the condition of a will being good in itself, and the value of such a will exceeds everything.
Indeed, we might well have understood before that the knowledge of what every man ought to do, and hence also what he ought to know is within the reach of every man, even the commonest.
There is a disposition to make them [strict laws of duty] more accordant, if possible, with out wishes and inclinations [for happiness]; that is to say, to corrupt them at their very source and to destroy their value entirely, an act that even common practical reason cannot ultimately approve.
My note: There is a general theme in Kant’s writings that states that laws cannot and should never be made with happiness as their intent.
Second Section: Transition from Popular Moral Philosophy to the Metaphysics of Morals
We encounter everywhere the cherished self which is always dominant. It is this self that men have consideration for and not the strict command of duty which would often require self-denial.
Reason, by itself and independent of all experience, ordains what ought to be done.
Nor could anything be more ill-advised for morality than our wishing to derive it from examples.
An example can by no means furnish authoritatively the concept of morality. Even the Holy One of the Gospels must first be compared with our ideal of moral perfection before we can recognize Him as such; and so He says of himself, “Why call ye Me (whom ye see) as good? None is good (the model of good) but God only (whom ye do not see)!” But whence do we acquire the concept of God as the supreme good? Simply from the idea of moral perfection which reason sketches a priori and connects inseparably with the concept of a free will. Imitation has no place at all in morality, and examples serve only for encouragement; that is, they make feasible beyond any doubt what the law commands and they make visible what the practical rule expresses more generally, but they can never authorize us to set aside the true original existing in reason and to guide ourselves by examples.
We should establish ethics on metaphysics.
The moralists use that favorite fashion: at one point the special destination of human nature including the idea of rational nature generally, at another point perfection, at another happiness, here moral sense, there fear of God, a little of this and a little of that, all in a marvelous mixture.
Metaphysic of morals – moral principles are not based on properties of human nature, but must exist a priori of themselves; practical rules for every rational nature must be capable of being deduced from such principles and accordingly deduced for the rational nature of man.
An eclectic ethics compounded partly of motives drawn from feelings and inclinations and partly from concepts of reason, will necessarily make the mind waver between motives which cannot be brought under any one principle, and will therefore lead to good only by mere accident, and may often lead to evil.
Since deriving actions from principles requires reason, the will is nothing more than practical reason.
The will is a faculty for choosing only that which reason, independently of inclination, recognizes as practically necessary; that is, as good.
No imperatives hold true for the Divine will, or in general for a holy will. Ought is out of place here because the act of willing is already necessarily in unison with the law.
My note: not always, eg. Abraham’s command to kill Isaac
All imperatives command either hypothetically or categorically.
Categorical – without exceptions or conditions; absolute; unqualified and unconditional:
If the action is good only as a means to something else, then the imperative is hypothetical. If the action is conceived as good in itself and consequently as necessarily being the principle of a will which of itself conforms to reason then it is categorical.
Consequently the hypothetical imperative only states that an action is good for some purpose, potential or actual. In the first case the principle is problematical, in the second it is assertorial positively asserting a claim and may be called a practical principle. The categorical imperative which declares an action to be objectively necessary in itself without reference to any purpose, i.e. without any other end, is valid as an apodictic (practical) principle.
My thoughts on this: The paragraph above is one of those that is very difficult to understand, but not because Kant is trying to impress us with his intelligence. The content itself is difficult, but once understood, it is enlightening. No one anywhere uses these words in their every day language, and so we have to learn their meanings individually, and do the hard work of digesting the meaning. Remember, at the time this was written, Kant was literally at the boundaries of philosophy, creating something that never existed before.
assertorial – asserting that a thing is.
problematical – open to doubt; potentially.
However there is one end which may actually be assumed to be an end for all rational beings, there is one purpose which they not only may have, but which we may assume with certainty that they all actually do have by natural necessity; that is happiness.
A man’s skill in choosing the means to his own greatest well being may be called prudence in the most specific sense.
Rules of skill, Counsels of prudence, Commands of laws of morality.
Commands are laws that must be obeyed; that is, must be adhered to even when inclination is opposed. Indeed, counsels involve a certain kind of necessity, but only one which can hold true under a contingent subjective condition. They depend on whether this or that man counts this or that object as essential to his happiness.
Unfortunately the notion of happiness is so indefinite that although every man wishes to attain it, he never can say definitely and consistently what it is that he really wishes and wills. the reason is that the elements belonging to the notion of happiness are altogether empirical; that is , they must be borrowed from experience.
In short, a human being is unable with certainty to determine by any principle what would make him truly happy, because to do so he would have to be omniscient.
When I conceive of a hypothetical imperative at all, I do not know previously what it will contain until I am given the condition. But when I conceive of a categorical imperative I know at once what it contains.
There is only one categorical imperative, namely this: Act only on a maxim by which you can will that it, at the same time, should become a general law.
The general imperative duty may be expressed thus: Act as if the maxim of your action were to become by your will a general law of nature.
My understanding of this: Probably an imperfect example, but I think of the idea of litter in urban areas. If it were a general (universal) law to allow people to throw their trash on the streets, anywhere they wished, then streets would eventually be piled to eye level with trash. Animals such as stray dogs and scavenging birds would threaten and annoy humans, and threatening bacteria would grow and spread in the air. Therefore, it should be a law that people are not allowed to throw trash on the streets. So basically, think of the categorical imperative this way: if the activity was carried out by everyone, or if the activity was carried out indefinitely by one person, then it should be a law to prohibit such an activity. I like finding ways to use this practically in my own life and coming up with rules that make life better – such as cleaning up one’s desk every day, or riding a bike to work instead of driving. With this principle in mind, every action should be sustainable infinitely.
The categorical imperative is further described on pg. 170-172
We must be able to will [capable] that a maxim of our action should be a general law.
If we now watch ourselves for any transgression of duty, we shall find that we actually do not will that our maxim should be a general law in such cases. On the contrary, we will that the opposite should remain a general law. We merely take the liberty of making an exception in our own favor or (just for this time) in favor of our inclination. Consequently, if we considered all cases from the point of view of reason, we should find a contradiction in our own will; namely, that a certain principle is objectively necessary as a general law and yet is subjectively not general but has exceptions.
