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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 46 pages of information about The Metaphysical Elements of Ethics.

Here, therefore, we treat not of ends which man actually makes to himself in accordance with the sensible impulses of his nature, but of objects of the free elective will under its own laws- objects which he ought to make his end.  We may call the former technical (subjective), properly pragmatical, including the rules of prudence in the choice of its ends; but the latter we must call the moral (objective) doctrine of ends.  This distinction is, however, superfluous here, since moral philosophy already by its very notion is clearly separated from the doctrine of physical nature (in the present instance, anthropology).  The latter resting on empirical principles, whereas the moral doctrine of ends which treats of duties rests on principles given a priori in pure practical reason.

{Introduction ^paragraph 35}

IV.  What are the Ends which are also Duties?

They are:  A. Our own perfection, B. Happiness of others.

We cannot invert these and make on one side our own happiness, and on the other the perfection of others, ends which should be in themselves duties for the same person.

{Introduction ^paragraph 40}

For one’s own happiness is, no doubt, an end that all men have (by virtue of the impulse of their nature), but this end cannot without contradiction be regarded as a duty.  What a man of himself inevitably wills does not come under the notion of duty, for this is a constraint to an end reluctantly adopted.  It is, therefore, a contradiction to say that a man is in duty bound to advance his own happiness with all his power.

It is likewise a contradiction to make the perfection of another my end, and to regard myself as in duty bound to promote it.  For it is just in this that the perfection of another man as a person consists, namely, that he is able of himself to set before him his own end according to his own notions of duty; and it is a contradiction to require (to make it a duty for me) that I should do something which no other but himself can do.

V. Explanation of these two Notions

{Introduction ^paragraph 45}

A. Our own perfection

The word perfection is liable to many misconceptions.  It is sometimes understood as a notion belonging to transcendental philosophy; viz., the notion of the totality of the manifold which taken together constitutes a thing; sometimes, again, it is understood as belonging to teleology, so that it signifies the correspondence of the properties of a thing to an end.  Perfection in the former sense might be called quantitative (material), in the latter qualitative (formal) perfection.  The former can be one only, for the whole of what belongs to the one thing is one.  But of the latter there may be several in one thing; and it is of the latter property that we here treat.

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