Analysis Of Allan Wood's Metaphysics Of Morals

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What is ‘Metaphysics of Morals’? For thirty years, Kant intended to entitle his system of ethics ‘Metaphysics of Morals.’ In discussing the Metaphysics of Morals, I will discuss Allan Wood’s article in Mark Timmons’s volume Kant's Metaphysics of Morals: Interpretative Essays; Woods presents a thoughtful interpretation that might be a clue for our discussion of emptiness charge. By examining each of the two major doctrines of Metaphysics of Morals, that is, principle of right and the class of juridical (or coercively enforceable) duties, Woods argues it will help us more clearly understand Kant’s implication. Wood claims, Kant’s admirers, in fact, as well as his critics tend almost by reflex to think of the universalizability test as his most (or even his only) significant contribution to moral reasoning. But the universalizability test is used very seldom in the Metaphysics of Morals. In fact, it is used exclusively in connection with a single duty: the ethical duty of beneficence to others. The case of beneficence to others is in fact the only one where it can be used to ground a positive duty, since in Kant’s view, there is only one end which all human beings have necessarily, namely that of their own happiness. The Groundwork,…show more content…
All the duties of love (and likewise benevolence) are loosely derived from CI1. While we might consider other’ ends, we may not give practical assistance to others, such as a neighbor who is in bad circumstances. This does not appear to conflict with CI1 since to love our neighbors is to regard their ends as our own. However, for Kant, such imagination of action or in active thoughtfulness is merely a sort of benevolence, not active love. So, the question remains whether a person has a duty to be beneficent; Kant responds positively to this question by applying

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