Is there a weakness in Kant's theory

(I am aware of the weaknesses of the text and the form ...)



Main part
1. Kant's understanding of morality
1.1. Argumentation for the moral law and its formula, the categorical imperative
1.2. The testability of the morality
1.3. The decisive formulation of the categorical imperative
1.4. Components of the categorical imperative

2. Kant's moral test as evidence of contradiction
2.1. The logic of the test and test approach
2.2. The properties of the moral law and categorical imperative according to Kant
2.3. The properties in use

3. Problems with this test
3.1. The approach of the test
3.2. The execution of the test
3.3. Purely logical execution difficulties

4. Problem-causing gaps in Kant's argument
4.1. Understanding gaps
4.2. Gaps in argumentation


"To answer the big questions of the critique of reason" What can I know? "," What should I do? "," What may I hope? "Can of course only contribute directly to logic in relation to the first ... but can , largely on the basis of research by Godel, Tarski, and others, much more can be said today than might have been expected at the time these questions were being formulated. " (Rabbit hunter, 138)
I want to go further in this work and from the logical standpoint of Kant's means of answering the question "What should I do?" - illuminate the categorical imperative. My interest lies in the criticism of the sufficient (legislative) ability of the categorical imperative, ascribed by Kant, to apply, i.e. to decide on dutiful and non-dutiful maxims in life. The argumentation on the categorical imperative and the correctness of the Kantian concept of morality is assumed to be correct and, based on its applicability, is indirectly criticized.
For this purpose, in the first of four main sections I will present the Kantian view of the categorical imperative as a criterion of correct, at least dutiful, action and the formulation "Act in such a way that the maxim of your will can at any time also apply as a principle of general legislation" (KpV, 140 ) as the basis of my investigation and explain it.
The following section is intended to justify the standard of the logical, to clarify the test procedure as a search for a logical contradiction and to reproduce the Kantian assessment of this method.
I will problematize Kant's basic theses presented here in the third section of the thesis, i.e. present application problems, show their relevance and thus question his assessment of the test as easy, fast and always possible. The more recent logical findings mentioned in the above quotation flow into this.
Following the problematization of the application, the results of which must have causes in the argumentation, in the fourth section I problematize the argumentation and list possible causes for the misjudgment of the applicability in the form of gaps in Kant's understanding of logic, nature and reason as well as his argumentation .
The final part sums up the results of the work.
(at the beginning)

1. Kant's understanding of morality

1.1. Argumentation for the moral law and its formula, the categorical imperative

This section is intended to represent the basis of the Kantian conception of morality and serves to lay the foundation for the subsequent analysis of the procedure for deciding good and bad.
The starting point in Kantian morality is not to define the concepts of morally good and bad as the basis for the concept of morality, but rather to arrive at a legal conception of the same by excluding everything that is not suitable for morality. It is only from this that the concept of good and evil follows, and "not before the moral law (which it would appear to have to be based on), but only (as it happens here) must be determined according to and by the same. " (KpV, 180)
The central exclusionary argument for the "law" of "morality" is based on
"that it must apply not only to human beings, but to all rational beings in general, not just under accidental conditions and with exceptions, but absolutely necessarily: it is clear that no experience can give cause to infer the possibility of such apodictic laws . " (GMS, 38)
As part of the empirical arguments for morality, sensual ones in particular are omitted, because "happiness and morality are two specifically very different elements of the highest good" (KpV, 241).
It "must be preceded by the moral possibility of the action" (KpV, 174). The "conditions of humanity" are only "accidental", so "laws of the determination of our will ... must originate completely a priori from pure reason" (GMS, 38). For, for example, "the purpose, if it is given through mere reason, must apply equally to all rational beings." (GMS, 59) So, "because moral laws are supposed to apply to every rational being at all, they are already derived from the concept of a reasonable being at all "(GMS, 40).
"Reason, from which alone all rule, which should contain necessity, can arise" (KpV, 127) is therefore the subject of the investigation to find the moral law. However, the need for a rule of reason is not enough:
"For their legislation, however, it is required that they only need to presuppose themselves, because ... they apply without accidental, subjective conditions" "So practical [] laws refer only to the will, regardless of what is directed by its causality will "(KpV, 127, see GMS, 27)
This relation to the will is supposed to have the character of a law in morality, but
"The law of a pure will that is free places it in a completely different sphere than the empirical one, and the necessity it expresses, since it is not supposed to be a natural necessity, can only be in the formal condition of the possibility of a law in general consist." (KpV, 145)
Already here the direction in which Kant steers becomes clear, because from the logical point of view this "formal condition of possibility" is precisely the freedom from contradictions.
The existence and uniqueness of such a limited law results for Kant with regard to the will: "A will, which the mere legislative form of the maxim alone can serve as a law, is a free will.", And it "is the legislative form, so as long as it is contained in the maxim, the only thing that can constitute a determinant of [free] will. " (KpV, 138)
"If there is a categorical imperative (ie a law for every will of a rational being), then he can only command everything to be done from the maxim of his will, as one which could at the same time have itself as a general legislative object as its object "(GMS, 65).
So the wording of the law is:
"Act in such a way that the maxim of your will can apply at any time at the same time as the principle of general legislation" (KpV, 140). "The highest principle of practical reason has now been exposed, i.e., first of all, what it contains, that it exists entirely a priori and independently of empirical principles ... has been shown for itself." (KpV, 160)

1.2. The testability of the morality

Now a maxim is "only morally real if it is based on the mere interest one takes in obeying the law." (KpV, 201)
A problem arises in humans, namely that imperatives "say that something would be good to do or not to do, but they tell a will that does not always do something because it is imagined that doing it is good be." (GMS, 42) Man must therefore submit to the imperatives:
"Morality is the law of the free determination of oneself." "Restriction of freedom through the necessary law is morality". "Morality is the inner law of freedom, insofar as it is a law to itself. If we abstract from all inclination, there are still conditions left under which freedom alone can agree with itself: 1. That the use of it is compatible the determination of one's own nature, 2. with other purposes, insofar as they harmonize as a whole, 3. agree with other freedom in general under a generally valid condition "(Kant in Eisler, 501).
So there is a "supreme restrictive condition" (GMS, 72) according to which a decision can and should be made as to whether a maxim or the associated action is moral or not. There must be a procedure for such a decision and in fact the maxim is "tested by practical reason" (KpV, 157). There is a "type of judgment of the former [maxims] according to moral principles. If the maxim of the action is not such as to test the form of a natural law, it is morally impossible." (KpV, 189)

1.3. The decisive formulation of the categorical imperative

In passing, in order to show that the above is the central and decisive formulation as the "supreme principle of practical reason" (KpV, 160), I shall go into the fact that Kant sometimes uses other formulas for the moral law. ( cf. Schnoor, 62,64)
Kant himself states that "the three ways of presenting the principle of morality ... basically just so many formulas of the same law, one of which unites the other two in itself" (GMS, 70). The formulas are therefore equivalent, but hierarchically ordered, and with regard to reaching the determination of the will, which is the central topic for me, it is sufficient to examine and find the highest one: "You do," says Kant, "better if you do." always proceeds according to the strictest method in moral judgment and takes the general formula of the categorical imperative as a basis "(GMS, 70) and" The use of moral concepts is only appropriate to the rationalism of judgment, which takes nothing further from sensual nature , as what, even pure reason can think for itself, ie the regularity "(KpV, 190). The formula already mentioned is therefore the decisive one.
In summary, then, morality for Kant is given by a law which we can formulate as a categorical imperative and against which our actions are always to be checked.
"Because first I have to be sure that I am not acting contrary to my duty" (Kant in Ebbinghaus, 27). "Because in itself duty is nothing else than the restriction of the will to the condition of a general legislation possible through an assumed maxim, the object ... may be whatever it wants ...; but from which ... is here completely abstracted . " and "we must obey the moral law everywhere" (Kant in Ebbinghaus, 24, cf. Schnoor, 103; Krüger, 115)

