Kant’s argument for the claim that we are bound by the categorical imperative, philosophy homework help

Prompt: In Groundwork section III, which is attached, Kant claims to provide a deduction of the categorical imperative. In 500 words or less, explain Kant’s argument for the claim that we are bound by the categorical imperative.

There’s an
introductory paragraph and a wordy outline for the essay. Just fill in the
details some more, cite, and format.

In Groundwork, Section III, Kant claims to provide a deduction of the categorical imperative. The deduction has two main steps: 1.) showing that we must assume we are free, even though we cannot prove this and 2.) showing that “pure practical reason” requires that we make our reasons for acting universal, the first formulation of the categorical imperative.

  1. Freedom: In order to think of ourselves as moral agents—as responsible for our actions—we must assume we are free. However, we cannot prove this through any observation using the sense, and neither can we prove it using pure reason alone, that is, metaphysically. This is because we cannot know what things are “in themselves”—including our own selves, which means we can’t know we’re “really” free. If we’re free then we exercise choice, which means we use reason.
  2. Pure Practical Reason and the Categorical Imperative: When we apply pure reason—reason that does not employ the senses—to the question of how we should act, that is, morality, we exercise “pure practical reason.” Since pure practical reason is reason, it is regulated by principles of universality and necessity: by what must be the case (necessity) for all moral agents (universality). But this requires that we abstract from all subjective considerations, which means considerations of happiness. What is left is the requirement that what is necessary applies to all moral agents. In other words, what is required is that our reason for acting—our maxim—be capable of being made into a universal law of nature that applies to all moral agents (the categorical imperative). If it can’t—if it is self defeating (e.g., lying: if I made my reason for lying universal, then everyone would do it as well and everyone would expect lies, so my lie would be self-defeating)

I don’t want to use any other sources beside the ONLY ONE Attached.

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