Terms: main-spring, motive, formal, material
Now I say that man, and generally every rational being, exists as an end in himself, not merely as a means for the arbitrary use of this or that will; he must always be regarded as an end in all his actions whether aimed at himself or at other rational beings.
My note: What is the basis for this statement? Without “God has created man in his own image,” or the idea that man has value, I don’t see how this holds up. (Kant answers this below with the realm of ends)
The value of any object which can be acquired by our action is always conditional. Beings whose existence depends not on our will but on nature have, nevertheless, if they are irrational beings only a relative value as means and are therefore called things; rational beings, on the other hand, are called persons. Their very nature constitutes them as ends in themselves; that is, as something which must not be used merely as means.
Therefore persons are not merely subjective ends whose existence is an end for us as the result of our action, but they are objective ends; that is, things whose existence in itself is an end.
Act so as to treat man, in your own person as well as in that of anyone else, always as an end, never merely as a means.
As regards contingent (meritorious) duties to oneself, it is not enough that the action does not violate humanity in our own person as an end in itself; such action must also be congruous to it. Now, there are in mankind capacities for greater perfection which belong to the end of nature regarding humanity … To neglect these capacities might at best be consistent with the survival of humanity as an end in itself, but it is not consistent with the promotion of nature’s end regarding humanity.
Humanity might indeed subsist if no one contributed anything to the happiness of others as long as he did not deliberately diminish it; but this would be only negatively congruous to humanity as an end in itself if everyone does not also endeavor to promote the ends of others as far as he is able.
The will of every rational being is a will giving general laws.
heteronomy – the condition of being under the domination of an outside authority, either human or divine.
Man was seen to be bound to laws by duty, but no one realized that he is subject only to his own general laws and that he is only bound to act in conformity with his own will, a will designed by nature to make general laws.
I will therefore call this principle of will based on no interest the principle of autonomy of the will as contrasted with every other which I regard as heteronomy.
Realm of ends.
A rational being belongs as a member to the realm of ends to the extent to which he is himself subject to these general laws, although giving them himself. He belongs to it as ruler when, while giving laws, he is not subject to the will of any other.
In the realm of ends everything has either a price or dignity. Whatever has a price can be replaced by something else which is equivalent; whatever is above all price, and therefore has no equivalent, has dignity.
Skill and diligence in work have a market price; wit lively imagination and whims have a fancy price; but faithfulness to promise, good will as a matter of principle, not as a matter of instinct, have an intrinsic value.
Dignity cannot for a moment be evaluated in terms of price or compared with it without, as it were, violating its sanctity.
All maxims have three aspects:
- There is form, consisting in being generalizations. The formula of the moral imperative is stated thus: the maxims must be chosen as if they were as valid as general laws of nature.
- There is content or substance, in other words, an end. The formula states that the rational being, as an end by its own nature and therefore as an end in itself, must be for every maxim the condition limiting all merely relative and arbitrary ends.
- There is a complete definition of all maxims by this formula of the categorical imperative, to wit: All maxims by virtue of their own lawmaking ought to harmonize so as to constitute together a possible realm of ends as a realm of nature.
The essence of things is not altered by their external conditions and man must be judged by whatever constitutes his absolute value, irrespective of these conditions, whoever be the judge, even it be the Supreme Being.
My note: subjective morality?
An action that is consistent with the autonomy of the will is permissible, one that is not congruous with it is forbidden. A will whose maxims necessarily are congruous with the laws of autonomy is a sacred, wholly good will. The dependence of a not absolutely good will on the principle of autonomy (moral compusion) is called obligation. It cannot be applied to a holy being. The objective necessity of an action resulting from obligation is called duty.
The Autonomy of the Will as the Supreme Principle of Morality
Autonomy of the will is that property by which will is a law unto itself, independent of any property of the objects of volition. The principle of autonomy therefore is: always so to choose that in the same act of willing the maxims of this choice are formulated as a general law.
ontology – the branch of metaphysics that studies the nature of existence or being as such
Among the rational principles of morality, the ontological concept of perfection, in spite of its defects, is better than the theological concept which deduces morality from a Divine, absolutely perfect, will.
Third Section – Transition from the Metaphysics of Moral to the Critique of Pure Practical Reason
The Concept of Freedom Is the Key Explanation of the Autonomy of the Will
Of the Interest Attaching to the Ideas of Morality
But for the beings that are affected also, as we are, by impulses of a different kind, ie our senses, and do not always act according to reason alike, necessity is only and “ought” and the subjective necessity differs from the objective one.
It must be freely admitted that there appears a sort of circular reasoning here that seems impossible to escape. We assume ourselves to be free in the order of efficient causes so that we may conceive ourselves to be subject to moral laws in the order of ends. Then we consider ourselves as subject to these laws because we have conferred upon ourselves freedom of will.
images … allow us only to acquire knowledge of phenomena, never of things in themselves.
Man actually finds in himself a faculty which distinguishes him from all other things, even from himself as affected by objects, and that is reason.
Man can regard himself from two points of view and similarly can come to know laws for the exercise of his faculties and consequently laws for all his actions. First, so far as he belongs to the world of sense, man is himself subject to laws of nature (heteronomy); second, so far as he belongs to the intelligible world, man is under laws independent of nature which are founded not on experience but on reason alone…
We see that when we conceive ourselves as free we transfer ourselves into the world of the intellect and recognize the autonomy of the will with its consequence, morality.
How Is a Categorical Imperative Possible?
If I were only a member of the world of the intellect, all my actions would conform perfectly to the principle of the autonomy of pure will; if I were only a part of the world of sense they would be assembled to conform wholly to the natural law of desires and inclinations, ie to the heteronomy of nature.
Categorical imperatives are possible because the idea of freedom makes me a member of an intelligible world whereby, were I nothing else, all my actions would always conform to the autonomy of the will.
