According to Kant, reason has the supreme place in his man constitution. It is reason which builds the conception of the world out of the materials supplied through senses and it is reason which supplies us with the moral which is absolutely binding on us and should be the regular or of our moral conduct.
The moral law which initiated by reason as to use the Kant’s expression, a categorical imperative, it is an imperative, a command as opposed to an assertion of facts. Further the command limited in the conception of the moral law is not hypothetical. It is subject to no qualification. It is to be obeyed not because it helps us to attain some end, but because it is an absolute and unconditional command.
This is what is meant by the moral law is categorical imperative. As such is it independent of desire. There may not be a desire to fulfil the law, obedience to the moral law may be the most painful alternatives still the moral law is recognised to have binding alternatives still the moral law is recognise to have a binding force upon our will. For we cannot know the right without knowing that it is absolutely or unconditionally obligatory.
The moral law, which is an absolute imperative of duty, has no reference to any external end, such as wealth, health, pleasure, knowledge, but simply to the right direction of the will itself, and this is an internal end, and not an external one.
Every internal can give rise only to a hypothetical imperative of the form. If we seek that end, we are bound to act in a particular way with a view to its attainment. But moral law as said above is a ‘categorical imperative’ demanding unconditional obedience; it is the guide of the will itself.
The good will is that which acts out of a pure regard to the moral law, and not from intimation. The moral issues the most general and abstract command on the will and the content of the categorical imperative. As act only on the maxim which though, cannot at the same time will become a universal law act so that your line of action may become a law universal.
Thus according to Kant, actions are right only when they are done for the sake of duty only is fares they are performed for the sake of the their rightness. Duty for duty sake is the true of life. Duty should be performed whatever may happen truth should be spoken without regard to consequence, and justice should be done even if the world destroyed. The stadium of moral life cannot be erected on the foundation of shaw and mud. As human knowledge needs a solid foundation, his moral life must stand on the solid foundation of reason alone.
The command of the reason is supreme. It is an imperative. In the words of Kant, ‘Morality is to be founded on rationality takes the following form. Morality makes sense only when men are free, freedom is just the ability to act from reason, thus morality will make sense only if it is grounded on morality.
(i) Kant gives much emphasis on reason. He over looks the psychological truth that mind is an organic unity. Feelings and desires are not objects foreign to the rational self, they have meaning only in relation to it. They are but modification of the j mind. In fact, there can be no desire without thought or reason nor can there be voluntary in a thinking is rational self without desire. As Prof. Muirhead observes ‘Even search for truth, reason is determined by interest i.e., by feelings and desire. The national life, in such a case, consists, no in acting independently of desire this is impossible but in subordinating the lower or more particular desires e.g., the disease to a mass wealth for oneself and family to the higher ones more universal (e.g. to the discovery of truth and the benefit of the specis)
(ii) Kant errors in holding that sensible is necessarily irrational and that morality consists in totality sacrificing the sensible self and dealing a life guided by pure reason. He forgets that virtue is the harmony of nationality and sensibility. He fails to see that conformity to moral law or duty is but one aspect of 1 the highest good, the other aspect being the Arans figuration the enactation are refinement, under national control of that sensibility in which lie the spring of action. Regulation and extirpation of sensibility is the true end of life.
Indeed Kant over looks the fact that moral conduct is impossible without desire and impulses, for these supply the materials for volition. Is it possible for a man to act morally apart from the desire and interest he actually possesses. Moral conduct consists in the ordering of the desires according to some law or principle and not in getting rid of them altogether.
(iii) Kant’s theory is really of an ascertic in character for it desire games sensibility and demands the suppression of it. It commands us to extinguish all our affection and desire – all our proper and inclinations. It thus not only asks us to kill a part of our essential nature, which is impossible, but also makes its moral ideal underalisable in the work. In fact, no natural inclination has to be expunged. Each has its appointed place in the economy of life. No part of our nature is absolutely bad it becomes had when it transcends its legitimate sphere.
(iv) Kant’s view is rigoristic in character. It is very stringent. It is stringent because one has to sacrifice his feelings, emotions etc. in order to perform his duties. His moral principle is like a razors’ edge on which one has to walk if he wants to be moral. Accordingly to Kant, morality has nothing to do with feeling or emotion. It should not arise out of sympathy or benevolence.