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THE CRITICAL PHILOSOPHY
But in the fragment just cited Kant's ethics was still individualistic: The moral law demands only that the individual be in harmony with himself. The specifically Kantian ethics springs from an expansion of this principle. He elaborates it in the Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten (1785) and the Kritik der praktischen Vernunft (1788). Here he formulates the moral law as follows: Act according to the maxim that you could at the same time will that it might become a universal law!—The viewpoint is therefore no longer individualistic, but social. His elaboration of the theory of knowledge evidently affected his ethics at this point. The fundamental moral law must be quite as universal and objective as the theoretical fundamental principles, as e. g. the principle of causality! But there are other theoretical motives likewise here in evidence.
In the interval between the fragment just cited (1780) and the first draft of the ethics (1785) another noteworthy essay appeared, namely, Idee zu einer allgemeinen Geschichte in weltbürgerlicher Absicht (1784), in which Kant shows that the only viewpoint from which history is comprehensible and of any value is from that of the human race as a whole, but not from that of the individual citizen. Reason is an evolutional product of the process of history. The antagonism of interests brings the capacities of man to maturity, until he finally organizes a society in which freedom under universal laws is possible. And it is only then that genuine morality becomes possible! Kant observes that Rousseau was not wholly in error in preferring the state of nature, so long as this stage has not been reached. —It is evident that, from the viewpoint of history, the moral law which Kant formulated in 1785 contains a sublime anticipation. The individual citizen is expected to