Kant’s Vernünftigkeit

  • Ulrich Steinvorth


Kant’s absolute, the Categorical Imperative, commands acting only on universalizable reasons, reasons everyone can act on without entailing self-contradiction or collective self-destruction. He argues it is reason that demands universalizability and makes us free-willed, but only somewhere beyond space and time. For to solve the big problem of his age, how knowledge is possible, he argued we can know nature only if we apply to it the category of causality. If we don’t act on universalizable reasons we are causally determined, hence not responsible for immoral actions. Kant bit this bullet to save a system that provided meaning in life. His interest in finding meaning appears in his naturalistic interest in teleology. The Categorical Imperative proves to be metaphysical rather than moral and might be backed by a naturalistic teleology of history and nature.


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulrich Steinvorth
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HamburgHamburgGermany

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