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Critique of Practical Reason

Doctrine of Method–Conclusion

Summary Doctrine of Method–Conclusion

Although the moral world (as well as the starry heavens) continues to make people stand in awe today just as it did in Kant's day, Kant's hopes for a scientific morality do not appear to have been fulfilled. There are some people, mostly in academia, who accept Kant's ethical system, and many more who accept some parts of it. But there has not been any firm consensus in favor of his system, nor in favor of any competing ethical system. There have been shifts in moral attitudes over the two hundred or so years since Kant's death in 1804, for example, most people today consider it suitable for women to manage their own lives, whereas most people in 1804 considered it suitable for women's lives to be managed by a father, brother, or husband. However, despite the shifts in what the average person believes about ethics, there is still at least an equal variety of disagreement around this average. Nor have the shifts in ethical views come about by anything like the scientific method, much less the sort of a priori method of geometry Kant uses in the Analytic of the second Critique. If scientific resolution of our ethical debates is fated, it must be still to come.

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