Of the Extreme Limit of all Practical Philosophy
Freedom is a mere idea, whose objective reality can never be shown through laws of nature nor, consequently, through possible experience; therefore it can never be comprehended or even visualized.
Freedom signifies only a something that remains when I have eliminated everything belonging to the world of sense from the actuating principles of my will, serving merely to restrict the principle of such motives as are taken from the field of sensibility by fixing its limits and showing that it does not contain everything, but that there is more beyond it; but of this “more” I know nothing.
The speculative use of reason with respect to nature leads to the absolute necessity of some supreme cause for the world
We do not comprehend the practical, unconditional necessity of the moral imperative, but we comprehend its incomprehensibility which is all that, in fairness, can be demanded of a philosophy which aims to carry its principles to the very limit of human reason.
Critique of Pure Practical Reason 
Is pure reason sufficient by itself for determining the will, or is it only capable of determining it in dependence on empirical conditions?
If we can now discover means of proving that [freedom] actually does belong to the human will, and therefore to the will of all rational beings, then it will be shown not only that pure reason can be practical but that it alone, and not reason limited empirically, is indubitably practical.
We must have an Anaytic as the rule of truth, and a Dialectic as the exposition and resolution of illusion in judgments of practical reason.
My note: Maxims are for individuals, laws are for everyone.
First Book – The Analytic of Pure Practical Reason
Chapter 1 Section 1
The practical rule is always a product of reason because it prescribes action as a means to an intended effect. But in the case of a being whose will is not determined by reason, this rule is an imperative. That is, it is a rule characterized by “shall” expressing the objective obligation of the action and signifying that if reason completely determined the will, the action would inevitable take place according to this rule.
Maxims are principles but they are not imperatives.
Laws must be sufficient to determine the will as will even before it is asked whether there is power sufficient for a desired effect or the means necessary to produce it. Hence laws are categorical.
It is surprising that otherwise acute men can consider it possible to distinguish between higher and lower desires according to whether the ideas that are connected with the feeling of pleasure have their origin in the senses or in the intellect.
The only thing that concerns him in making his choice is: how great, how long-continued, how easily obtained, and how often repeated this agreeableness is. Just as it is all the same to the man wanting money to spend whether the gold was dug out of the mountain or washed out of the sand provided it is accepted at the same value, so the man caring only for the enjoyment of life does not ask whether the ideas are of intellect or the senses but only how much and how great pleasure they will give for the longest time.
It is observed that we can find pleasure in the mere exercise of power, in the conscientiousness of our strength of mind in overcoming obstacles which are opposed to out designs, in the culture of our mental talents, etc.
My note: we can derive pleasure from exercising our power of will to do a duty that itself may be unpleasant.
Consistency is the supreme obligation of a philosopher and yet the most rarely found.
Only when reason determines the will by itself and not as the servant of the desires, is that which is determined by feelings really subordinated to a higher desire.
To be happy is necessarily the wish of every finite rational being and it is therefore inevitably a determining principle of his faculty of desire. For, we are not originally content with our whole existence – a bliss which would imply a consciousness of our own independent self-sufficiency. This problem is imposed on us by our own finite nature. We have wants and these wants concern the matter of our desires.
For example, suppose that I have made it my maxim to increase my fortune by every safe means. Now I have a deposit in my hands the owner of which has died and left no writing about it. This is just the sort of case to test whether my maxim can also hold good as a general, practical law. I ask whether I can at the same time give a law that everyone may deny a deposit of which no one can produce a proof. I at once become aware that such a principle, when viewed, as a law, would eliminate itself because it would result in no deposits being made.
He recognizes he is free, a fact which he never would have known but for the moral law.
Act so that the maxim of your will can be valid at the same time as a principle of universal legislation.
Pure reason is practical by itself alone and gives to man a universal law which we call the moral law.
apodictic – clearly established or beyond dispute
In the case of finite beings the moral law is an imperative, commanding categorically because the law is unconditioned. The relation of such a will to the formal law is one of dependence under the name of obligation, which implies a compulsion to act according to reason and its objective law. Such action is called duty, because a discretion subject to psychological affections, though not determined by them and therefore still free, implies a wish that arises from subjective causes.
Section 8 Theorem IV
That is to say, what is duty is by itself plain to everyone. But what will bring durable advantage extending to one’s whole existence is always veiled in impenetrable obscurity.
Moral law must be something other than the principle of one’s own happiness.
Now, the notion of punishment as such cannot be united with that of securing happiness. Although the person inflicting the punishment may be directing it for the benevolent purpose of making the punished man happier in the end, yet the punishment must be justified in itself as such, that is, as mere injury. The reason is that if injury were all that was involved and the person punished could perceive no kindness hidden behind the severity, he would have to admit that justice was done him and that his reward was quite appropriate for his conduct.
Practical material (substantive) grounds for determining the principle of morality are:
|Education (Montaigne); Civil Constitution (Manderville)
|Physical feelings (Epicurus); Moral sentiments (Hutcheson)
|Perfection (Wolf and the Stoics)
|Will of God (Crusius and other theological moralists)
First, that all principles stated in such a theory are material (substantive); second, that they include all possible substantive principles; and in conclusion, that, since substantive principles are quite incapable of furnishing the supreme moral law as has been shown, the formal, practical principle of pure reason, according to which principle the mere form of universal legislation must constitute the supreme and immediate determining principle of the will, is the only possible principle adequate for furnishing categorical imperatives; that is, practical laws enjoining actions as duty. Only a principle so defined can serve as the principle of morality, both for criticizing conduct and for application to the human will in determining it.
Of the Deduction of the Fundamental Principles of Pure Practical Reason
This analytic shows that pure reason can be practical, that it can itself determine the will independently of anything empirical. It does this through the fact in which the pure reason in us proves itself to be actually practical. This is a fact of autonomy as manifest in the principle of morality by which reason determines the will to act.
For, by its idea, moral law actually transfers us into a system where pure reason, if it were accompanied by adequate physical power, would produce the highest good.
