Thus for him, Freedom (and, in addition, a deity and immortality )are the assumptions which are necessary postulates for the existence of practical reason according to Kant. Morality, then, is possible only if we do make judgments and, thus, are free.
“ACT ONLY ACCORDING TO THAT MAXIM WHEREBY YOU CAN AT THE SAME TIME WILL THAT IT SHOULD BECOME A UNIVERSAL LAW.”.
Kant’s catergorical imperative basically says that you should act in a way that you expect others to act. Everything we should do should be good, good enough to be a universal law. By making a decision to act a certain way, we are accepting the fact that anyone could act in the same manner in the future. .
Kant gives four examples for his categorical imperative:.
1. Man reduced to dispair (suicide).
2. Man forced by necessity to borrow money (broken promise/lying).
3. Man of tallent who prefers to indulge himself.
4. Prosperous man who won’t help others.
In each case, the person CAN’T will for the relevant maxim to become a universal law. Kant says that no rational person could will that these become universal laws. Therefore, it is wrong to practice any of these situations.
SECOND FORMULATION OF THE CATEGORICAL IMPERATIVE.
“So act as to treat humanity, whether in your own person or that of any other, in every case as an ends, not as a means only.”.
This serves to distinguish between PEOPLE and THINGS. Only people have intrinsic values. This alternative formula places a strong value on human life, and emphasizes our moral respect. .
Kant used these two formulas to arrive at the “FORMULA OF AUTONOMY”.
The decision to act according to a maxim is actually regarded as having made it a universal law.
The first two cases treat people as a mere means, and the last two cases don’t treat persons as ends.
In Fortune Is a Woman “Gender and Politics in the Thought of Niccolo Machiavelli , Hanna Pitkin explores how the definition of fortune changed from ancient times to the Renaissance.