1.4. Components of the categorical imperative

In order to understand exactly what the categorical imperative means, it is necessary to see the terms that appear in it in the Kantian sense.
a. Maxim
"Practical principles are sentences that contain a general determination of the will that has several practical rules under it. They are subjective or Maximsif the condition is only regarded by him as valid for the will of the subject "(KpV, 125)
The concept of the maxim is central to morality, because
"an act of duty has its moral value not in the intention, which is to be achieved thereby, but in the maxim according to which it is decided, does not depend on the reality of the object, but only on the principle of will to whom the act took place regardless of all objects of desire. " (GMS, 26)
"Value consists ... in the attitudes, i.e. the maxims" (GMS, 72) i.e. "self-imposed rules" (GMS, 68) or "subjective-practical principles" (KpV, 136). "The maxim is the subjective principle of willing" (GMS, 27), or "the subjective principle to act" and "contains the practical rule that determines reason according to the conditions of the subject (often ignorance or the inclinations of the same) . Is "as a rule for the will" (KpV, 125) the "principle according to which the subject acts" (GMS, 51). "All maxims have a complete determination of all maxims by that formula" (the categorical imperative) ( GMS, 69.70)
Schnoor comments on the meaning of maxims that they "form the bridge, so to speak, between individual actions that (can) happen in the world and the (general) principle, as Kant's categorical imperative is formulated." (Schnoor, 93) "In the maxims, it can no longer be seen as the necessary linguistic or intellectual means to establish an applicability relationship between concrete (individual) action ... and the categorical imperative as a linguistic expression." (Schnoor, 98)
b. will
In the formula mentioned, the combined term "maxim of your will" appears. The term will is defined by Kant in the Critique of Practical Reason, initially somewhat difficult to understand, as "an ability ... to either produce objects that correspond to ideas, or at least to bring about them ..., i.e. to determine its causality." (KpV, 120) The will is thus a faculty by means of which, on the one hand, the reality of an idea can be realized in the object. On the other hand, the will can determine itself, i.e. its causality, to bring about the realization of these ideas.
The latter seems to be more important for Kant, because he otherwise defines: "The will is thought of as a capacity to determine oneself to act according to the idea of ​​certain laws. And such a thing can only be found in rational beings. Now that is what serves the will to the objective ground of its self-determination, the purpose "(GMS, 59).
Furthermore, the will "which is a causality" (KpV, 213), is in rational beings "an ability ... to determine its causality through the idea of ​​rules", in particular to "actions according to principles, consequently also practical principles a priori, able to be. " (KpV, 142). "Only a rational being has ... a will. Since reason is required to derive actions from laws, the will is nothing other than practical reason". The "will is a faculty to choose only what reason ... recognizes as good". For man this is only theoretical, since "the will in itself is not entirely in accordance with reason" (GMS, 41). This provides the connection to reason and consequently, when "the practical-objective law is spoken of", then we are speaking "of the relationship of a will to itself, insofar as it is only determined by reason" (GMS, 58).
c. at any time
I consider this part to be unimportant insofar as the concept of a general law and that of a maxim of the will already include the reason-conditioned independence of time.
d. at the same time
This seemingly unimportant word becomes important nonetheless:
"Our understanding only notices the impossibility where it can denote the simultaneous statement of opposites in the same object, i.e. only where it encounters a contradiction." (Kant in Eisler 594)
So "at the same time" also has meaning for Kant, since he regularly uses it in the previous general formulations of the categorical imperative in the foundation of the metaphysics of morals (e.g. GMS, 70,71; cf. Schnoor, 86, 115)
e. principle
I consider intuitive understanding to be sufficient here. Kant uses "practical principle" (KpV, 127) instead of "practical principle" (KpV, 125). It is noteworthy for later considerations that Kant identifies “conception of laws” with the term “principle” (GMS, 41). (see Eisler, 433)
f. general
Similar to the adjective "anytime", in my opinion the sense of "general" is only to clarify that legislation is to be understood in the actual, strict sense.
G. legislation
For this, the concept of a law is important, which for Kant "determines the will as will ... sufficiently [!], Therefore being categorical, otherwise they are not laws" (KpV 126). This also makes it clear what legislation should mean, namely to give the will sufficient reason for determination.
H. could be
The next section is intended to clarify this pair of terms. It should be noted, however, that "can be" in any case necessarily requires logical consistency.
As a suggestion, I would like to rephrase the categorical imperative by means of the Kantian term identifications mentioned above:
Act in such a way that your subjective idea of ​​the law of your self-determination to act does not contradict the idea of ​​a law on general legislation.

(at the beginning)

2. Kant's moral test as evidence of contradiction

In this section it should be clarified how the above-mentioned, for "our pathologically determinable self" (KpV, 194) necessary test procedures through the "generally valid condition" (Kant in Eisler 501) for the decision of morality should work, and what opinion Kant is about this procedure has.

