Kant's Categorical Imperative

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Introduction: Kant’s Categorical Imperative and the Emptiness Charge in Kant’s Moral Philosophy
Immanuel Kant’s moral philosophy is mostly remembered for its central thesis, the Categorical Imperative (CI). According to Kant, rational beings experience the moral law as a Categorical Imperative. The Categorical Imperative commands universally and unconditionally, from which all duties are derived. Kant articulates the Categorical Imperative through several formulations. The most prominent formulations of the Categorical Imperative are known as the Formula of Universal Law (CI1), the Humanity Formulation (CI2) and the Kingdom of Ends Formulation (CI3). The general thought of CI1 is to demand that one act only on the basis of maxims that one can will as universal laws. CI2 commands respect for rational agents as ends in themselves. CI3 follows from the first two is, act according to maxims of a universally legislating member of a merely possible kingdom of ends. The Categorical Imperative is considered a strong principle in formal philosophy. As a formal principle, the Kantian moral law provides the necessary path to moral action.
However, all of the debates on emptiness emerge, around these questions of how the Categorical Imperative could reach the moral conduct, whether one can will a candidate maxim as a universal law without this generating a contra¬diction through CI1, or how moral law commands respect for rational agents as ends in themselves through CI2.
There have

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