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  • Print publication year: 2005
  • Online publication date: July 2009

4 - Notes on Moral Philosophy


This chapter presents a selection of Kant's notes on moral philosophy. The material is drawn primarily from the Reflexionen zur Moralphilosophie, pp. 7–317 of volume 19 of the Akademie edition, which was published in 1934 and completed by Friedrich Berger after the death of Erich Adickes in 1928. These Reflexionen are for the most part Kant's notes in his copy of the textbook for his lectures on ethics, namely Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten, Initia philosophiae practicae primae (Introduction to the first [principles] of practical philosophy) (Halle: C. H. Hemmerde, 1760) (abbreviated “Pr”), although, as with the material on metaphysics, the volume also includes loose notes (Lose Blätter) from other sources. Also as in the case of metaphysics, the material is divided into chronological strata, each of which first presents the Lose Blätter assigned to that period and then the notes to Baumgarten in the order in which they are found in the book. The material from Volume 19 is, however, preceded by several selections from volume 15 (Anthropology), volume 16 (Logic), and volumes 17 and 18 (Metaphysics), which bear directly on Kant's moral philosophy. As noted earlier, notes on freedom from volumes 17 and 18, which bear on Kant's moral philosophy as well as his metaphysics, have been left in their original places and translated in Chapter 3. Volume 19 also includes extensive notes on Kant's political philosophy (pp. 445–613).