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critique of practical reason wiki
By this the theoretical knowledge of pure reason does indeed obtain an accession; but it consists only in this, that those concepts which otherwise it had to look upon as problematical (merely thinkable) concepts, are now shown assertorially to be such as actually have objects; because practical reason indispensably requires their existence for the possibility of its object, the summum bonum, which practically is absolutely necessary, and this justifies theoretical reason in assuming them. There are cases in which men, even with the same education which has been profitable to others, yet show such early depravity, and so continue to progress in it to years of manhood, that they are thought to be born villains, and their character altogether incapable of improvement; and nevertheless they are judged for what they do or leave undone, they are reproached for their faults as guilty; nay, they themselves (the children) regard these reproaches as well founded, exactly as if in spite of the hopeless natural quality of mind ascribed to them, they remained just as responsible as any other man. Reason, as the faculty of principles, determines the interest of all the powers of the mind and is determined by its own. Empirical principles of determination are not fit for any universal external legislation, but just as little for internal; for each man makes his own subject the foundation of his inclination, and in the same subject sometimes one inclination, sometimes another, has the preponderance. If the notion of good is not to be derived from an antecedent practical law, but, on the contrary, is to serve as its foundation, it can only be the notion of something whose existence promises pleasure, and thus determines the causality of the subject to produce it, that is to say, determines the faculty of desire. The moral law commands me to make the highest possible good in a world the ultimate object of all my conduct. Now whatever checks our self-conceit in our own judgement humiliates; therefore the moral law inevitably humbles every man when he compares with it the physical propensities of his nature. Whether an idea has its seat and source in the understanding or not, if it can only determine the choice by presupposing a feeling of pleasure in the subject, it follows that its capability of determining the choice depends altogether on the nature of the inner sense, namely, that this can be agreeably affected by it. Consequently it is only the teacher of revealed theology that can be called a learned theologian. Consciousness of the moral law is a priori and unanalysable. Now it was seen to be a duty for us to promote the summum bonum; consequently it is not merely allowable, but it is a necessity connected with duty as a requisite, that we should presuppose the possibility of this summum bonum; and as this is possible only on condition of the existence of God, it inseparably connects the supposition of this with duty; that is, it is morally necessary to assume the existence of God. For it adds the notion of a reason that directly determines the will (by imposing on its maxims the condition of a universal legislative form); and thus it is able for the first time to give objective, though only practical, reality to reason, which always became transcendent when it sought to proceed speculatively with its ideas. In this view, which is natural to our reason, though inexplicable, we can also justify some judgements which we passed with all conscientiousness, and which yet at first sight seem quite opposed to all equity. As pure practical reason, it likewise seeks to find the unconditioned for the practically conditioned (which rests on inclinations and natural wants), and this is not as the determining principle of the will, but even when this is given (in the moral law) it seeks the unconditioned totality of the object of pure practical reason under the name of the summum bonum. It has it therefore always at hand, only that in cases where causality from freedom is to be criticised, it makes that law of nature only the type of a law of freedom, because, without something which it could use as an example in a case of experience, it could not give the law of a pure practical reason its proper use in practice. When I give the name idea to a perfection to which nothing adequate can be given in experience, it does not follow that the moral ideas are thing transcendent, that is something of which we could not even determine the concept adequately, or of which it is uncertain whether there is any object corresponding to it at all, as is the case with the ideas of speculative reason; on the contrary, being types of practical perfection, they serve as the indispensable rule of conduct and likewise as the standard of comparison. It is a sublime thing in human nature to be determined to actions immediately by a purely rational law; sublime even is the illusion that regards the subjective side of this capacity of intellectual determination as something sensible and the effect of a special sensible feeling (for an intellectual feeling would be a contradiction). For, on the one hand, the virtuous Epicurus, like many well-intentioned men of this day who do not reflect deeply enough on their principles, fell into the error of presupposing the virtuous disposition in the persons for whom he wished to provide the springs to virtue (and indeed the upright man cannot be happy if he is not first conscious of his uprightness; since with such a character the reproach that his habit of thought would oblige him to make against himself in case of transgression and his moral self-condemnation would rob him of all enjoyment of the pleasantness which his condition might otherwise contain). Now the notion of punishment, as such, cannot be united with that of becoming a partaker of happiness; for although he who inflicts the punishment may at the same time have the benevolent purpose of directing this punishment to this end, yet it must first be justified in itself as punishment, i.e., as mere harm, so that if it stopped there, and the person punished could get no glimpse of kindness hidden behind this harshness, he must yet admit that justice was done him, and that his reward was perfectly suitable to his conduct. But if pure reason of itself can be practical and is actually so, as the consciousness of the moral law proves, then it is still only one and the same reason which, whether in a theoretical or a practical point of view, judges according to a priori principles; and then it is clear that although it is in the first point of view incompetent to establish certain propositions positively, which, however, do not contradict it, then, as soon as these propositions are inseparably attached to the practical interest of pure reason, it must accept them, though it be as something offered to it from a foreign source, something that has not grown on its own ground, but yet is sufficiently authenticated; and it must try to compare and connect them with everything that it has in its power as speculative reason. The negative effect on feeling (unpleasantness) is pathological, like every influence on feeling and like every feeling generally. VII. Have we not, however, a word which does not express enjoyment, as happiness does, but indicates a satisfaction in one's existence, an analogue of the happiness which must necessarily accompany the consciousness of virtue? This remark, which only concerns the method of ultimate ethical inquiries, is of importance. But just because this material principle of determination can only be empirically known by the subject, it is impossible to regard this problem as a law; for a law being objective must contain the very same principle of determination of the will in all cases and for all rational beings. Whence it follows that, if the law of morality and the image of holiness and virtue are to exercise any influence at all on our souls, they can do so only so far as they are laid to heart in their purity as motives, unmixed with any view to prosperity, for it is in suffering that they display themselves most nobly. Now, if we compare with this the analytical part of the critique of pure speculative reason, we shall see a remarkable contrast. But good or evil always implies a reference to the will, as determined by the law of reason, to make something its object; for it is never determined directly by the object and the idea of it, but is a faculty of taking a rule of reason for or motive of an action (by which an object may be realized). This cannot be the basis for any universal moral law. But I could not proceed in this way with the deduction of the moral law. He holds the principles of mathematics to be analytical; and if his were correct, they would certainly be apodeictic also: but we could not infer from this that reason has the faculty of forming apodeictic judgements in philosophy also- that is to say, those which are synthetical judgements, like the judgement of causality.
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