This book is fourth in a series of philosophy study guides devoted to helping students understand some of the great works in ethics, social and political philosophy.
It has been said that Kant's Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals "is the single most important work in modern moral philosophy" (Henry Allison).
It is also one of the most difficult books to
comprehend, especially for beginning philosophy students.
Understanding Immanuel Kant makes Kant accessible to students while at
the same time showing why his writings have had such a powerful
influence on philosophical ethics.
Professor Houlgate's book is not a scholarly monograph on Kant, nor is it a bare-bones outline of Kant's writings. Instead, the book gives the reader an interpretation of Kant in ordinary language, explaining the technical words Kant uses ("analytic," "synthetic," "categorical imperative," "autonomy of the will") and using examples of moral problems drawn from everyday life.
The book also shows how Kantian ethics differs from the theories of the
other great philosophers represented in the series (Plato, Locke, Hobbes, Hume and
Each chapter concludes with questions for thought and discussion and within these questions students will find many topics that can be pursued in term papers.
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