Look at this excerpt of Kant’s Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics
What is Kant’s response to Hume’s conclusions in metaphysics and epistemology? In Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, he sets up his ethical theory: What is Kant’s goal in his ethi’lcs? Why
must he give a good explanation for our moral reasoning beyond our sentiments (emotions)? What is his concept of the Good Will? What is a hypothetical imperative?
Both the Hackett and the Cambridge editions include the FirstIntroduction, and both provide further bibliographical references (theHackett edition has a good bibliography of secondary literature up to1987). The Hackett edition is more readable, and contains explanatorynotes which will be useful to the less specialized reader. TheCambridge edition contains excellent editorial notes aimed at a morespecialized readership, and includes copious references to otherrelevant writings by Kant.
Kant’s Theory of Motive was goodwill. He believed that goodwill was the only consistent motive that could measure virtue and good character. In the case of the person who donated to charity solely for the nice tax write off, according to Kant, the act is not motivated by goodwill and is therefore not virtuous. The same could be said for when politicians hug school children and kiss babies for the media. Their acts are only to obtain a good reputation and publicity but they are not motivated by goodwill, and so, Kant would argue that they are not virtuous or moral.
It is important to evaluate and closely examine all aspects of both the Theory of Motive and the Theory of Duty so that we can consistently make good and moral decisions in our daily lives. Although Kant may be a bit extreme in his views, it is important to understand all possible conflicts that moral motives and obligations encompass, and be able to provide a consistent way to justify your decisions. A complete understanding of these moral acts will help us make virtuous decisions consistently and provide us with the ability to make the same decisions in similar situations.
The Two Dogmas of Empiricism, Willard Van Orman Quine.
Difficulty level: medium
Who to read first: Kant, Wittgenstein
Quine assumes some familiarity with previous conceptions of epistemology, such as Kant and the logical positivists. Quine attempts to dispel the idea that there is a clear split between analytic and synthetic knowledge, and that all knowledge is reducible. If you don't have a good idea what the analytic/synthetic split is, you probably shouldn't read this book yet.