Immanuel Kant - German philosopher of the XVIII century, whose work revolutionized the then existing theory of knowledge and law, ethics and aesthetics, as well as in the perception of the person.The central concept of his philosophical ethical theory - the categorical imperative.
It is disclosed in his fundamental philosophical work "Critique of Practical Reason."Kant criticizes the morality that is based on utilitarian interests and the laws of nature, the pursuit of personal well-being and pleasure, instincts and different feelings.Such morality he considered false, because the person who perfectly mastered some handicraft and thus thriving, maybe, nevertheless, absolutely immoral.
Kant's categorical imperative (from the Latin. «Imperativus» - commanding) - it is the will which desires the good for the sake of good, and not for the sake of something else, and has a goal in itself.Kant states that one should act so that his action could become the rule for all mankind.Only firmly perceivable moral duty to his conscience forces to behave morally.This duty to obey all temporary and private needs and interests.
categorical imperative is different from the natural law that is not external, but internal coercion, "a free self-constraint" .If external debt - is compliance with the laws of the state and the subordination of the laws of nature, for the ethical significance only "domestic legislation".
ethical imperative of Kant - a categorical, uncompromising and absolute.Moral duty to be followed all the time, always and everywhere, regardless of the circumstances.The moral law for Kant should not be driven by any external purpose.If the former Ethics pragmatic results-oriented, the benefits that will bring, or the act, Kant calls completely abandon the result.On the other hand, the philosopher requires strict way of thinking and excludes any reconciliation of good and evil, or some intermediate forms between them: no characters, no actions can not be duality, the boundary between virtue and vice should be clearly defined, stable.Morality in Kant is connected with the idea of the divine, and his categorical imperative within the meaning close to the ideals of faith: a society in which morality dominates the sensual life, is the highest in terms of religion, the stage of development of mankind.Kant gives this ideal empirically visual form.In his reflections on ethics, as well as about the political system, he develops the idea of "eternal peace", which is based on economic unreasonableness of the war and its legal prohibition.
Georg Hegel, the German philosopher of the XIX century, subjected to severe criticism of the categorical imperative, seeing his weakness is that he is in fact deprived of all meaning: the duty is necessary to fulfill the sake of duty, and what this debt is not known.In Kant's system does not somehow specify and define it.