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Kant: Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy) [Paperback]

Immanuel Kant , Mary Gregor , Christine M. Korsgaard
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Kant: Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy) Kant: Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy) 4.6 out of 5 stars (14)
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Book Description

April 28, 1998 0521626951 978-0521626958
Immanuel Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals ranks alongside Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics as one of the most profound and influential works in moral philosophy ever written. In Kant's own words its aim is to search for and establish the supreme principle of morality, the categorical imperative. This edition presents the acclaimed translation of the text by Mary Gregor, together with an introduction by Christine M. Korsgaard that examines and explains Kant's argument.

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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.

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: 9 x 6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Great Works in Moral Philosophy 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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for teaching Kant 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
5.0 out of 5 stars very hard, very good May 20, 2011
By whj
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great introduction, expensive version 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moral Philosophy July 28, 2005
By Sam
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Read this!!! November 30, 2013
By harry
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The introduction is long and wonderful. It is a requirement before reading Kant's text. For me, this work of Kant reinforces my religious beliefs
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