2.1. The logic of the test and test approach

a. formality
As already quoted above, the moral law itself "can only exist in the formal condition of the possibility of a law at all" (KpV, 145), the "moral value ... cannot be anywhere else than in the principle of the will" and "so it is determined by the formal principle of will in general "(GMS, 26). Because there is "nothing left but the mere form of general legislation" (KpV, 136). The categorical imperative is to be seen like a mathematical "formula". (KpV, 113)
Correspondingly, the test takes place on a formal level, because "If the maxim of the action is not such as to test the form of a natural law, it is morally impossible." (KpV, 189) The reason for this is:
"If a rational being is to think of its maxim as practical general laws, it can only think of it as principles that contain the determining reason of the will, not in terms of matter, but merely in terms of form." (KpV, 135)
It is thus "that the mere practical form ... first of all determines what is in itself and absolutely good" (KpV, 194). It is even the "direct contradiction of the principle of morality" if one sets that "what is the determining factor which is supposed to serve the law in something other than in the legislative form of the maxim." (KpV, 146, cf. 139,144). It is "allowed to use the nature of the sensory world as a type of an intelligible nature, as long as I do not transfer the views ... to them, but only the form of the regularity in general" (KpV, 189).
"So the moral law expresses nothing else than the autonomy of pure practical reason, i.e. freedom, and this is itself the formal condition of all maxims, under which they alone can agree with the highest practical principle." (KpV, 144)
With regard to this formality of the test, the historical background seems confusing, because there were no explicit formal languages ​​as we know them today in mathematics, propositional or predicate logic. In this respect, the formal requirement seems to be different. This is not the case, however, as shown by the necessary abstraction and logic of the test. The formality is also proven retrospectively by the fact that the morality test is a proof of contradiction. This can only be formal in the strict, i.e. absolutely comprehensible, sense required here.
b. abstraction
In order to do justice to Kantian morality, one should act "according to a maxim which at the same time contains its own general validity for every rational being" (GMS, 71). From this the necessary complete solution from empirical matter becomes recognizable, so that only concepts remain which are each an "idea through reason" (Blomberg Logic §249).
One "has to abstract from everything so far that it has no influence on the will, so that practical reason (will) does not merely administrate foreign interests, but merely prove its own commanding reputation as supreme legislation." (GMS, 76)
But one should not "renounce one's natural purpose, happiness", but rather "completely abstract from this consideration when the commandment of duty occurs". To abstract here means to "not make something a condition of observance of the law prescribed by reason" (Kant in Ebbinghaus, 22).
"That is to say, independence from all matter of the law ... and at the same time determination of arbitrariness through the mere general legislative form ... is the sole principle of morality" (KpV, 144). In addition, "pure" (KpV, 149) as an adjective means the "separation of all empirical conditions" (KpV, 139), that is, abstraction, which is even described as causally related to the formality:
"The moral law is the sole determinant of the pure will. Since this is only formal ... it abstracts, as a determinant, from all matter, hence from all objects, of will." (KpV, 237)
c. Logicity
The total formality and complete abstraction allow no other possibility of treatment than the logical one, because:
"A general, but pure logic ... has to do with nothing but a priori principles and is a canon of understanding and reason, but only with regard to the formalities of its use, the content may be whatever it wants" (Kant 1781, A53) "These criteria only concern the form of truth, ie of thinking in general" (Kant 1781, A59)
The conflict between empirically conditioned rules, which one wanted to elevate to necessary principles of knowledge, is "" merely logical "(KpV, 146). Because the logic is:
"a science of the necessary laws of thought, without which there is no use of the understanding and of reason, which are consequently the conditions under which the understanding takes place only can and should agree with itself "(Kant in Eisler 333), and" in it the understanding therefore has nothing more to do with itself than itself and its form. "(Kant 1781, B IX)
Logic is therefore the bearer of the rational decidability of the moral.
For example, Schnoor also writes of the "first of all purely 'deontologically' understood (because it is to be understood in this way!) Kantian ethics" (Schnoor, 78), which is a "deontic qualification of maxims" ( Schnoor, 104) determined by the categorical imperative.
This thesis will find further confirmation in the investigation of the effect of logic in these decisions, namely by rejecting maxims in the event of contradictions.
d. Contradiction as a result
Now that the approach to the decision between "permitted" and "prohibited" (GMS, 74), i.e. the "moral assessment" (GMS, 70), has been clarified, it will now be investigated how such decisions should be made:
"The will is absolutely good, which is not evil, hence its maxim, if it is made a general law, can never contradict itself. This principle is therefore also its supreme law: act according to that maxim whose generality as law you at the same time; this is the only condition under which a will can never be in conflict with itself. " (GMS, 70.71)
Although the property of the maxim to be examined is described unclearly, namely once "in itself" and then "a will ... with itself", it is necessary to know something about the "generality as law" in each case about "the mere general legislative form of which the maxim must be capable" (KpV, 144).
In this regard, "the mere practical form, which consists in the suitability of the maxim for general legislation, first determines what is in itself and absolutely good" (KpV, 194, cf. 136). The mere form somehow makes a statement about the "suitability of the maxim for general legislation" and thus about what is moral and immoral.
An at least necessary formal condition, which has already been addressed and cited, is consistency, which is indicated here by "do not conflict with yourself". Because :
"As for the knowledge of the mere form (with all content set aside), it is just as clear: that logic, insofar as it presents the general and necessary rules of understanding, must present criteria of truth in these rules. For what contradicting these is wrong, because the understanding contradicts its general rules of thinking with itself "(Kant 1781 A59).
The contradiction is, however, the only way for us to determine the morality of a maxim, because:
"With the other, the positive type of shot (modus ponens), the difficulty arises that the totality of the consequences cannot be apodictically recognized" (Scheffer, 27 = logic Einl. 52). And more clearly: "The logical truth of a knowledge includes: Firstly: that it is logically possible, ie not contradicting itself. ... - Second: that it is logically founded, ie that it a) has reasons and b ) do not have wrong consequences - here the following rules apply: 1. From the truth of the consequence one can infer the truth of the knowledge of the reason, but only negatively: if a wrong consequence flows from a knowledge then the knowledge itself is wrong "(Kant in Eisler 593).
In other words: As soon as things or general statements appear in the maxim, the modus ponens is of no use to me and I can only conclude indirectly. This is the case with the maxim test, because a maxim becomes "as a rule for the will of a everyone reasonable being "(KpV, 125).
It may be necessary to draw an indirect conclusion through contraposition, but in any case it has to be concluded by contradiction, because all "maxims are rejected according to this principle which cannot coexist with one's own general legislation of the will" (GMS, 63,64). This is made clear in the above quotation by the formulation "who cannot be evil ..." and Kant always speaks of the "highest one" restrictive"Condition. Accordingly, Kant concludes in all examples by contradiction (see below), which is also practically the" test "of choice, since" a rational being does not even think of his ... maxims ... as general laws at the same time [can], or it must assume that the mere form of the same ... makes it a practical law in itself "(KpV, 136) or" is badly necessary, the opposite of which is impossible in itself "(Kant in Eisler 386).
In summary, the test is to be presented in the form of an "if, ... then ..." construction, whereby at least the "if" part always includes the "generality as law". The "then" part, which has remained unclear above, can, since contradictions are always sought, at most determine the type of contradiction that arises. These species will now be briefly examined in order to show how they are differentiated as being unimportant for the test itself.
i. Maxim contradiction in itself
The one type of contradiction indicated by Kant is that the maxim "contradicts itself ..." (GMS, 70) or a maxim "as a rule for the will of every reasonable being, in one and the same maxim, with himself could not agree. " (KpV, 125) Or in the example:
"So I transform the imposition of self-love into a general law .... Then I see at once that it can never ... agree with itself, but must necessarily contradict itself" (GMS, 53).
It is an "inner impossibility", such "actions are such that their maxim cannot even be thought of as a general law of nature without contradiction" (GMS, 54)
According to the above results, the more precise "how" of the internal contradiction must lie in the "mere form", in the ability to think. Kant does not say anything more precise about this, only the examples given remain. Be the maxim:
"Out of self-love, I make it a principle for myself, when life in its longer term threatens more evil than it promises comfort, to shorten it for me."
The argument for rejecting this maxim is then:
"that a nature, whose law it would be, to destroy life itself through the same sensation, whose purpose it is to drive life forward, would contradict itself ..., hence that maxim [is] impossible ..., and consequently completely contradicts the supreme principle of all duty. " (GMS, 52)
It is not a question of the correctness of the argument or example, but only of the nature of the contradiction. This lies in the fact that the maxim contains the concept of "self-love", but at the same time contradicts this in the maxim in that "shortening life" occurs at the same time. But it is the case that the term "self-love" includes the predicate "promotes life" and in the second part of the maxim the predicate "shortens life" is ascribed to it, which means "does not promote life". The contradiction then lies in the predicates that are assigned to the concept at the same time, in the form of p and non p.
ii. Willing contradiction / dispute
The problem of the second and last type of contradiction presented by Kant lies in a somewhat different restriction of action: "Act according to that maxim whose generality as a law you can at the same time want" (GMS, 70,71). "One must be able to want a maxim of our action to become a general law" (GMS, 54). A maxim is rejected here because "because the maxim ... cannot be understood in one and the same will, as a general law" (GMS, 76). There are maxims where "that inner impossibility [(see above)] is not to be found, but it is still impossible to want your maxim to be elevated to the generality of a natural law, because such a will would contradict itself" (GMS, 55 ) This second type of contradiction goes further than the first, which is only necessary to avoid. The maxim is, for example:
"If I think I am in need of money, I will borrow money and promise to pay for it, knowing right away that it will never happen."
The reasoning behind the rejection is: If
"Everyone, after believing he is in need, could promise whatever he could think of, with the intention not to keep it, would himself make the promise and the purpose one might have with it impossible by not believing that something was promised to him "(GMS, 53)
So "lying" implies as a general law that the concept of "promise" no longer exists de facto. What one makes impossible, i.e. contradicting, is the "purpose", i.e. the "objective reason for one's self-determination" (GMS, 59). So the general, legislative self-determination "lies" becomes contradicting, since it implies that there is no longer any "promise", ie "not lying", from which it follows that there is no longer any "lying" either, because one could not ' do not lie'. I cannot now determine myself for something that no longer exists; if I do it anyway, I postulate its existence. So I claim existence and non-existence, this is a contradiction between p and non p.
As with the contradiction of maxims, this argument is of course a Kantian interpretation that can be argued about. Nevertheless, it is also Kant's opinion that there is a contradiction p and non p, since this is the only sufficient proof of a contradiction. Because it is precisely "the definition of the impossible" (Kant in Eisler 605), this is "what is in itself contradicting" (Kant in Eisler 368). "The possibility of a thought or concept rests on the proposition of contradiction" (Kant in Eisler 368).
Final remark on the test
"In a pathologically affected will of a rational being, a conflict of the maxim, against the practical laws recognized by itself [, especially the moral law], can be encountered", ie "Consistency, unanimity, general validity of the will is the principle of morality "(Eisler 501).
Either way, the test consists in proving contradiction in order to accept the maxim as generally valid, or the opposite maxim as generally valid, or as Kant writes "the opposite of the same should remain general law" (GMS, 55). The test only continues if the predicates are consistent and examines contradicting statements of the maxim, the only difference being that in the latter case there is a contradiction between existence and non-existence and "exist" is not a classic predicate. Basically, the test is one of a kind.

