Translated by Mary Gregor, Jens Timmermann, University of St Andrews, Scotland. Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Online publication date: June Immanuel Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals ranks alongside Plato’s This edition presents the acclaimed translation of the text by Mary Gregor. Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, in: Mary Gregor, ed: Texts in the Kant, Practical Philosophy, in: Mary Gregor, ed: The Cambridge Edition of the.

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Take a comparatively short and simple example; Kant writes:. Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, in Focus. Timmermann himself has authored one that purports to explain Kant’s arguments in the Moarls paragraph by paragraph Cambridge University Press, Readers wanting help in understanding Kant’s arguments should consult commentaries, of which there are currently quite a few.

Allen Wood and this reviewer take Kant’s statement in the Groundwork as decisive and render ” zur ” as “for” rather than “of”: Transition from common rational to philosophic moral cognition.

Mrtaphysics comprises netaphysics parts: As a former refugee from another ReichI enjoyed his ironic remark, “There is little temptation to leave the word untranslated. Evidently noticing that in this context “immoral” would be linguistically correct but philosophically mistaken, Paton and Hill and Zweig, among others chose “non-moral” for unsittlich ; Beck has “unmoral.

Immanuel Kant – – Cambridge University Press. While it seems a trivial linguistic issue, illustrative of how picky translators can be, the choice implies something about the structure of Kant’s theory. But reading Kant, whether in English or German, can be frustratingly difficult.

Kant: Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals – Immanuel Kant – Google Books

At the age of 74, most philosophers who are still active are engaged in consolidating and defending views they have already worked out. Between andKant published treatises on a number of scientific and philosophical subjects, including one in which he originated the nebular hypothesis of the origin of the solar system. In Kant’s own words its aim is to search for and establish the supreme principle of morality, the categorical imperative.

Nor are the difficulties in reading this English Groundwork limited to Kant’s vocabulary. Mary Gregor’s translation, revised for publication in the Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy series, is the only complete translation of the whole text, and includes extensive annotation on Kant’s difficult and sometimes unfamiliar vocabulary.


Mary J. Gregor (ed.), Kant: The Metaphysics of Morals – PhilPapers

For Anglophone readers, there are also currently a half dozen more than adequate English translations easily obtainable, and some of these are easier to read than this one — easier both in darkness of the print my copy looks very pale except for the bold page numbers in the Editorial Notes and in rendering Kantian sentences into English-sounding prose. There is of course a certain pleasure in deciphering Kant’s lengthy sentences, looking for the referent of his pronouns, and puzzling over the sequence of his clauses — a pleasure that helps to motivate Kant translators!

In this rigorous translation even dummy words like ” aber ” and ” doch ” are not neglected. However, let it not be thought that what is here called for already exists in the guise of the propaedeutic of the famous Wolff for his moral philosophy, namely that which he called Universal Practical Philosophy, and that we do not therefore have to open up an entirely new field.

The early reviews were hostile and uncomprehending, and Kant’s attempt to make his theories more accessible in his Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics was largely unsuccessful.

Kant: The Metaphysics of Morals

Cambridge University Press See my remarks on ” unsittlich ,” below. Lambert and Moses Mendelssohn, but a professorship eluded Kant until he was over Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals: Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals Limited preview – But word for word and clause for clause translation is no favor to the struggling reader who seeks to grasp the arguments buried in those sentences.

The title of the book is one. One might be equally pedantic about another word in the German title: Through his family pastor, Immanuel Kant received the opportunity to study at the newly founded Collegium Fredericianum, proceeding to the University of Konigsberg, where he was introduced to Wolffian philosophy and modern natural science by the philosopher Martin Knutzen.

In Kant finally published his great work, the Critique of Pure Reason. I am probably biased therefore in disagreeing with Timmermann when he asserts that all translations “inevitably obscure the author’s arguments. For students fluent in German but not in Kant’s German, Timmermann’s editorial Notes on the translation pp.


The index is very thorough, so if for example one wanted to see what Kant means by “inclinations” and where exactly he claimed that a rational being would wish not to have any inclinations at all, one could find it in this index under Neigung inclination.

Timmermann has taken Mary Gregor’s English translation and revised it here and there, but on the whole it is her version that is presented.

In everyday German the word can certainly mean “immoral,” but that is not how Kant uses it here, where he is contrasting actions that happen to conform to the moral law coincidently, one might say from actions done just because of such conformity.

Beckand “Grounding” J.


The German text is, in its spelling and punctuation, close to Kant’s original, a decision that gives mstaphysics of Kant’s words a charmingly archaic appearance; e. The definition of “inclination” at 4: The greatest of all modern philosophers was born in the Baltic seaport of Konigsberg, East Prussia, the son of a saddler and never left the vicinity of his remote birthplace.

Words such as “propaedeutic,” “assertorical,” and “appetition” are not part of the working vocabulary even of fairly literate English speakers. Pagination of the standard Prussian Academy of Sciences edition of is helpfully given in the left hand margins of the German pages.

From the early s onward, Kant was regarded by the coming generation of philosophers as having overthrown all previous systems and as having opened up a whole new philosophical vista. Cambridge University PressApr 23, – Philosophy – 76 pages.

But having the German and English texts facing each other, the way the famous Loeb edition of Greek and Roman classics does, is a great convenience. How should we translate ” Grundlegung ” and ” zur ” in the title Grundlegung zur Metaphysic der Sitten? My library Help Advanced Book Search. I suspect a lot of people would be thrown by “desiderative. The distinction Kant is concerned with is that of actions done “out of duty” and actions that may be consistent with morality but are not motivated by it.