more from Immanuel Kant

Single Idea 6201

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / D. Deontological Ethics / 5. Persons as Ends]

Full Idea

In the order of ends, man (and every rational being) is an end in himself, i.e., he is never to be used merely as a means for someone (even for God) without at the same time being himself an end.

Gist of Idea

Everyone (even God) must treat rational beings as ends in themselves, and not just as means


Immanuel Kant (Critique of Practical Reason [1788], I.II.II.V)

Book Reference

Kant,Immanuel: 'Critique of Practical Reason (Third edition)', ed/tr. Beck,Lewis White [Library of Liberal Arts 1993], p.138

A Reaction

The worry here is that Kant has set up an exam that you have to pass before you can be treated as a moral end. Animals and the ecosystem will fail the exam, and even some human beings will be borderline cases. We should respect everything.