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Jacques Louis David, The Oath of the Horatii, 1784 - page 36 / 80

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PRUDENCE AND DUTY IV

Thus if the act which I am considering is making a false promise I have to ask whether or not making false promises can be universalized.

Since they cannot, because promises would then no longer be believable, the maxim of making false promises must be rejected.

For Kant, “the necessity of acting from pure respect for the practical [moral] law is what constitutes duty, to which every other motive must give place, because it is the condition of a will being good in itself, and the worth of such a will is above everything.”  (His italics.)

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