Kant's Ethics

Philosophy in 5 minutes

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) is one of the greatest philosophers of modern times. His philosophical interests went in many directions. He asked questions like, are space and time real and independent of human cognition, or are they just creations of our minds? He examined the concept of beauty and tried to make sense of what we find beautiful. But more important than these, at least in a practical sense, were Kant’s thoughts on ethics: the question of how we ought to behave.

There’s a lot that one could write about Kant’s ethics, but if we want to summarise it in five minutes, it boils down to one principle: We ought always to act so that our actions make sense, or, in words closer to Kant’s: so that we act according to rational principles. Now, what are these principles?

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