Groundwork Of The Metaphysic Of Morality Analysis

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Is there a Kantian obligation to donating organs? Much of Immanuel Kant’s “Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals” theorized the concept of morality. According to Kant, rational beings are held in obligation to moral duties that he states falls under the categorical imperative: “which represented an action as objectively necessary for itself, without any reference to another end” [Ak4:414]. As such, the categorical imperative, in simple terms, is the basis of duties we ought to follow. Furthermore, Kant divided the categorical imperative into two sets of duties: perfect and imperfect. In reference to the former, Kant makes the obligations of these duties precisely clear in stating “a perfect duty is that which permits no exception to the advantage…show more content…
For example, in Kant’s explanation of perfect duties, the duty to not commit suicide is signified as perfect duty because it is absolute, without exception, and do not provide grounds for inclinations. On the other hand, imperfect duties are genuine duties that are not absolute and can incorporate empirical reason and some inclination. For example, Kant identified the cultivation of an individual’s talent as an imperfect duty [Ak4:421] because though individuals are obligated to further humanity by furthering their talents, they are not necessarily obligated to cultivate all of their talents and may choose which talent to cultivate, thus relying on empirical reason and inclinations to an extent. Furthermore, perfect and imperfect duties can be aligned with what Kant believes are duties to oneself, and duties to humanity. For example, the perfect duty to not commit suicide is a duty to oneself, while the imperfect duty to cultivate one’s talents is a duty to humanity. In this analysis, the duty to oneself and the duty to humanity will be assessed for the reason that organ donation perhaps poses a conflict between the two.…show more content…
However, because it is an imperfect duty, the extent to which we carry out these duties is within our rational discretion. Moreover, because these duties incorporate empirical reason and thus are imperfect duties, they avoid the contradiction they would have if they were otherwise perfect duties. As such, these duties do not necessarily obligate us to sacrifice ourselves to save another, nor do they obligate us to primarily consider ourselves over others. That said, our duty to humanity commands benevolence to others. And it commands the donation of our organs, especially after our life ends. It is our moral duty to preserve ourselves while preserving others, for the reason that to preserve humanity and advance it, we must preserve life. Therefore, a maxim that states “I will donate my organ in order for this individual to live, while I live” is capable of being universally applied and is a Kantian

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