Great Books III Fall 2021

Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals - Immanuel Kant

"Is it possible to be both Moral and Free?"

Reading/Discussion Schedule

October 22 : Introduction, Preface, First Section; October 26: pp. 22-44;

October 29: pp. 44-63; November 5: Third Section

Reading/Discussion Prompts

October 22

  1. Where would you go in order to find the "common" knowledge of morals?
  2. What terms/ideas should be included in a work on ethics?
  3. What is "good intelligence"?
  4. According to Kant, what is morality based upon?

October 26

  1. Be prepared to cite an example of both a categorical and a hypothetical imperative.
  2. Be prepared to discuss the four problems of duty on pp. 38-40.
  3. Where does the "transition" (as promised in the title) occur in section 1?
  4. Does declaring oneself a conscientious objector constitute an act of pure duty?

October 29

  1. Be prepared to come to class and draw a picture of the realm of ends. We will divide into groups for this exercise.
  2. Which of the following belong to the realm of ends: God, Satan, Adam, Eve?
  3. Is knowledge of good and evil consistent with a good will?
  4. Is God part of the heteronomy of will?
  5. How does the idea of "sovereign" compare between Kant and Rousseau?

November 5

  1. Does Kant require the existence of God for morality to occur in humans?
  2. Define, in your own words, the major philosophical areas of this work.
  3. Define the transitions.
  4. How does Kant establish the existence of the synthetic categorical imperative?