Consider for a moment Kant's categorical and hypothetical imperatives
. The NAP takes the position of the former.
While this Note takes a contrary position, most believe that other moral goals (such as "thou shall not steal") are not part of a hypothetical imperative. Rather these morals take the form of a duty or rule.
(155.) While not believing in its correctness, Immanuel Kant gives an accurate definition of the hypothetical imperative. "The former [hypothetical imperatives] present the practical necessity of a possible action as a means to achieving something else which one desires (or which one may possibly desire)....
Hypothetical imperatives, on the other hand, can be tied to the promotion of subjective value.
So when I speak of the categorical imperative, I am referring to the basic one, while when I speak of categorical imperatives I am referring to a type of imperative (contrasted with hypothetical imperatives) of which there are also specific derivative ones.
Laudan's 'normative naturalism' claims to account for the success of science by construing theories and other claims as methodological rules interpreted as defeasible hypothetical imperatives
for securing cognitive ends.
For the Humean, hypothetical imperatives
do not appear to generate a regress of justification.
A quicker route to the conclusion that instrumental reasoning requires completion by categorical reasons is to recognize that hypothetical imperatives
only make consistency or "relative rationality" claims that, by themselves, generate no reasons for acting.
lets only hypothetical imperatives
become possible: I ought to do something because I will something else.
In this paper, I first examine a key passage in which Kant systematically discusses the role of conscience, then give a systematic account of 'indirect' duties and the function of hypothetical imperatives
in the course of their generation.
In classic papers such as "Moral Beliefs," "Virtues and Vices," and "Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives
" (in Virtues and Vices [Oxford: Blackwell, 1978]), she argued that such accounts misrepresented both the content of moral evaluation and its use.
Hill's article focuses on the earlier stages of Kant's argument that there must be principles of rational conduct other than desire-based hypothetical imperatives
, in which Kant argues that rational wills have autonomy.