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Publication Details

Kant’s Ethical Rationalism

(Original title: Kantov etický racionalizmus)
Filozofia, 29 (1974), 6, 614-623.
Type of work: Papers and Discussions - The 50th Anniversary of Immanuel Kant's Birth
Publication language: Slovak
Kant’s moral views, most thoroughly elaborated in the first chapter of The Criticism of Practical Reason (Analytics of Pure Practical Reason), which are to be found in a summarized shape in The Fundaments to the Metaphysics of Morals, ensue consequently from his noetic views. In order that Kant’s world “in itself“ might not be a mere hypothesis, the author gave it a chance to exist theoretically in the shape of transcendent ideas, the most important of which, for understanding Kant’s ethic is the idea of freedom. It is the man who is the bearer of this idea and he materializes it through the moral law. Freedom as a transcendent idea is the ratio essendi of the moral law and the moral law is the ratio cognescendi of freedom. These two phenomena are essentially dependent on each other. Even in spite, of the fact that Kant, while “transforming“ the moral law into the man’s concrete activity, makes use of the notions of good will, duty or maxim, this endeavour is to a large extent marked with philosophical speculation. Kant, for whom rational cognition was the only true cognition, even as ethic rationalist ascribes priority to our ratio and formulates his moral law, the categorical imperative as universally valid and obligatory though formal moral principle, the necessity of existence of which follows from itself and the contents of which are filled with empiric experience. In ethic, as well as in noetics, Kant’s rationalism was condemned not for considering the intellectual capacity as the only one by means of which we can explain and substantiate the moral world of man, but for absolutizing it, which led to separating the anthropological from the social and, in the ultimate consequences, to super-individual and idealistic explaining man’s morality.
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