How can pure reason a priori know objects? The second is: How can pure reason be an immediate determining principle of the will?
The critique of practical reason only inquires whether, and in what way, pure reason can be practical; that is, can directly determine the will.
adduce – to bring forward in argument or as evidence; cite as pertinent or conclusive
Furthermore, moral law is given as a fact by pure reason of which we are conscious a priori and which is apodictically certain, even though it is granted that no example of its exact fulfillment can be found in experience.
Yet the objective reality of moral law is firmly established by itself.
My note: objective moral law stands on its own.
Moral law, not requiring a justification itself, not only proves the possibility of freedom, but proves that freedom really belongs to those being who recognize this law as binding on themselves. Moral law is actually a law of the causality of free agents, and is therefore a law of the possibility of a super-sensible system of nature, just as the metaphysical law of events in the world of sense is a law of causality of the sensible system of nature. Therefore, moral law determines the law for a causality which speculative philosophy was compelled to leave undetermined and only as a negative concept. Therefore for the first time moral law gives this concept of freedom objective reality.
Chapter 2 On the Concept of an Object of Pure Practical Reason
The only objects of practical reason are therefore those of good and evil. For by good is meant an object necessarily desired according to a principle of reason, by evil an object which is necessarily shunned, also according to a principle of reason.
There is an old formula of the schools: Nihil appetimus nisi sub ratione boni; Nihil aversamus nisi sub ratione mali. We desire nothing except by reason of its being good; we reject nothing except by reason of its being bad.
Under the direction of reason we desire nothing except as we esteem it to be good or evil.
But good or evil always implies a reference to the will, as determined by the law of reason to make something its object. For the will is never determined directly by the object and the idea of the object, but it is a faculty for taking a rule of reason as the motive of an action by which an object may be realised. Good and evil are therefore properly referred to actions, not to the sensations of the person.
Men may laugh at the Stoic who, in the severest paroxysms of gout, cried out, “Pain, no matter how much you torment me, I will never admit that you are evil,” yet he was right.
The pain did not in the least diminish the value of his person, but only that of his condition.
Once this arrangement of nature has been made for him, no doubt he needs reason in order to take account of his weal and woe. But he also possesses reason for a higher purpose; namely, to consider what is good or evil in itself. Only pure reason uninfluenced by a sense interest can judge about this and must thoroughly distinguish this estimate from the former judgment concerning the necessity to fulfill his wants and make this judgment the supreme condition thereof.
The concept of good and evil must not be defined prior to the moral law of which it seems to be the foundation, but only after the moral law and by means of it.
It is moral law that first determines and makes possible the concept of good in so far as that concept deserves the name of the absolute good.
The foregoing remark explains what has occasioned all the mistakes of the philosophers with respect to the supreme principles of morals.
My note: Good and evil must be defined by the Moral Law, determined a priori, not the other way around.
It does not matter whether those philosophers saw such an object of pleasure for supplying the supreme concept of goodness in happiness, or in perfection, or in moral sentiment, or in the will of God; in every case their principle implied heteronomy.
Categories of freedom and Theoretical categories of nature
Since all precepts of pure practical reason have to do with the determination of the will and not with the natural conditions or one’s practical capacity for executing one’s purpose, the practical a priori principles at once become knowledge in relation to the supreme principle of freedom and do not have to wait for something seen in order to acquire significance.
subsume – to consider or include (an idea, term, proposition) as part of a more comprehensive one.
Therefore it is allowable to use the nature of the world of sense as the type of a supersensible (intelligible) nature, provided one does not transfer to the latter the things seen and what depends on them, but merely refers to it the form of law in general.
Empiricism, on the contrary, tears out by the roots the morality of convictions in which, rather than in deeds, consists the high worth that men can and ought to secure through such morality. Empiricism substitutes for duty something quite different, namely, an empirical interest … Moreover empiricism degrades humanity by raising inclinations no matter how they are fashioned to the dignity of a supreme practical principle.
Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing awe and admiration the more frequently and continuously reflection is occupied with them; the starred heaven above me and the moral law within me.
The first view of a numberless quantity of worlds destroys my importance, so to speak, since I am an animal-like being who must return its matter from whence it came to the planet (a mere speck in the universe), after having been endowed with vital energy for a short time, one does not know how. The second view raises my value infinitely, as an intelligence, through my personality; for in this personality the moral law reveals a life independent of animality and even of the entire world of sense.
My note: reminiscent of Pascal
Critique of Judgment 
Theme: Nature vs Freedom
Part 1 Critique of Esthetic Judgment, Introduction 1 Division of Philosophy
Now there are only two kinds of concepts … These are the concepts of nature and the concepts of freedom.
If the concept determining the causality is a concept of nature, then the principles are practical in a technical sense, but if it is a concept of freedom, then they are practical in a moral sense.
The intellect can determine nothing a priori in respect to these objects in pursuit of such empirical so-called laws, it must base all reflections upon them on an a priori principle, to the effect that a comprehensible order of nature is possible according to them.
The attainment of any aim is coupled with a feeling of pleasure. Now wherever such attainment has a priori for its condition an imagining, as it has here a principle for the reflecting judgment in general, then the feeling of pleasure is also determined by ground which are a priori valid for all men, by merely referring the object to our faculty of knowledge.
The discovery that two or more empirical laws of nature are linked under one principle embracing them both is the grounds for a very appreciable pleasure.
But still we listen more gladly to others who hold out to us the hope that the more intimately we come to know the secrets of nature, or, the better we are able to compare nature with other aspects as yet unknown to us, the more simple shall we find nature in its principles. The further our experience advances the more harmonious shall we find nature in the apparent heterogeneity of its empirical laws.
List of Mental Faculties Cognitive Faculties
Thinking faculties Intellect
Feelings of pleasure and displeasure Judgment
Faculty of Desire Reason
A Priori Principles Application
Conformity to Law Nature
Appropriateness [to an end] Art
Final End [and purpose] Freedom
First Section Analytic of Aesthetic Judgment First Book Analytic of the Beautiful First Aspect of the Judgment of Taste: Aspect of Quality Section 1 The judgment of taste is aesthetic
Taste is not an intellectual judgment … but is aesthetic – which means that it is one whose determining ground cannot be other than subjective.
