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Saturday, January 23, 2021

The Autonomous Kantian

The Kantian man does not consent. He is governed by the categorical imperative (moral law) that he gives to himself. To be rational, Kant says, is to be autonomous (free), and to be autonomous is to possess the ability to give yourself the categorical imperative. In the Kantian moral system rationality comes first—rationality leads to the state of being autonomous or having a free mind. This, in turn, enables a man to accept and strictly observe the categorical imperative. Thus, in Kant’s moral theory, the rational man is independent and moral. Irrationality implies an unfree mind and the potential for immorality.

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