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Alice Furnari 24 297 Freedom and Reason in KantMorality Kant says cannot be regarded as a set of rules which prescribe the meansnecessary to the achievement of a given end its rules must be obeyed withoutconsideration of the consequences that will follow from doing so or not A principle thatpresupposes a desired object as the determinant of the will cannot give rise to a morallaw that is the morality of an act of will cannot be determined by the matter or contentof the will for when the will is materially determined the question of its morality doesnot ariseThis consideration leads Kant to one of his most important theses If the moral characterof willing is not determined by the content of what is willed it must be determined bythe form If a rational being can think of his maxims as universal laws he can doso only by considering them as principles which contain the determining ground of the willbecause of their form and not because of their matter Therefore the morality of amaxim is determined by its functioning as a universal law applicable as a general rule toevery rational agentSince a moral will must be so in virtue of its form alone the will must be capable of apurely formal determination that is it must be possible for a man to act in a certainway for the sole reason that willing in this way is prescribed by a universal law nomatter what the empirical results will beA will to which moral considerations apply must be in the strictest sense a free willone that can function independently of the laws of natural causality The concept ofmorality therefore has to be explained in terms of a universal moral law and theability to will in obedience to such a law leads us to postulate the freedomThe freedom which Kant is talking about is not only a negative freedom consisting in theabsence of constraint by empirical causes it is also
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