Agreeable and the good seem convertible terms.
good – immediately recognizable
agreeable – arises through reason
Only by what a man does heedless of enjoyment, in complete freedom and independently of what he can produce passively from the hand of nature, does he give absolute worth to his existence, as the real existence of a person. Happiness, with all its plethora of pleasures, is far from being an unconditioned good.
Three relations of the imagination to the feeling of pleasure/displeasure: agreeable, beautiful, good.
Hunger is the best sauce; and people with a healthy appetite relish everything, so long as it is something they can eat.
The judgment of taste cannot rest on any subjective end as its ground.
We dwell on the contemplation of the beautiful because this contemplation strengthens and reproduces itself.
Second Book Analytic of the Sublime Section 23 Transition from the faculty for estimating the beautiful to that for estimating the sublime
Sublime is to be found in an object even devoid of form, so far as it immediately involves an image of limitlessness.
The broad ocean agitated by storms cannot be called sublime. Intuition raises feelings which themselves are sublime. The mind has been incited to go beyond the senses, and employ itself upon ideas involving higher ends.
It is rather in its chaos, or in its wildest and most irregular disorder and desolation, provided it gives signs of magnitude and power, that nature chiefly excites the ideas of the sublime.
The principle of taste, therefore, exhibits the following antinomy: 1. Thesis. The jedgment of taste is not based upon concepts; for, if it were, it would be open to dispute (decision by means of proofs). 2. Antithesis. The judgment of taste is based on concepts; for, otherwise, despite diversity of judgment, there could be no room even for contention in the matter (a claim to the necessary agreement of others with this judgment).
The judgment of taste must have reference to some concept or other, as otherwise it would be absolutely impossible for it to lay claim to necessary validity for everyone.
Two apparently conflicting propositions not being in fact contradictory, but rather being capable of consisting together.
The thesis should therefore read: The judgment of taste is not based on determinate concepts; but the antithesis: The judgment of taste does rest upon a concept, although an indeterminate one (namely, that of the supersensible substratum of phenomena), and then there would be no conflict between them.
The Critique of Judgment Part 2 Critique of Teleological Judgment Section 61 Objective appropriateness in nature for its ends
Now the first requisite of a thing, considered as an end of nature, is that its parts, both as to their existence and form, are only possible by their relation to the whole.
Second requisite: The parts of the thing combine of themselves into the unity of the whole.
hylozoism – the doctrine that matter is inseparable from life, which is a property of matter i.e. matter is alive.
We are not entitled to consider rivers as natural ends then and there, because they facilitate international intercourse in inland countries, or mountains, because they contain the sources of the rivers and hold stores of snow for the maintenance of their flow in dry seasons, or, similarly, the slope of the land, that carries down these waters and leaves the country dry.
We do not see why it should be necessary that men should in fact exist.
The existence of a thing is not a natural end either, since it (or its entire genus) is not to be regarded as a product of nature.
Second Division Dialectic of Teleological Judgment
How can I count among products of nature things that are definitely posited as products of divine art, when it was the very incapacity of nature to produce such things according to its own laws that necessitated the appeal to a cause distinct from nature?
Appendix Theory of the Method of Applying the Teleological Judgment
Assuming that things in the world are beings that are dependent in point of their real existence and as such stand in need of a supreme cause acting according to ends, then man is the final end of creation.
Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone 
Book One: Concerning the Indwelling of the Evil Principle with the Good, or on the Radical Evil in Human Nature
Nature, the opposite of freedom as a basis of action.
Hence the source of evil cannot lie in an object determining the will through inclination, nor yet in a natural impulse; it can lie only in a rule made by the will for the use of its freedom, that is, in a maxim.
We shall say, therefore, of the character (good or evil) distinguishing man from other possible rational beings, that it is innate in him. Yet in doing so we shall ever take the position that nature is not to bear the blame (if it is evil) or take the credit (if it is good), but that man himself is its author.
rigorists vs. latitudinarians pg. 369
But the moral law, in the judgment of reason, is in itself an incentive, and whoever makes it his maxim is morally good.
My question: How is the moral it’s own incentive?
Neither can a man be morally good in some ways and at the same time morally evil in others. His being good in one way means that he has incorporated the moral law into his maxim; were he, therefore, at the same time evil in another way, while his maxim would be universal as based on the moral law of obedience to duty, which is essentially single and universal, it would at the same time be only particular; but this is a contradiction.
The ancient moral philosophers expressed: Must virtue be learned? They answered in the negative.
We may conceniently divide this perdisposition, with respect to function, into three divisions, to be considered as elements in the fixed character and destiny of man.
- The predisposition to animality in man, taken as a living being.
- The predisposition to humanity in man, taken as a living and at the same time a rational being.
- The predisposition to personality in man, taken as a rational and at the same time an accountable being.
2. The predisposition to humanity can be brought under the general titles of a self-love which is physical and yet compares (for which reason is required); that is to say, we judge ourselves happy or unhappy only by making comparison with others. Out of this self-love springs the desire to acquire value in the opinion of others.
A propensity is distinguished from a predisposition by the fact that although it can indeed be innate, it ought not to be represented merely thus; for it can also be regarded as having been acquired (if it is good), or brought by man upon himself (if it is evil).
propensity is acquired; predisposition is not
Instinct is felt want to do or to enjoy something of which one has as yet no conception such as the constructive impulse in animals, or the sexual impulse. Passion is an inclination that excludes any mastery over oneself.
