Kantian Journal

2016 Issue №3(57)

Feyerabend’s Natural Law Notes and their significance for Kant studies. Preface


Natural Law Notes of Feyerabend is one of the most important sources by the research of ethical and juridical views of Kant. Dating back to 1784 they distinctly demonstrate that the basic principles of Kant’s philosophy of right are not a late production of the philosopher, but they have been formed already in the middle of 80’s of 18th century. Therewith we can use this lectures notes for the studies of Kant’s moral philosophy too, because of their closeness to the Foundations of Metaphysics of Morals, what can help us to understand some not clear aspects of Kant’s ethical thought. One of such questions is the question of moral motivation, and namely how we can not only know, what we have to do according to the moral law, but also actually want do it? As in his published writings Kant concludes in the Introduction of Natural Law Notes that human will itself can not be in complete agreement with the moral law, because objective motive (that is the moral law alone) for this will isn’t identical with subjective ones (that are maxims of action). That is why it must be forced to follow the moral law and its commandments are for it imperatives. But in order not to distort autonomy of will, this force should come from the will itself. Such a force according to Kant is possible, if the will would force itself to action with an idea of an complete good will (what means such a will which is always in accordance with the moral law), which is inherent in God alone. With the article is enclosed the translation of a small fragment of Introduction to the Natural Law Feyerabend.

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