The Categorical Imperative: Analyzing Immanuel Kant's Grounding for a Metaphysics of Morals

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In this article I first argue that Immanuel Kant’s conception of the categorical imperative is important to his philosophy. I systematically, though indirectly, interconnect the cognitive and moral aspects of his thinking. Second, I present an interpretation of the Kantian ethics, taking as my point of departure, the concept of the categorical imperative. Finally, I show how the categorical imperative is given a dialogical interpretation by Jürgen Habermas in his approach, usually referred to as discourse ethics. I argue that the dialogical approach taken by discourse ethics is more justifiable and therefore more useful.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationKøbenhavn
PublisherDepartment of Management, Politics and Philosophy, CBS
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)8791181062
Publication statusPublished - 2002
SeriesMPP Working Paper


  • Categorical imperative
  • Discourse ethics
  • Duty
  • Ethics
  • Monologic
  • Dialogic
  • Immanuel Kant
  • Jürgen Habermas
  • Self-legislation
  • Self-reference

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