2.2. The properties of the moral law and categorical imperative according to Kant

This section aims to report Kant's claims to the approach and execution of a decision about the moral value of an action by examining the maxim. The test is still just a theoretical construct. The validity claim as a necessary and sufficient investigation into morality, and in general the practical existence and uniqueness of the moral law, are important properties of both the law and the formula as a categorical imperative. Some of these have already been addressed and should now be explicitly highlighted.
a. existence
In the first section, existence and uniqueness was referred to in the sense that if a moral law exists, then it has the categorical imperative as a unique formula that can at most be transformed equivalently.The real existence of a moral law, as distinguished from this, is clear to Kant, "because that there must be such a [pure moral philosophy] is evident from the common idea of ​​duty and moral laws." (GMS, 13)
In concrete terms, however, a difficulty arises here, because "the objective reality of the moral law cannot be proven ... by any deduction, and yet it is fixed for itself" (KpV, 161). There is only one "kind of credit of moral law", and
"The moral law proves its reality ... by adding a positive determination to a merely negatively conceived causality, the possibility of which ... was necessary to assume, namely the concept of a reason which directly ... determines the will, and so to reason ... for the first time objective, although it can only give practical reality "(KpV, 162)
And so the "consciousness of this Basic Law is a fact of reason" (KpV, 141).
b. Uniqueness
Without qualification, Kant asserts the uniqueness of this law: it is "the only fact of pure reason" (KpV, 142).
Already in the derivation of the formula of the moral law, there was "nothing left but the mere form of general legislation" (KpV, 136), the categorical imperative "is only one" (GMS, 51). It is, as the "formal practical principle of pure reason", even
"the only possible "," which leads to categorical imperatives, i.e. practical laws (which make action compulsory), and in general is suitable for the principle of morality, both in assessment and application to the human will, in determining it. "(KpV, 155)
Also Proposition IV: "That is the autonomy of the will sole Principle of all moral laws and the duties according to them "(KpV, 144). Finally:" The moral law is the sole determinant of the pure will "(KpV, 237).
c. need
The pair of terms "existence and uniqueness" does not make any statement about application properties. These are described by "necessity and" sufficient "within their limits.
Kant identifies that which "carries the concept of necessity ... with itself" with that which carries the concept "of a knowledge a priori" (GMS, 92). Kant therefore sees necessity given by the fact that something is known a priori. In addition, the following applies: "It is badly necessary, the opposite of which is impossible in itself." (Kant in Eisler 386), and: "All necessity is either logical or real. The former is known rationally, the latter empirically" (Kant in Eisler 388)
Correspondingly, necessity belongs to morality, which can only be recognized a priori (cf. section 1): "Everyone must admit that a law, if it is to apply morally, i.e. as the basis of an obligation, must have absolute necessity with it" ( GMS, 13). That a "practical rule of pure reason" (KpV, 186) or "the law of the pure will, which is free" (KpV 145), "entails necessity ... is therefore a practical law" (KpV 186) 145) brings "practical necessity to submit to [the moral law]" (GMS, 84).
It is therefore necessary for moral behavior that all maxims must satisfy the associated condition in the categorical imperative. Necessity and clarity are closely related, because the categorical imperative is the "only one Condition under which a will can never be in conflict with itself "(GMS, 71), which must be avoided," otherwise these judgments ... are not in themselves "(Kant 1781, A151)
d. Sufficient
The need to "ought" to adhere to the moral law (e.g. GMS, 90), which the imperative term requires by means of coercion, is only permissible if it is the will proven "in all other cases "(KpV, 157) can determine, so it is sufficient.
Pure reason is also to be used for the sake of sufficiency, because "if reason for itself alone determines the behavior (of which we want to investigate the possibility now), it must necessarily do this a priori "(GMS, 59). In any case, as a" mere member of the intellectual world ... all my actions must be completely in accordance with the principle of the autonomy of the pure will [(the moral law)] "(GMS, 90), the categorical imperative there must therefore be sufficient. As human beings, however, we are stuck in the world of the senses, yet the" practical "helps us "" Ability to reason "as far as" just necessary for a pure practical intention "(KpV, 233).
According to Kant there is "one complete Determination of all maxims by that formula "(GMS, 70) and when" the maxim ... is tested by practical reason, I see always according to what it would be like if it were valid as a general law of nature "(KpV, 157). A" from the general in the OBERSETTE (the moral principle) through a subsumption made in the SUBSUMMARY [all] possible actions as good or bad "(KpV, 214) has happened. Because" if one assumes that pure reason makes one practical, i.e. sufficient reason for the determination of the will [nIt] can contain in itself ... practical principles will be mere maxims "(KpV, 125).
The existence of the moral law is sufficient and finally "one overlooks [on the table of the categories of freedom] the whole plan of what one has to achieve each Question of practical philosophy to be answered "(KpV, 186). The categorical imperative is thus" an objective principle from which ... all Laws of will [i.e. all suitable maxims] must be able to be derived. "(GMS, 61). Thus, according to Kant, he provides a procedure which is sufficient because, in addition to the above arguments,"all Obligations regarding the nature of the obligation ... are fully established in their dependence on the one principle "(GMS, 55). One" knows "" in all cases that arise very well informed "(GMS, 31)

