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Jacques Louis David, The Oath of the Horatii, 1784 - page 52 / 80

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MARIA’S PROBLEM I

Maria von Herbert was a young woman who wrote to Kant for advice.

Maria was in love with a young man who also loved her until she was honest with him about her having had a past sexual relationship with another man.

Her honesty about the past affair causes the man to lose his love for her, and this in turn so depresses her that she considers suicide.

In fact, the only thing which prevents her from committing suicide is Kant’s ethics, which prohibits suicide.

The problem for Maria is that Kant’s philosophy does not help her in dealing with the pain which she now experiences.

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