Ethics, Anthropology and the Problem of Metaphysics in the Critique of Pure Reason

Abstract

Kants discourse in the Critique of Pure Reason shines brilliantly, provided the presupposition that there is only one type of ethical value in human society is justified. Kant believes that humans should not have moral laws other than what he regards to be the moral law. When an alternative ethical value, which seems universal in a society without state power, is made manifest, Kants discourse will be exposed to a new critique made from another viewpoint, bearing the revelation of the relativism of ethics in mind. Actually, a serious problem can be seen in regard to the Critique of Pure Reason and the transcendental philosophy: it appears nugatory and empty, as Kant himself has repeatedly implies. If what Kant says comes true, it indicates that humans have no moral law which should rest on the solid foundation of ethics, namely, the idea of the purposive causality of the supreme cause of the world. This is a total disaster for humans, who would be destined to chaos and darkness. Thus, Kants discourse in the Critique of Pure Reason suggests that all humans in a society with state power are to live under moral laws, which have no legitimacy at all. Here we cannot eradicate the doubt that his discourse might be nugatory if it were not for a rescue mission. Is there any measure to rescue Kants transcendental philosophy from the abyss of emptiness? This is a crucial issue, which should be addressed.



Author Information
Kazuhiko Yamamoto, Kyushu University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ECERP2016
Stream: Philosophy - Philosophy and Religion

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