2.3. The properties in use

In addition to the more theoretical properties just presented, which the categorical imperative or the moral law have, there is now an assessment in concrete applications. This is broken down into the judgment required for application on the one hand and the postulated ease and speed of application on the other, which are now to be discussed.
a. Judgment
The categorical imperative decides the "practically-objectively possible and impossible", i.e. the "allowed and not allowed". Analogously, the latter decides between "duty and ... non-duty", i.e. something in "such a relation to a law actually lying in reason" (KpV, 116). Now there is a peculiarity here, namely the "holy will, that is, one that would not be capable of any maxim that contradicts the moral law", because "in the most allergenic intelligence, arbitrariness is not capable of any maxim that cannot at the same time be general law , rightly presented "(KpV, 143).
As human beings we have a "pathologically affected ... arbitrariness" (KpV, 143), but also reason, whereby "in the whole faculty of reason only the practical can be that which helps us beyond the world of the senses ... but that is precisely why to be sure, they can only be expanded to the extent that it is precisely necessary for a purely practical purpose "(KpV, 233). This expansion can take place through the categorical imperative, which "determines what is to be done ... very precisely and does not allow it to be missed, ... [as] a formula which does this in respect of all duty in general" (KpV, 113 ). And, if "reason inevitably determines the will, the actions of such a being, which are recognized as objectively necessary ... are good" (GMS, 41).
But, the "moral philosophy" gives the "rational being ... laws a priori, the judgment of course still sharpened by experience requirein order ... to distinguish in which cases they are used "(GMS, 13,14)." Whether an action that is possible for us in sensuality is the case that is subject to the rule or not, that includes practical Power of judgment, whereby what has usually been said generally (in abstracto) is applied to an action in concrete "(KpV, 186).
It is therefore necessary to have judgment in order to be able to decide on a maxim. More precisely: "Only the rationalism of the power of judgment is appropriate to the use of moral concepts, which takes nothing more from sensual nature than what pure reason can think for itself, i.e. the law" (KpV, 190). The former is not a problem to be taken seriously, "because human reason in the moral, even with the most common understanding, can easily be brought to great accuracy and detail" (GMS, 16).
b. ease
The lightness just mentioned goes even further, because "So what I have to do so that my will is morally good, I do not need any far-reaching astuteness. ... [I] just ask ... myself: Can you also want to." that your maxim should become a general law? " (GMS, 30). It is "written in the human soul with the coarsest and most legible script" (Kant in Ebbinghaus, 32).
"To comply with the categorical commandment of morality is in every power at all times", "and as regards these measures, how he can obey this law, these must not be taught, for what he wants in this respect can be taught He also." (KpV, 149)
It can also be expected of the "most common sense" to "obey the pure practical law of reason" (KpV, 216).
"Which form in the maxim is suitable for general legislation and which is not, the commonest understanding can distinguish without instruction" (KpV, 136).
c. speed
The lightness alone is not enough, however, to be able to make a decision in reality; it could take forever to make a decision, even if each step is easy.
The examples carried out by Kant testify to the speed with which the decision is made: "I will see immediately" (GMS, 53) or "soon" (GMS, 52), become "immediately aware" (KpV, 136) or "the maxim ... [ is] determined immediately "(KpV, 157)
"On the other hand, if he asks himself what is duty here, he is not at all embarrassed about the answer he has to give himself, but immediately certain what he has to do" (Kant in Ebbinghaus, 32).
Overall, the moral law is existent and clearly defined, is formulated in the categorical imperative, this is necessarily to be applied and contains a necessary & sufficient, as well as easily and quickly checked condition for the determination of the will.
Similar to my statements, Schnoor reports, referring to Ebert and Moritz (see there), exactly three conditions for the deontic qualification of the maxims: (i) Unsuitability for general law is a necessary and sufficient condition and thus a criterion for the prohibition of the action; (ii) If (i), precisely the maxim that implies failure to act is required; (iii) exempt are those who are suitable together with their opposite (cf. Schnoor, 104-106)
For me the question now arises whether the properties shown have been sufficiently proven or whether there are gaps in the Kantian argumentation. How and whether one can fill this is not intended to clarify this work, but only that it is there and where it is.

(at the beginning)

3. Problems with this test

I consider the Kantian ideas about applicability to be wrong. In particular, the ease and speed are absurd in my eyes. However, I will not provide any evidence of falsehood, but only make it plausible that there is still a lot to show, some of which is probably not provable at all.
My train of thought is now based on the application method presented, as stated by Kant. This begins with the formulation of the test subject maxim, continues with its formalization in order to achieve the generalization and "mere form" (see above) and ends with the search for a contradiction.

3.1. The approach of the test

a. Formulation of maxims
The problems start with the approach of the test: the formulation of the maxim. There is no clear maxim for an action, its formulation depends at least on my level of knowledge, i.e. my selection of aspects of the action that are relevant to evaluation, and my attitude to the action.
Forty years ago, for example, a politician who had to decide on the construction of a nuclear power plant might have formulated the following maxim: "If I want to promote the happiness of others, I can build a nuclear power plant that would otherwise have no consequences."
Today the maxim might look like this: "If I want to promote the happiness of others, I can take the risk that they will all die."
The latter maxim seems to contain a relatively obvious contradiction, the former looking quite harmless. The difference here was based on the empirical, i.e. accidental, state of knowledge according to Kant. I can just as easily attribute this difference to my attitude towards the subject.
I get similar problems when someone orders me to do something or asks me to do something, because then I have nothing in hand to formulate an adequate maxim for the action, apart from assumptions about its (empirical) consequences. My attitude is not related to the actual maxim for action.
In addition, the linguistic semantic form of maxims is unclear, i.e. I don't know how they are structured got to. I could put the maxim something like this: "I have to promote the happiness of others". There is nothing contradicting this maxim, but it says nothing more about the plot. Everything has been lost that is somehow decisive for the assessment of the plot. Yet it is a principle to act, or a subjective principle to it.
Another difficulty in the formulation of maxims is made clear by maxims such as "I buy bread, but I do not sell any", because it cannot be generalized, although it is legitimate for everyone who does not sell bread to buy bread anyway. The problem here is the correct understanding of the sentence operators: "but" here means something like "and", whereupon the maxim is "I buy bread and don't sell any". This "and" is completely dogmatic in the logical sense, in the intuitive sense only meant as a time- and person-dependent statement. It follows from this that the formulation of the maxim must be geared towards the test, using the logical understanding of the operators. However, if the formulation of the maxim is test-oriented, it remains unclear to what extent the manipulation will go.
Similarly, Schnoor also raises the problem of action description relevant to the assessment (Schnoor, 94, 109).
"If I see correctly, the only point of reference is the fact that Kant as a rule wants the categorical imperative to be applied to 'maxims of actions'. But that is at most only the expression of a distant premonition that Kant has of the problem of those that are decisive for evaluation Action description may have had. " (Schnoor, 100)
In order for the formulation of the maxims to be ambiguous, it must be shown that the test of morality is well-defined, i.e. its outcome is independent of the subjective formulation of the maxim and always delivers the same result for this. If this is not the case, morality not only depends on empirical content, but is even contradicting itself.
b. Maximum formalization
The next difficulty is related to the formality required by Kant (see above). It consists in the fact that with my linguistically formulated maxim I have to come to a mere "form" which "first determines what is in itself and absolutely good" (KpV, 194). As shown above, general validity as a law consists in the consistent (i.e. inconsistent) formalization of the maxim.
It is already unclear how the abstraction should take place. In the formalized maxim one can only use abstract (rational) terms, but it is (to me) not clear which belong to it and which do not. In particular, it becomes difficult not to completely lose the subject matter of the maxim, as can happen due to the ambiguity of the semantic form.
Apart from that, this formalization of linguistic expressions, i.e. words, just like the formulation of the maxim, depends on my individual understanding of the meaning of a word. This can possibly be based on feelings, so I don't even know how to formalize it. If the meaning remains, a communist, for example, understands property to be theft, a capitalist to property, i.e. rather the opposite, so that once nothing follows from a maxim about property, once rejection. Kant fails to provide evidence of unambiguous formalization.Here the formalization would have to remove the ambiguity of the maxim formulation, for example a communist and a capitalist would use different words in the maxim for the same action. In this respect, the ambiguity of the formulation and formalization of maxims are closely related, but their precise connection needs to be clarified. Overall, the well-definedness described above must be shown, i.e. that the categorical imperative generally provides this rule which "determines the will a priori with regard to the form of its maxims" (KpV, 141).

3.2. The execution of the test

Problems are also conceivable in the test itself, which Kant does not show that they cannot arise.
So it could be that both the maxim to do the action and its opposite, not to do the action, are contradictory, so a kind of paradox arises. For example, if I had to lie or steal something to save someone's life. Certainly I can only be of the subjective opinion that I have to "steal". But this does not apply if I formulate the maxim differently from the start, namely without any condition: "I always have to save lives." And: "I must never steal", both of which are probably free of contradictions. As a compulsory rule, each "in its essence is not capable of any exception ... because in this it almost contradicts itself" (Kant in Geismann, 39). Interestingly, Kant recognizes the problem, but only allows it for affected maxims: "On the other hand, if a certain purpose is taken as the basis, ... opposing actions can both be conditionally good, only one better than the other" (Kant in Ebbinghaus , 26).
Since Kant considers the condition to be sufficient, he must show that such cases cannot occur in formal maxims. He has the opinion that if a maxim is unsuitable, it will not be accepted, "but the opposite of it should rather remain a general law" (GMS, 55). However, this is only permissible if the sentence of the excluded third party does not curtail the set of maxims that occur. For this it would be necessary to define the concept of maxims precisely and to prove consistency for formulas of predicate logic that are restricted to this definition, as the theory of maxims.

