Grounding For The Metaphysics Of Morals Kant Analysis

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Dania Simpson PHL 270-C 10/06/2015 Reading Question: Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, pp 34-41 In the second section of Kant’s Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, he makes the distinction between beings as persons or things. “Beings whose existence depends not on our will but on nature have, nevertheless, if they are not rational beings, only a relative value as means and are therefore called things. On the other hand, rational beings are called persons inasmuch as their nature already marks them out as ends in themselves...” (Kant 35-36). This argument states that non-rational beings are things, while rational beings are deemed persons. Kant’s second formulation of the categorical imperative, also known as the Humanity as an End in Itself Formula, comes down the the previously mentioned classification of a person or a thing. This formula relies on the definition of these two categories as means or ends. He first made the distinction between a person and a thing by stating that man is not a thing. Based on his previous argument that things only have relative value as means, we can then clarify that a person is not a means, therefore, they are to be considered as an end in and of themselves. Kant then adds that a person must always be regarded as such and never as a means.…show more content…
This may be regarded both with the person themselves, as well as with others. Applying perfect duties to the self, can be exemplified by the duty to not damage, harm, or kill oneself. When applying perfect duties to others, these same principles can be used, as Kant believes one person shall not harm another. Perfect duties may also be exemplified through Kant’s belief that one must never tell a lie (make false promises) to another as this indicates the use of a person as a means, which Kant argues is never the

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