Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Book Review: Metaphysics of Morals

Do moral philosophy and its questions form part of anthropology? How can we find  the sources of the practical principles behind our reasons? These and many related questions are examined by Kant in his book 'Metaphysics of Morals'. The book is divided into three sections, as shown:
1 FIRST SECTION. How common knowledge leads to morality.
2 SECOND SECTION. How moral philosophy leads to the metaphysic of morals.
3 THIRD SECTION. How the metaphysics of morals leads to practical reasons.
In section 1, the book mentions, how, power, riches, honour, health, etc. cannot result in happiness, if one does not correct the influence of these on check. And the intrinsic worth of a person is to be seen, more in moderation of these elements than in other things. Next section examines the true place of actions. What degree an action rests only on moral grounds, and on the conception of duty. And how, by the development of a rather universal notion of morality, the will is effectively placed autonomous, or morality separate from mind. This point is further examined in the next and last section of the book. The idea of a free will is closely linked with our ideas regarding the independent existence of morality, the book points out. 
I liked the author's logic. Unless there is specific reasons, moral studies can be part of anthropology. The reason for it to be seen as a separate topic lies in the impact of moral thoughts on our actions. It gives us an opportunity to make changes to whatever we do, for no specific reason. Hence it has independent existence. 
(Though we do not comprehend the practical unconditional necessity of moral questions, moral thoughts remain with us as a silent arbitrator or controller of human choices, which, as I mention in my book, veers towards alleviating the male's discomfort.)

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