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Immanuel Kant (1724 ~ 1804)
- We cannot know with certainty what the world is like in itself (things in themselves, the noumenal world).
- We can only know what the world is like for us (things as they appear to us, the phenomenal world).
- Neither reason nor experience proves the existence of God.
- It is a moral necessity to assume the existence of God.
- Everybody has an innate ability to discern what is right or wrong (Practical Reason).
- Categorical Imperatives: Moral law is
- categorical – absolute and applies to all situations –
- and imperative – commanding and authoritative –
- Universal Law of Morals
- Everybody will do the same thing if they are in the same situation.
- The Good Will determines whether the action is morally right, not the consequences of the action.
Freedom (Free Will)
- Freedom is to make public use of one’s reason at every point.
- Only when we act in accordance with moral law (- follow our Practical Reason), we are acting freely.
- We are free only if we obey the Universal Reason.
- We are not free if we live only as a creature of the senses and desires.