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A double paradox story

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Grad Student
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medieval...
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Emory...

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Margaret J.
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documents in English
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term papers
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  1. Introduction
  2. The first paradox
  3. Hypothetical imperatives
  4. Kant's categorical imperative
  5. The second paradox
  6. Kant's morality
  7. The two different wills
  8. Kant's claim of a free will
  9. Conclusion
  10. Bibliography

Philosophy has three major realms: the study of the physical world, the study of morals, the study of logic and reasoning. Immanuel Kant's Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals focuses on the study of morality and tries to give a clearer understanding of moral principles so that people can learn to avoid the distractions offered against true morality. Within his Grounding, Kant claims that ?a free will and a will subject to moral laws are one in the same.? (49) This statement can easily be attacked for a seemingly obvious paradox in its wording. Kant is saying that for a will to be free it must follow moral guidelines. However there is a deeper paradox in this line which suggests Kant is defying his separation of determinism and free will with his ideas on rationality. Kant's linking of morality and freedom is not paradoxical on the shallow level, but could be on the deeper level.

[...] Causation to him was a priori concept, much like categorical imperatives. However, all this does not mean that the world is actually deterministic and that is why we as rational beings automatically connect causes with effects. According to Kant, the world seems deterministic but only because causation is such a large part of our reasoning. The world may not be how it appears to us. Kant separates these two worlds, the world as we perceive it and the world as it truly is, and believes they cannot be reconciled. [...]


[...] Kant's claim of a free will and a will subject to moral laws are the same thing is a valid one within his view of morality alone. When added with his views on rationality and his rejection of determinism however, questions can arise. The problem most people have with Kant does not lie in his questionable and arguable contradiction between morality and free will but with the practicality of his moral philosophy. Kant's morality often goes against common sense. An easy and equally impractical example of this being that if a murder was pounding at your door asking you where your mother is because he wishes to kill her, do you tell the murder where she is? [...]

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