In this capacity for evil there can be distinguished three distinct degrees. First, there is the weakness of the human heart in the general observance of adopted maxims, or in other words, the frailty of human nature; second, the propensity for mixing unmoral with moral motives which causes impurity, even when it is done with good intent and under maxims of the good, third the propensity to adopt evil maxims, that is the wickedness of human nature or of the human heart.
man of good morals vs morally good men
For when incentives other than the law itself, such as ambition, self-love in general, yes, even a kindly instict such as sympathy, are necessary to bend the will to conduct which is conformable to the law, it is merely accidental that these causes coincide with the law, for they could equally well impel a man to violate it. The maxim, then, in terms of whose goodness all moral worth of the individual must be appraised, is thus contrary to the law, and the man, despite all his good deeds, is nevertheless evil.
propensity precedes all acts
The proposition “Man is evil” means he is conscious of the moral law but has nevertheless adopted into his maxim the occasional deviation therefrom.
Thus the war ceaselessly waged between the Arathapescaw Indians and the Dog Rib Indians has no other object than mere slaughter. Bravery in war is, in the opinion of savages, the highest virtue. Even in a civilized state it is an object of admiration and a basis for the special regard commanded by that profession in which bravery is the sole merit; and this is not without rational cause. For that man should be able to possess a thing (ie honor) and make it an end to be valued more than life itself, and because of it renounce all self-interest, surely bespeaks a certain nobility in his natural disposition. Yet we recognize in the complacency with which victors boast their mighty deeds such as massacre, butchery without quarter, and the like that it is merely their own superiority and the deconstruction they can wreak, without any other objective in which they really take satisfaction.
In the misfortunes of our best friends there is something which is not altogether displeasing to us. For we are content to call him good who is a man bad in a way common to all.
As one of the ancients put it, war creates more evil than it destroys.
To conceive of oneself as a freely acting being and yet as exempt from the law which is appropriate to such a being (the moral law) would be tantamount to conceiving a cause operating without any laws whatsoever; this is a contradiction. When incentives which can spring from freedom are taken away, man is reduced to a mere animal being.
Whatever the origin of moral evil in man may be like, surely of all the explanations of the spread and propagation of this evil through all members and generation of our race, the most inept describes it as descending to us as an inheritance from our first parents.
For whatever his previous deportment may have been, whatever natural causes may have been influencing him, and whether these causes were to be found within him or outside him, his action is yet free and determined by none of these causes; hence it can and must always be judged as an original use of his will.
My note: There is no such thing as original sin.
However evil a man has been up to the very moment of an impending free act so that evil has actually become custom or second nature it was not only his duty to have been better in the past, it is now still his duty to better himself.
If we wish to address ourselves to the explanation of evil in terms of its beginning in time, we must search for the cases of each deliberate transgression in a previous period of our lives, far back to that period wherein the use of reason had not yet developed, and thus back to a propensity to evil as a natural ground which is therefore called innate – the source of evil. But to trace the causes of evil in the instance of the first man, who is depicted as already in full command of the use of this reason, is neither necessary nor feasible.
Book Two Concerning the Conflict of the Good with the Evil Principle for Rule Over Man
To become morally good it is not enough merely to allow the seed of goodness implanted in our species to develop without hindrance; there is also present in us an active and opposing cause of evil to be combatted.
For simply to make the demand for courage is to go half-way toward infusing it; on the other hand, the lazy and pusillanimous frame of mind in morality and religion which entirely mistrusts itself and hesitates waiting for help from without, is weakening to all a man’s powers and makes him unworthy even of this assistance.
pusillanimous – lacking courage or resolution; cowardly; fainthearted
res integra – an entire thing; untouched matter
Genuine evil consists in this, that a man does not will to withstand those inclinations when they tempt him to transgress – so it is really this disposition that is the true enemy.
Natural inclinations, considered in themselves, are good, that is, not a matter of reproach, and it is not only futile to want to extirpate them but to do so would also be harmful and blameworthy. Rather, let them be tamed.
It is not surprising that an Apostle [Paul] imagines this invisible enemy
, who is known only through his effect upon us and who destroys basic principles, as being outside us and, indeed, as an evil spirit: “We wrestle not against flesh and blood (the natural inclinations) but against principalities and powers – against evil spirits.” This is an expression which seems to have been used not to extend our knowledge beyond the world of sense but only to make clear for practical use the conception of what is for us unfathomable. Moreover, as far as its practical value is concerned, it is all one whether we place the seducer merely within ourselves or without, for guilt touches us not a whit less in the latter case then in the former, inasmuch as we would not be led astray hy him at all were we not already in secret league with him. We shall treat of this whole subject in two sections.
My note: reference Ephesians 6:12
Section One: Concerning the Lawful Claim of the Good Principle to Rule Over Man
For not even does a man’s inner experience with regard to himself enable him so to fathom the depths of his own heart as to obtain, through self-observation, quite certain knowledge of the basis of the maxims which he professes, or of their purity and stability.
Now if it were indeed a fact that such a truly godly-minded man at some particular time had descended, as it were, from heaven to earth and had given men in his own person through his teachings, his conduct, and his sufferings as perfect an example of a man well-pleasing to God as one can expect to find in external experience (for be it remembered that the archetype of such a person [Jesus] is to be sought nowhere but in our own reason), and if he had, through all this, produced immeasurably great good upon earth by effecting a revolution in the human race – even then we should have no cause for supposing him other than a man naturally begotten.
The elevation of such a holy person [Jesus] above all the frailties of human nature would rather, so far as we can see, hinder the adoption of the idea of such a person for our imitation. For let the nature of this individual pleasing to God be regarded as human in the sense of being encumbered with the very same inclinations as man, hence with the same temptations to transgress the moral law; let him, however, be regarded as superhuman to the degree that his unchanging purity of will, not achieved with effort but innate, makes all transgression on his part utterly impossible: his distance from the natural man would then be so infinitely great that such a divine person could no longer be held up as an example to him.
Book Three: The Victory of the Good Over the Evil Principle, and the Founding of a Kingdom of God on Earth
A juridico-civil (political) state is the relation of men to each other in which they all alike stand socially under public juridical laws (which are, as a class, laws of coercion). An ethico-civil state is that in which they are united under noncoercive laws, that is, laws of virtue alone.
polity – a particular form or system of government
But woe to the legislator who wishes to establish through force a polity directed to ethical ends! For in doing he would not merely achieve the very opposite of an ethical polity but also undermine his political state and make it insecure.