3.3. Purely logical execution difficulties

The strictly logical argumentation to justify my problematization is strange, since this is hardly feasible in real life for decision-making, insofar as Kant's demands for lightness and speed are peculiar from the outset. Nevertheless, I consider this procedure necessary in order to do justice to Kant, who, as I tried to show, has a purely logical claim. In this section, which also serves as a preparation for the fourth section, it will be shown that precisely this claim could be fatal for the concept of morality.
First of all, the outlook for this part of the problematization. When the morality test is not enough and Kant's argument about its uniqueness and necessity for the decision of morality is correct, there is no generally binding concept of morality. Because the concept of morality could not do justice to the claim to the possible attainment of morality that is inherent in it, since it does not suffice for some determinations of will.
The contradiction proof to the decision about morality is purely formal and serves to prove the general validity of the opposite of an accepted maxim. There are two ways of doing such a proof. On the one hand, as a semantic proof of contradiction, it is sufficient to indicate an interpretation under which the formula becomes incorrect. This is also sufficient here to show the general validity of the opposite, since contingency (ie the truth value of the formula depends on the interpretation, sometimes was, sometimes wrong) is excluded by Kant: "a reasonable being [can] himself his ... maxims ... either do not think at the same time as general laws, or it must acceptthat the mere form of the same ... makes them practical laws in themselves "(KpV, 136). On the other hand, there is the syntactic proof of contradiction, which however needs a calculus in order to be able to derive it. It then proves the general validity of the opposite also according to Kant, because "it is badly necessary, the opposite of which is impossible in itself" (Kant in Eisler, 386).
a. Semantic contradiction proof
The semantic contradiction proof is extremely problematic. In the event that I want to prove a maxim as not generally valid, a counterexample is sufficient. But I do not come to a positive statement "to act". The necessary exclusion of contingency can hardly be justified by the uncertainty in the formulation of the maxims (with regard to the imprecise abstraction statement) and formalization, and it only remains postulated. Furthermore, Kant thereby rules out the fact that there are optional actions, i.e., actions that are neither contradicting the maxim nor its opposite.
Apart from that, the fact that I am really only here is enough accept can that the action is moral, in my opinion Kant's own requirements are not, but he uses it in some examples by considering what this statement would mean as a world design: "This is exactly what the maxim I have with regard to free disposition take over my life, immediately determined when I ask myself how it would have to be in order for a nature to be preserved according to a law of the same. " (KpV, 157).
Finding a counterexample, i.e. semantic inconsistency, can hardly be described as quick and easy, reality is far too complicated for that and is heavily dependent on empirical assessments.
b. Syntactic contradiction proofs / derivations
The problems just listed make it necessary to examine the syntactic contradiction proof as well. In addition, Kant consciously uses the syntactic procedure when he speaks of "deriving". However, these two have problems of logic that have only been made clear in this century. In the following I will try to explain this problem briefly by following Hasenjäger's presentation, although not literally, but in terms of content.
If Kant demands syntactic contradictions or derivations, there must be rules that describe a permitted syntactic transformation of the original and all other formulas. In abstract terms, this is a description of how strings in at last many steps other strings become, i.e. a calculus (possibly with axioms). It makes sense to use the language of predicate logic, whereby the first level is sufficient for every calculus term that somehow speaks of a combinatorially producible set (Hasenjäger 142).
One often thinks that with the right terms and axioms, all decisions about problems by proving corresponding theorems would only be a matter of the appropriate selection of the logical rules to be applied. But calculi are only tools for finding sentences that can perhaps even provide exactly all sentences (completeness) (therefore the term sentence is primarily syntactically defined today), but there are problem areas that cannot be adequately covered by calculi (Hasenjäger 138-140 ).
So the question arises whether there is an associated calculus for every given set of predicate logic formulas in the sense that all formulas of the set can be derived from its axioms with the help of the rules. The "derivable" corresponds completely to the "provable", whereby "proof" is understood as a derivation from a calculus (Hasenjäger 140).
A problem area is now given by a set of formulas (formula area) or a language. This is completely under control (decidable) if I can recognize every sentence and every non-sentence, i.e. a Decision-making process about the affiliation of a given formula to the sentences or non-sentences. I can only recognize them when I find evidence for the sentences and also for the non-sentences. Finding proof or being provable means I have to be able to find a calculus in which I get every sentence and one in which I get every non-sentence. Preservation in the calculus means being able to derive through rules or generate combinatorially.
But the set of non-clauses in the predicate calculus is Not so producible (not regular). "The set of sentences of the PK [(predicate calculus)] is ... undecidable" (Hasenjäger 146). However, it is complete, i.e. you have mastered the better half and can theoretically list the sentences.
That would not be so bad for the decidability of the set of all formalized maxims desired by Kant, since they (presumably) only make up a small part of the set of all predicate logic formulas. But already very limited problem areas in the language of predicate logic are undecidable. If one also restricts the interpretations, there can even be incomplete sets of sentences; one can then only look for the strongest possible calculus that provides as much decidability as possible (Hasenjäger 146ff, 149). This problem is even more pronounced in the expansion of language; so the set of sentences in the language of the second order predicate logic is not even complete (Hasenjäger 154, cf. Jeffrey Chap. 7).
To round off the problem, it remains to be stated that in every undecidable problem area there are undecidable statements about every calculus. In particular, there is (so far) no method of finding a calculus for an arbitrary statement in which it can be decided (Hasenjäger 148).
c. Proof of contradiction at all
Kant makes the assertion all possible formalized maxims all reasonable beings can be led to contradiction. This statement requires a proof, especially because of the problems with the syntactic contradiction proof. The problem of the syntactic in the semantic is just as immanent as long as no counter-evidence is given. As already indicated, the possibility of excluding contingency must also be proven for the semantic experiments.
In the Kantian investigation of formalized maxims, four cases are conceivable:
1. The maxim is contradicting itself;
2. Its opposite is contradicting itself;
3. Neither 1st nor 2nd;
4. Both 1st and 2nd;
In the first case the maxim is to be rejected, its opposite is required, in the second case it is the other way around. The third case cannot occur because third parties are excluded, and anyway I can never be sure whether I just haven't found the contradiction yet. The fourth case is actually omitted like the third after the proposition of the excluded third, but that is precisely what must be shown as admissible.
Paradoxes have already been addressed, but not yet purely logically. For example, I make it my maxim to always lie. It must be ruled out that I am already acting while the maxim is being formulated. Because if that were the case, paradoxically, I would never and always lie. This exclusion seems to be clear, but since it is a matter of pure formality, time is irrelevant, i.e. the time exclusion to act "already now" has to be formally safeguarded somehow (e.g. type theory).
d. Proof of contradiction in a reasonable time
The above logical problems are all well and good, but even when they resolve, the practical remains. The mere fact that pages of secondary literature argue that there is a contradiction in examples (Schnoor, Krüger, Köhl) shows the absurdity of Kant's allegation of lightness and speed. The formalization and search for a contradiction is nonsensical when applied in practice, so no one can act. This probably also prompted Kant to write "On the Typics of Pure Practical Judgment" (KpV, 186ff). According to this, the person willing to act, "without having something at hand, which he could do for example in the case of experience, cannot make the law of pure practical reason useful" (KpV, 189). Nevertheless, even in the type, there is only a contradiction when it has been proven logically correct, which brings us back to the formality.
Overall, I was concerned with problematizing the assertion of a "holy will, i.e. one that would not be capable of any maxim that contradicts moral law" and that is "rightly presented" (KpV, 143). If the set of formalized maxims should be complete, that is, all moral actions can be derived precisely, then this will would only be theoretically possible, but the former must be proven. In addition, the idea of ​​pure reason is a questionable, infallible means of decision-making: "If we had no power of knowledge other than reason: we would never be wrong." (Kant in Scheffer, 12 = Logic Einl., 53).
In summary, the following evidence is missing:
1. the well-defined nature of the test;
2. the decidability of the set of (formalized) maxims (the theory of maxims);
3. the exclusion of paradoxes;
The proof of decidability must contain definitions of the formal language of morality and of maxims, which in turn are just as problematic as the proofs themselves.

