Reading Analysis #1

Due: February 14

Length: no more that 5 double-spaced pages (or equivalent).

Submission: Paper to AH410 or email me at

Instructions: Select a passage from the Groundwork and provide both an exegesis and some critical reflections on it (i.e., support or challenge the main idea[s] that you find in it).

Suggested Passages

  1. The argument for the absolute worth of the will (reason vs instinct as a guide for the will): pp. 50-52 (4:395-4:397).

  2. The analysis of the concept of duty (i.e., which actions have "moral worth": pp. 52-54 (4:397-4:399).

  3. The analytic derivation of the Categorical Imperative: pp. 55-58 (4:400-4:404).

  4. The basic principle of morality cannot be derived from examples; it must rest on "pure reason independently of all experience": pp. 61-65 (4:407-4:412).

  5. The distinction between hypothetical and categorical imperatives: pp. 67-73 (4:414-4:422).

  6. Any ONE of Kant's four applications of the Categorical Imperative: pp. 73-76 (4:422-4:425).