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Kant: Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy) Paperback – April 28, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0521626958 ISBN-10: 0521626951

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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy
  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (April 28, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521626951
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521626958
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a good translation of Kant's historically important though brief essay on the foundation of moral theory. Recommended for upper-division undergraduate and graduate students." Choice

"The new translation by the late Mary Gregor of Kant's classic work on moral theory ought to become the standard edition for both ethics and Kant courses." Ethics

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) was one of the most influential philosophers of all time. His comprehensive and profound thinking on aesthetics, ethics, and knowledge has had an immense impact on all subsequent philosophy.

Customer Reviews

It's been 3 months since I had to read this book for a class, and I found myself referencing it just last night!
Daniel Villalobos-terrazas
While Kant himself considered this a sort of introduction to ethical thinking, it's come to be his most influential and widely read work on ethics.
ctdreyer
The text was difficult to read, but there were translations/modifications to the text in the back of the book which made reading easier.
Frances Pauken

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By ctdreyer on March 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals is probably the single most influential work of philosophical ethics since Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics. While Kant himself considered this a sort of introduction to ethical thinking, it's come to be his most influential and widely read work on ethics. Despite its length--it's less than a hundred pages--this is a work of remarkable depth and intellectual insight.
This isn't an easy work, however. It needs to be read and re-read (and, I suppose, re-read) to be fully understood and appreciated. I've never found Kant as difficult and obscure as his reputation would suggest, but as a writer of philosophical prose he's certainly not the caliber of, say, Hume or Descartes. As many have noted, Kant is the first great philosopher of the modern era to have been an academic, and it shows. He writes long, meandering sentences, and the organization of his works leaves quite a bit to be desired. Furthermore, his penchant for arcane terminology and architechtonic can make his work seem more forbidding than it is. Still, Kant's ideas in the Groundwork, while subtle and sometimes elusive, are profound and original, and this book is a must-read for anyone interested in philosophical ethics. I should also note that the importance of this book isn't solely historical since there has been a recent resurgence of Kantian moral thinking in the English-speaking world.
Kant's aim in the Groundwork is to discover the fundamental principle of morality. In the first section he attempts to derive this fundamental principle from ordinary moral thought. In particular, he attempts to derive this principle from considerations concerning what is unconditionally good. Kant claims that the only thing that is unconditionally good is a good will.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. Davenport on November 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
This new edition of the *Groundwork* is excellent for undergraduate teaching purposes; the introduction by Korsgaard is very helpful on several points, including her distinction between the purposes or objects ('materials') of our intentions and the maxims or principles on the basis of which we formed these intentions. [The trouble is that Kant unfortunately does not use the word "intentions" but sometimes also uses "maxims" for that concept as well, which generates much confusion]. Professor Korsgaard also gives an excellent explanation of Kant's critique of sympathy or Rousseauian natural pity as the motive that makes for a good will. I only wish more was said about the 2nd-order nature of the 'goal' of the good will, namely assuring that we pursue our other 1st-order purposes in ways that are fair or just to all. However, the introduction includes a shortened and simplified version of several key insights in Korsgaard's published essays. Moreover, the text itself is smoother in many places than the Paton translation in the Harper Torchbook edition. I recommend trying this book to any teacher still using the old Harper edition.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Rueda on February 24, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This version of the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals provides a clear and concise introduction. You will find it useful to understand how Kant's moral philosophy fits within his general philosophy and to get acquainted with some of the debates around his work. Although this book is rather expensive for what it is, it is useful and worth buying if you are really interested in this topic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By whj on May 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
I spent a long time to read this book, (more like "trying" to read) and since I have no philosophy background, I am sure my understanding of this book is very limited. However, I enjoyed learning the main concepts of Kant's on morality, and I think it will help me with understanding other philosophical theories as well.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sam on July 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
Immanuel Kant is truly one of the most influential moral philosophers in history; and with this book, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, he positioned himself far further.

In this book you will find things to be deeply contemplated, about "good will", the moral value of conduct and its metaphysical aspects.

This translation of the Kant's original Grundlegung von Metaphysik der Sitten to English is quiet easy to understand, so it is relatively an easy-reading book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Arnold on June 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Korsgaard semi-clunkily explains Kant, and gets it right! Fantastic read.

I read this in my Ethical Theory class at Stanford and learned a lot about Kantianism.
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It's been 3 months since I had to read this book for a class, and I found myself referencing it just last night! Kant is remarkable and this book equips one with the tools to answer fundamental questions about morals.
As for the translation, I can't say that I have anything with which it may be compared. I neither speak German nor have I read an alternative translation per sé. I can only say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and that it has impacted my mentality to a profound degree.
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By Rob Weinhold on July 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A bit difficult to read due to the vernacular if the era. Recommend it for those who truly want a challenge.
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