(at the beginning)

4. Problem-causing gaps in Kant's argument

In connection with this problematization of the application of the categorical imperative, I would like to point out the causes of these problems and problematize Kant's argumentation.
The proofs and exact definitions that I have described as missing go back, on the one hand, to misunderstandings that Kant had of logic, reason and nature. These are historically based and should therefore be described as gaps rather than errors. I see the main gap here in the understanding of logic, from which the problematic understanding of reason and nature follow. On the other hand, in my opinion, there are real gaps in the chains of evidence both in the examples and in the text itself, some of which even seem contradictory.

4.1. Understanding gaps

a. Kant's understanding of logic
As already said, the use of reason means logical thinking for Kant, because logic is "a science of the necessary laws of thinking, without which there is no use of the understanding and of reason, which are consequently the conditions under which the understanding is only can and should agree with oneself "(Kant in Eisler 333, cf. Kant 1781, A52,53). It contains" not subjective laws how one thinks, but objective ones: how one should think "(Kant in Eisler 334).
At the stage of development of logic, Kant tends to think linearly, in that he deduces from the previous to the future in linear development:
"That logic has already followed this safe course [" of a science "(ibid. B VII)] from the earliest times can be seen from the fact that it has not been allowed to take a step backwards since Aristotle that even up to now it has not been able to take a step forward, and therefore appears to be closed and completed in all respects "(Kant 1781, B VIII). Logic "did not gain much in content from the time of Aristotle, and by its nature it cannot do that either" (Kant in Eisler 334).
From today's point of view, this view is simply wrong, because Gödel's proposition (for the first time) makes a statement about the limits of logic and represents a step backwards for euphoric universal belief in logic, as Kant himself seems to have by his Overestimated skills due to his linear thinking.
He is of the opinion that in a theory that is "incomplete due to a" lack of premises ... "" one abstracts new rules and makes his theory complete can and should. It was then not because of the theory if it was still of little use in practice, but because there was not enough theory "(Kant in Ebbinghaus, 18). This is already wrong with logic, of which Kant wrongly thinks:
"The general logic now solves that whole formal business of the mind and reason into its elements and presents them as principles all logical assessment of our knowledge. This part of logic can therefore be called analytics and is for that very reason the, at least negative, touchstone of the truth"(Kant 1781, A60). The" limit of logic, however, is precisely determined by the fact that it is a science (B IX) which is nothing but the formal rules everything Thought ... explains in detail and rigorously proves "(Kant 1781, B VIII, IX)," but logic cannot go any further, and the error, which does not concern the form but the content, cannot be discovered by a touchstone . "(Kant 1781, A60).
The limits are already within the formality and from this misjudgment of logic Kant concludes his derivation hypothesis that "everything can be derived from one principle" (KpV, 215), which is a (syntactic) "understanding conclusion" (Kant 1781, A 303 ) is. In his argument on this, his linear thinking shows again, because one has "rightly the expectationto perhaps one day bring [to] the realization of the unity of the whole pure faculty of reason "(KpV, 214).
Kant's approach that "practical, pure reason must necessarily begin with principles" is what he sees in all sciences as such principles must "be the basis of all science as the first data" (KpV, 215). Now he is of the opinion "that reason in inference seeks to reduce the great variety of knowledge of the understanding to the smallest number of principles (general conditions) and thereby to bring about the highest unity of these" (Kant 1781, A 305). This is exactly the "Hilbert program" for reason: being able to find everything from axioms and rules of derivation. This is wrong for logic and, if there is enough complexity in knowledge, it is also wrong for reason, because this is "viewed as the ability of a certain logical form of knowledge ... the ability to infer" (Kant 1781, A330 ).
This formalistic program, "to grasp the idea of ​​the whole correctly, and from it all those parts in their mutual relation to one another, by means of the derivation of the same from the concept of that whole, to grasp in a pure faculty of reason" (KpV, 115) , applies to every "determination of a special faculty of human content" (KpV, 114).
This is to be done in particular with practical reason, whose concept of the whole is an "objective principle from which, as a practical reason, all laws of the will must be able to be derived" (GMS, 61). And "this idea [of the moral law lies] really our determinations of will, as it were, as a preliminary drawing for the model" (KpV, 157). The moral law is thus an axiomatic requirement for a theory of correct action, which can allegedly be deductively developed from it. This can be impossible if the set of sentences of this theory is not complete, and (in full generality) it can be inapplicable if the set of non-sentences is not complete, since then there are sentences of which (syntactically and semantically) it is undecidable whether or not they are are true or false in theory.
b. Kant's understanding of reason
The not shown and in my opinion overestimated ability of reason to adequately determine will simply by logic leads to belief in the possibility of the "wonderful ideal of a general realm of purposes" (GMS, 101). Kant sees this as "only possible according to the analogy with a realm of nature" (GMS, 72) and the question of its possibility belongs more to Kant's understanding of nature.
The "intelligible world", which I would like to talk about briefly, is closely related to the "realm of purposes". As already mentioned above, only reason prevails in it and there is never a mistake, in it it is true that practical reason, i.e. also a person, can only "think into it", but not "look into it, feel into it" (GMS, 95). The "holy will" (KpV, 143), which satisfies this purely reasonable claim, is, according to Kant, not capable of any conflict of maxims. As already said (3.3d), it is precisely this that must first be proven to be possible. The question now arises whether the practical faculty of reason actually helps us beyond sensuality "as is precisely necessary for the pure practical intention" (KpV, 233).
But Kant does not allow any other approach to morality than the purely logically rational one, because: "Only the rationalism of judgment is appropriate to the use of moral concepts" (KpV, 190). But when a sane being sometimes admitted to his "inclinations and drives ... influence on his maxims", I mean that he did so Not "to the detriment of the laws of reason" (GMS, 95), but rather because these laws of reason often do not give an answer in reality in a logically regulated calculation of pure concepts of reason.
c. Kant's understanding of nature
Statements that Kant makes about nature are basically statements about the world of reason (not about rational beings). Because, the "order and regularity" of the phenomena, which we call "nature", we bring into them ourselves. The mind is the "source of the laws of nature". The "mind does not draw its laws (a priori) from nature, but rather prescribes them" (Kant in Eisler, 197, 198)
For Kant, nature is completely determined: “Everything in nature works according to laws” (GMS, 41), the general “connection of the existence of things according to general laws” is “the formal aspect of nature in general” (GMS, 71). There is "causality according to the law of natural necessity" (KpV, 220; cf. GMS, 92, KpV, 222, 231). Accordingly, Kant has the view that everything can also be rationally explained and wants to apply this to morality in accordance with the above:
"The fall of the stone, the movement of a slingshot, dissolved into its elements and expressing forces, and worked out mathematically, finally brought forth that clear and for all future unchangeable insight into the structure of the world which, with continued observation, can hope for itself to always only expand, but never have to go back. To follow this path in the treatment of the moral dispositions of our nature as well, that example can be advisable to us, and give us hope for similarly good success "(KpV 301).
But: First, chaos theory and modern logic teach us better, because despite strictly deterministic laws, things can be unpredictable. Secondly, one had to go backwards with the "insight into the world structure", because e.g. Newton's laws only apply in our size range, become wrong in the macro- and microcosm.
I can only touch on another aspect of Kant's understanding of nature, namely the view of sensuality as trapped in natural necessity, as "consistently conditioned" (KpV, 231). The idea that the unconditional ("freedom") exists only in reason is not only unproven, but also false. For in feelings I am just as free from the necessity of nature, but far removed from what Kant understands by reason. If there is unconditionality elsewhere, it is not correct to infer from the necessary unconditionality of the moral law that it must exist in reason.

