December 30, 2019

NO ONE REMEMBERS IT AFTER THEIR FRESHMAN P&R FINAL:

Kant's Imperative (Eva Brann, December 29th, 2019, Imaginative Conservative)

I have called this lecture "Kant's Imperative" so that I might begin by pointing up an ever-intriguing circumstance. Kant claims that the Categorical Imperative, which is the Moral Law, is implicitly known to every fully formed human being. And yet its formulation is absolutely original with him. Thus, to study that hard philosophical gem, the Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, the little work in which Kant first sets out his imperative in its various versions, is to be in the curious position of laboring to acquire an utterly new principle which yet makes the almost persuasive claim of having been always in our possession. Out of this arises a common experience which, I am sure, you will have--or are already having--with the Categorical Imperative: you will probably find yourself ultimately unable to accept it, but you will never be able to forget it. But what we can neither accept nor ignore, it only remains for us to understand. The purpose of this lecture is to offer you some help with Kant's Imperative.

At the point where you think you're improving on, "Love one another," as an imperative you've already lost the plot.

Posted by at December 30, 2019 12:00 AM

  

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