The nature and theoretical underpinnings of ethics have been an intellectual driving force animating the pursuits of great scholars. In The Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals (1785) Immanuel Kant, one of the most powerful philosophical minds of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, inquires into the true nature of morality.
In rejecting the results or consequences of action as the foundation of moral judgments, he denies that good or bad effects have any relevance in the moral evaluation of human behavior. Instead, we must rely upon the Good Will for guidance. What is this Will upon which so much emphasis is placed, and how does it act as the foundation for behavior that can be assessed as truly moral? In this groundbreaking work, Kant outlines an ethical perspective that has been a vital force in the Western world.