4.2. Gaps in argumentation

There are various comments on the Kantian argumentation in the examples (e.g. Kaulbach, Schnoor), whereby Schnoor claims that Kant fails to apply the categorical imperative in seven of the eleven examples examined there (Schnoor, 192).
I am not going to claim that Kant works incorrectly, but only, using a few examples, that he is not precise enough.
This inaccuracy is shown in the example already considered on the contradiction of maxims (2.1d.i). There Kant concludes the contradiction between self-love as, on the one hand, life-promoting and, on the other, life-ending, without showing that self-love contains the predicate life-promoting and without bringing the contradiction to an end. It is still necessary to take the step that life-promoting includes the predicate "not life-ending". This inaccuracy of not bringing contradiction proofs to the end and asserting predicates in terms without justifying this can also be found in the example "lying" (GMS, 29) or "deposit" (KpV, 136).
In the same sense, the example of "promoting talents" is striking, only that in my opinion particularly extreme prior knowledge or intuitions are invested in terms that destroy the independence of empirical content and influences. Here Kant asserts: "As a rational being he necessarily wants all faculties to be developed in him, because they are useful and given to him for all kinds of possible purposes" (GMS, 53). First of all, it is completely unproven here that one necessarily wants all faculties to be developed in oneself. Then the term talent is so imprecise that nothing follows from it. What should a talent of mine be and what does promoting mean? Kant leaves it open. One cannot act according to this law because one does not know and cannot know what it means. The terms formulated therein have their intuitive meaning unfolded in feelings, which Kant wants to exclude.
A similar requirement applies to the example of promoting other happiness. In it Kant argues that someone "would rob himself of all hope of the assistance he desires" (GMS, 54). The postulate that everyone has hope of assistance is not proven. Someone who shows insight because of it him so it goes, is convinced, but it would not "force everyone to be truthful" (KpV, 157), because the argumentation is not carried out logically correctly.
At another place (KpV, 157) Kant even argues: "Apparently" "there would be no permanent natural order". This is not proven, only justified and well hoped that everyone's intuition or imagination suffices for insight.
Another chapter of the problematic argument is formed by the examples in which the end-means formula "(see GMS, 61) is used (GMS, 61-63), which, in my opinion, well-informed Kant does not in the critique of practical reason Here the terms means and end are introduced, which in turn need precise definitions in order to have any meaning at all in a logically formal argumentation. The lack of rigor in the evidence on this is evident.
In addition to these gaps in the arguments in the examples, there are those that lie in the argument for the moral law and its capabilities themselves.
Kant's postulate of the existence of the moral law has gaps according to 3.3, of which he could not become aware, since they were only adequately formulated in this century. Yet there are some loopholes for clarity, necessity, and especially sufficiency, which he was able to notice.
As already quoted, there is "nothing left for moral investigation but the mere form of general legislation" (KpV, 136). At the same time, laws must "adequately determine the will as will, ... and therefore be categorical, otherwise they are not laws" (KpV, 126). Kant argues for the categorical imperative:
"The will is in the midst between its principle a priori, which is formal, and between its mainspring a posteriori, which is material, at the crossroads, as it were, and, since it is something through which must be determined, so it will have to be determined by the formal principle of will in general "(GMS, 26), because" ... but free will, as independent of empirical conditions, nonetheless must be determinable: so a free will, regardless of the matter of the law, must nevertheless find a determining factor in the law. ... So the legislative form, insofar as it is contained in the maxim, is the only thing that can constitute a determinant of the will "(KpV, 138).
There is a gap here, because from the necessity of a determining reason for the will it does not follow that it must lie in reason or must be formal. It is also conceivable that the determining reason is in some cases intuitive. The idea of ​​the world of reason plays a role here, where the mere form always provides determining factors (cf. GMS, 27).
In addition, the moral law is one "according to which the will ... can be determined should "(KpV, 186). This is based on the assumption that" the true determination of the same [, i.e. of reason as a practical ability [must] be to produce a ... inherently good will "(GMS, 21,22). Kant concludes the latter from the fact that we" [take] as a principle that there is no tool for any one purpose in the same [, ie in a "being appropriately arranged for life"] to be found as what is most appropriate and most appropriate to him "(GMS, 20).
Kant apparently overlooks the fact that all the arguments listed here are at most sufficient for the necessity of the formality of the categorical imperative, but by no means for the same to determine all formalized maxims. Firstly, "somehow determinable" does not mean arbitrarily determinable. Second, as shown, formality does not automatically imply decidability, and the mere "determination" of a faculty to influence the will says nothing about its sufficiency in all cases; it is to be proven.
In my opinion, Kant could have recognized this. But he obscures the view by saying that "in subsuming an action that is possible for me in the sense world under a pure practical law, it is not about the possibility of the act as an event in the sense world". As a result, according to Kant, "pure practical judgment" (KpV, 187) is still possible and the contradiction between the law, which is "independent of everything empirical", and "possible actions" for which "all occurring cases ... but only empirically ... can be "(KpV, 186,187) dissolved.
It becomes clear that Kant does not allow any problem to arise in the rational determination of the will. He does not even ask about it, but only sees the law on the one hand and the world of the senses on the other; the application of the law in he skips reason. If one has seen the demarcation between the intelligible and the empirical world, the only problems are: to find the law itself and to secure its influence on the will: "Only the determination of the will and the determining reason of the maxim ... is important here, not on success [in carrying out the action] "(KpV, 159). The "Critique ... investigates whether and how pure reason can be practical, i.e. directly determining the will" (KpV, 160). For Kant, the "practical use of reason" only means "conviction of the validity of this imperative, and therefore also of the moral law" (GMS, 99).
Thus, for Kant, knowledge and recognition of the law is sufficient for moral action, the rest will probably follow by itself, which Kant's "ease" and "speed" hypotheses then also reflect.

(at the beginning)

Nice that you have held out until this point and now briefly review the results.
The most important starting point for all criticism is certainly to be found in the knowledge of the logic of the test. It is extremely strange to look at the moral judgment of an action like scientific knowledge and to raise it to a purely formal level that no longer has much in common with reality. The individuality of worldviews and language images actually makes this approach fail immediately. But this is not proof, and so I switched to the formal course and found problems in it, which make Kant's approach in its full general validity very questionable there as well.
Finally, there are those loopholes in Kant's understanding that make his self-imposed formality problematic. In my opinion, this misdirects his understanding of reason and nature. I find it remarkable that in examining the examples he basically contradicts himself. His claim expressed in the text is not achieved in the examples.
For me and hopefully the reader it has become questionable whether the Critique of Practical Reason does justice to its intention and criticizes its "entire practical ability" (KpV 107), "the entire scope of all conditions of its use" (KpV 214). I do not think that I encounter the practical use of the "theory, ... on the mandatory term" (Kant in Ebbinghaus, 20) through "arrogance of wisdom, with mole eyes" when I criticize it.
Finally, I agree (in the non-formal-semantic sense) with Feldman, who writes:
"My own view is that there is simply no syntactic criterion of morality. .... So you just can't tell a moral ought by its shape. You have to figure out what it means." (Feldman, 120)
(at the beginning)

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(at the beginning)