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The preparatory argument in groundwork III

Grant number: 12/23014-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2013
Effective date (End): September 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Principal Investigator:Ricardo Ribeiro Terra
Grantee:Marília Lopes de Figueiredo Do Espírito Santo
Supervisor: Desmond Hogan
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Princeton University, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:12/00545-4 - Autonomy of the will and fact of reason according to Kant, BP.PD


Kant's purpose, in the third section of the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, is to justify the supreme principle of morality under human conditions. This task is developed by a transcendental deduction in subsection 4, under the title "How is a Categorical Imperative possible?" [AA 4: 453-455]. In the first subsection, Kant establishes, through the analyticity thesis that, if the will of a rational being is free , then it is under the moral law. By the end of this same first subsection he states that "here and now cannot yet be shown the possibility of a categorical imperative, instead, some further preparation is required" [AA 4: 447]. This preparation is developed in the second and third subsections. In the second subsection, Kant's aim is to show that freedom must be presupposed as a property of the will of all rational beings. Although it cannot be proven, he claims that the route of assuming freedom is sufficiently for practical purposes. In the third subsection, where it is presented the last step of the preparatory argument for the transcendental deduction of the categorical imperative, Kant intends to show how the moral law, that is, the law of autonomy, is linked with the human will. In order to understand the transcendental deduction, it is necessary to analyze the second and third subsections of section III of the Groundwork as a preparatory argument for the proof of the real possibility of morality under human conditions. (AU)

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