But if the commonwealth is to be ethical, the people as a people cannot itself be regarded as the lawgiver. For in such a commonwealth all the laws are expressly designed to promote the morality of actions, which is something inner and hence cannot be subject to public human laws, whereas, in contrast, these public laws are directed only toward the legality of actions, which meets the eye, and not toward inner morality, which alone is in question here. There must therefore be someone other than the populace capable of being specified as the public lawgiver for an ethical commonwealth.
An ethical commonwealth can be thought of only as a people under divine commands, i.e., as a people of God, and indeed under laws of virtue.
The requirements upon and, hence the tokens, of the true church are the following:
- Universality, and hence its numerical oneness; for which it must possess this characteristic, that although divided and at variance in unessential opinions it is none the less with respect to its fundamental intention founded upon such basic principles as must necessarily lead to a general unification in a single church, hence to sectarian divisions.
- Its nature or quality is purity, that is, a union under no motivating forces other than moral ones purified and freed from the stupidity of superstition and the madness of fanaticism.
- Its relation under the principle of freedom.
- Its modality, the unchangeableness of its constitution.
Theory and Practice; Concerning the Common Saying: This May Be True In Theory But Does Not Apply To Practice 
There are doctors and lawyers who, although they did well in school, do not know what to do when they are called upon to give counsel.
cameralist – any of the mercantilist economists or public servants in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries who held that the economic power of a nation can be enhanced by increasing its monetary wealth, as by accumulation of bullion.
The end in [civic] relations is the right of human beings to live under public-coercive laws by which every man’s right is determined and secured against the interference of every other man.
The desire for happiness must not be included as a ground for determining laws of external right.
Every limitation of freedom by the will of another is called coercion.
If happiness is adopted as a basic criteria for what ought to be law, men’s will cannot be brought under a common principle, nor under an external law which harmonizes with every man’s freedom.
The civic state, considered merely as a legal state, is based on the following a priori principles:
- The freedom of each member of society as a man.
- The equality of each member with every other as a subject.
- The autonomy of each member of a commonwealth as a citizen.
1. I will state the freedom of man as man as a principle for the constitution of the commonwealth in the following formula: No one may force anyone to be happy according to his manner of imagining the well-being of other men; instead, everyone may seek his happiness in the way that seems good to him as long as he does not infringe on the freedom of others to pursue a similar purpose, when such freedom may coexist with the freedom of every other man according to a possible and general law.
A patriotic attitude is one which makes the citizens consider themselves authorized to protect the rights of the commonwealth by laws, but not authorized to subject the commonwealth to the absolute discretion of the head for his purposes.
2. Every member of the commonwealth has a right of coercion against every other member and the head of the state is exempted from that right only because he is not a member but the creator and maintainer of the commonwealth. The head of the state alone has the authority to coerce without being himself subject to coercion.
Every member of a commonwealth must be able to reach every level of status in the commonwealth which can belong to a subject and which he can achieve by his talent, his industry or his good fortune. No subject may stand in his way as a result of hereditary privilege and thus keep him and his descendants down forever.
3. He who has the right to vote on basic legislation is called a citizen. The requisite quality for this status, apart from the natural one that the person not be a child nor a woman, is only this: that such a person be his own master (sui iuris) and hence that he have some property (under which we may include any art, craft, or science) that would provide him with sustenance.
My thoughts on this: Just to point out that Kant is assuming, as a simple matter of nature, that women are precluded from citizenship. I’m glad that we have largely moved beyond this assumption as a society, but think its important to note how “matter of factly” he states this. What assumptions are we making as a society now that would fall under this category?
If a people should judge that they will probably lose their happiness from certain actual legislation, then what should they do? Should they not resist? The answer can only be that they can do nothing but obey.
With regard to happiness no generally valid principle can be offered for legislation.
From this it follows that all resistance against the supreme legislative power, all instigation to rebellion, is the worst and most punishable crime in a commonwealth because this destroys the foundation of a commonwealth. The prohibition (of rebellion) is absolute. Even when the supreme legislative power has violated the original contract and he thereby, in the opinion of the subject, loses the right to legislate because the supreme power has authorized the government to be run thoroughly tyrannically, even in this case no assistance is allowed the subject for a countermeasure.
In short, people are never entitled to use force against the head of the state or to obstruct him in work or deed.
For a constitution which would contain a law authorizing anyone to overthrow the existing constitution upon which all specific laws rest, involves a clear contradiction because then the constitution would have to contain a publicly constituted counter-force. This would mean having a second head of the state who would protect the rights of the people against the first head and then in turn a third to decide between the two.
The citizen must have the privilege of making public his opinion on the ordinances of the supreme power when it seems to him that they constitute and injustice against the commonwealth.
The freedom of the pen is the sole shield of the rights of the people. Of course, this freedom should be kept within the limits of respect and loyalty for the constitution under which one lives.
What a people cannot decide concerning themselves, the legislator cannot decide concerning the people.
Eternal Peace 
First Section: Preliminary Articles of an Eternal Peace Between States
1. No treaty of peace shall be held to be such, which is made with the secret reservation of the material for a future war.
Peace means the end of all hostilities.
pleonasm – the use of more words than are necessary to express an idea; redundancy.
2. No state having an independent existence, whether it be small or great, may be acquired by another state through inheritance, exchange, purchase or gift.
A state is not a possession like the soil on which it has a seat.
The letting out of troops of one state to another against an enemy not common to the two is in the same class. The subjects are thus used and consumed like things to be handled at will.
3. Standing armies shall gradually disappear.
Standing armies incessantly threaten other states with war by their readiness to be prepared for war.
Peace becomes more burdensome than a brief war.
The hiring of men to kill and be killed, an employment of them as mere machines and tools in the hands of another (the state) cannot be reconciled with the rights of humanity as represented in our own person.
