Explain Kant’s moral law theory with particular reference to the categorical imperative  By Hannah Parry-Evans
“Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe the oftener and more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.” – Kant (1788), pp, 193, 259 Immanuel Kant introduced and initiated his ‘moral law theory’ in the late 18th century. The doctrine in question sought to establish and constitute a supreme or absolute principle of morality. Kant disputes the existence of an ‘ethical system’, whereby moral obligations are obligations of ‘purpose’ or ‘reason’. The accuracy of actions [i.e. the rightness or wrongness of an individual deed] is determined by its configuration and conformity with regard to ‘moral law’. Evidently, according to Kant, an immoral transaction is invariably contemplated as an illogical or unreasonable occurrence or action. The supreme moral principle is a consistent "working criterion" that proves to be "practically helpful and theoretically enlightening" when used by rational agents as a guide for making personal choices (Kant VI). A supreme guiding moral principle must carry with it an absolute necessity and be done out of duty to the moral law in order to be free from corruption. Kant believed in a fair and impartial law. He accredited and affirmed the presence of an objective moral law that we, as humans, were/are able to identify with through the process of reasoning. Kant argued that we are able to recognise and distinguish moral law, without making reference to the possible consequence or outcome. Immanuel Kant declared a differentiation between statements [i.e. posteriori and priori] that he believed to coincide with moral law. A posteriori statement is one that is based on experience of the material world. In opposition, a priori statement requires no such knowledge; it is known independent of the phenomenal world. Furthermore, Kant continued to make...
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