4. No debts shall be contracted in connection with the foreign affairs of the state.
A credit system of debts endlessly growing though always safe against immediate demand (the demand for payment not being made by all the creditors at the same time) – such a system constitutes a dangerous money power. It is a resource for carrying on war which supasses the resources of all other states taken together.
Such loans must be forbidden.
5. No state shall interfere by force in the constitution and government of another state.
6. No state at war with another shall permit such acts of warfare as must make mutual confidence impossible in time of future peace: such as the employment of assassins, of poisoners, the violation of articles of surrender, the instigation of treason in the state against which it is making war, etc.
War is only the regrettable instrument of asserting one’s right by force in the primitive state of nature where there exists no court to decide in accordance with law.
The postulate which underlies all the following articles is this: all men who can mutually affect each other should belong under a joint civic constitution.
Second Section: (3) Definitive Articles for Eternal Peace Among States
First Definitive Article of the Eternal Peace
The civil constitution in each state should be republican.
A republican constitution is a constitution which is founded upon three principles. First, the principle of the freedom of all members of a society as men. Second, the principle of the dependence of all upon a single common legislation as subjects, and third, the principle of the equality of all as citizens. This is the only constitution which is derived from the idea of an original contract upon which all rightful legislation of a nation must be based.
External lawful freedom may be defined as follows: it is the authority not to obey any external laws except those which I have consented to.
republicanism means the constitutional principle according to which the executive power (the government) is separated from the legislative power. Despotism exists when the state arbitrarily executes the laws which it has itself made; in other words, where the public will is treated by the prince as if it were his private will.
Despot – a king or other ruler with absolute, unlimited power; autocrat.
Democracy is necessarily a despotism in the specific meaning of the word, because it establishes an executive power where all may decide regarding one and hence against one who does not agree, so that all are nevertheless not all – a situation which implies a contradiction of the general will with itself and with freedom.
The Pope’s well known saying: “O’er forms of government let fools contest; that which is best administered is best.”
Second Definitive Article of the Eternal Peace
The law of nations should be based upon a federalism of free states.
Nations may be considered like individual men.
propinquity – nearness in place, proximity
There must exist a union of a particular kind which we may call the pacific union which would be distinguished from a peace treaty by the fact that the latter tries to end merely one war, while the former tries to end all wars forever.
Third Definitive Article of the Eternal Peace
The Cosmopolitan or World Law shall be limited to conditions of universal hospitality.
We are speaking in this as well as in the other articles not of philanthropy, but of law. Therefore hospitality (good neighborliness) means the right of a foreigner not to be treated with hostility when he arrives upon the soil of another. The native may reject the foreigner if it can be done without his perishing, but as long as he stays peaceful, he must not treat him hostilely. It is not the right of becoming a permanent guest, which the foreigner may request.
First Addition: On the Guarantee of Eternal Peace
Second Addition: A Secret Article Concerning Eternal Peace
The maxims of the philosophers concerning the conditions of the possibility of public peace shall be consulted by states which are ready to go to war.
It is said, philosophy is the handmaiden of theology.
Appendix: On the Disagreement Between Morals and Politics in Relation To Eternal Peace
Morals, when conceived as the totality of absolutely binding laws according to which we ought to act, is in itself practice in an objective sense. It is therefore an apparent paradox to say that one cannot do what one ought to do.
Theme: moral politician vs. political moralist. Begins pg. 459
moral politician (good connotation) – a man who employs the principles of political prudence in such a way that they can coexist with morals.
political moralist (bad connotation) – concocts a system of morals such as the advantage of the statesman may find convenient.
Kant uses the next several pages to expound on the above theme.
The political moralist subordinates his principles to the end. I.e., puts the wagon before the horse, and thereby thwarts his own purpose of bringing politics into agreement with morals.
Therefore it is said: “Seek ye first the kingdom of pure practical reason and of its righteousness, and your end (the well-being of eternal peace) will be added unto you.”
Virtue’s true courage as expressed in the maxim, “You should not give in to evils, but proceed ever more boldly against them.” (tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito)
It is deceitful and treacherous in arguing the weakness of human nature as a justification for all transgressions.
The (natural) right of men must be held sacred, regardless of how much sacrifice is required of the powers that be. It is impossible to figure out a middle road, such as a pragmatically conditional right, between right and utility.
Call the following statement the transcendental formula of public law: “All actions which relate to the right of other men are contrary to right and law, the maxim of which does not permit publicity.”
My thoughts: the translation of this maxim is unnecessarily confused. I would say, “All actions related to the rights of men which cannot be published publicly are contrary to right and law.“
A maxim which I cannot permit to become known without at the same time defeating my own purpose, which must be kept secret in order to succeed, and which I cannot profess publicly without inevitably arousing the resistance of all against my purpose, such a maxim cannot have acquired this necessary and universal, and hence a priori recognizable, opposition of all from any other quality than its injustice, with which it threatens everyone.
Furthermore, this standard is merely negative, that is, it only serves to recognize what is not right towards others.
Example 1. A question: “Is rebellion a right and lawful means for a people to overthrow the oppressive power of a so-called tyrant?”
prolixity – extended to great, unnecessary, or tedious length; long and wordy.
According to [the transcendental formula] the people ask themselves before the establishment of the civic contract whether they dare make public the maxim of allowing an occasional rebellion.
The people would have to claim a right and lawful power over the head of the government. In that case the head would not be the head. Such establishment would not be possible. the unrightfulness of rebellion becomes evident by the fact that its maxim would vitiate its own purpose, if one professed it publicly. One would have to keep it secret.
Both charity for other men and respect for the right of others is a duty. But charity is only a conditional duty, whereas respect for the right of others is an unconditional, and hence absolutely commanding duty.
I propose another transcendental and affirmative principle of public law the formula of which would be this: “All maxims which require publicity in order not to miss their purpose agree with right and law, and politics.“
For if they can only achieve their purpose by such publicity, they must be in accord with the general purpose of the public.
But if this purpose can only be achieved by publicity – that is, by removing all mistrust of its maxims – such maxims must be in accord with the rights of such a public.