Front Page Titles (by Subject) CONCLUSION OF THE ELEMENTOLOGY. - The Metaphysics of Ethics
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CONCLUSION OF THE ELEMENTOLOGY. - Immanuel Kant, The Metaphysics of Ethics 
The Metaphysics of Ethics by Immanuel Kant, trans. J.W. Semple, ed. with Iintroduction by Rev. Henry Calderwood (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1886) (3rd edition).
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CONCLUSION OF THE ELEMENTOLOGY.
Sec. 46.—Of the intimate Blending of Love with Reverence in Friendship.
Friendship, regarded in its perfection, is the union of two persons by mutual equal love and reverence. It is then an ideal of sympathy and of fellow-feeling, in weal or woe, betwixt the reciprocally united by their ethical goodwill; and if it do not effectuate the whole happiness of life, still the adopting such a double of goodwill into both their sentiments comprehends in it a worthiness to become so; whence it results, that to seek friendship is a duty.
But although friendship, as a maximum of reciprocal kind intent, is no vulgar and common, but an honourable duty, proposed to us by reason, still it is easy to see that an entire friendship is a naked although a practically necessary idea, and unattainable in any given circumstances. For how can any man exactly measure and adjust the due proportion obtaining between the duty of Reverence and that of Love toward his friend? For, should the one party become more fervent in love, then he must dread lest he sink upon that very account in the reverence of the other. How can it, then, be reasonably expected that both the friends should bring into a due equipoise that love and esteem which are required to constitute this virtue? The one principle is attractive, the other repellent; so that the former ordains approximation, while the latter demands that a decorous distance be maintained, a limitation of intimacy expressed in the well-known rule, “that even the very best friends must not make themselves too familiar;” and which conveys a maxim, valid not only for the superior towards the inferior, but also vice versa; for the superior finds his dignity encroached on unadvisedly, and might perhaps willingly wish the reverence of his inferior suspended for the instant, but never abrogated, which, if once injured, is irrecoverably gone for ever, even though the old ceremonial be re-established on the former footing.
Friendship, therefore, in its purity and entirety, figured to be attainable, as between Orestes and Pylades, Theseus and Pirithous, is the hobby of novel-writers; whereas Aristotle has said, “Alas! my friends, there is no friendship.” The following remarks may serve to point out the difficulties encumbering it.
Viewed ethically, it is doubtless a duty that one friend make the other aware of his faults, for that is for his good, and so is one of the offices of charity; but his other half discovers in this a want of reverence, and fears that he has already sunk in this esteem, or at least is apprehensive, since he is scrutinized and censured, that this danger is close at hand; nay, that he is watched and observed by his friend, appears to him already akin to insult.
A friend in need, how desirable is he not? that is, when he is an active friend, ready to help out of his own resources and exertion. It is, however, a grievous burden to be chained to the destiny of another, and to go laden with a foreign sorrow. Upon this account, friendship is not a union intended for mutual and reciprocal advantage; but this union must be purely moral; and the assistance either may count upon from the other in case of need, cannot be held the end and motive towards it, for then the one party would forfeit the reverence of the other: this help can only be understood to signify and denote the outward mark of their inward hearty goodwill, without ever suffering it to be put to trial, which is dangerous, — each friend magnanimously endeavouring to spare his counterpart any burden, and not only to support it all alone himself, but, further, altogether to hide and conceal it from his view, while he at the same time can always flatter himself that in an exigency he could confidently call for aid on the other. But when the one accepts a benefit from the other, then he may count on an equality in their love, but not in their reverence; for he plainly stands one grade lower, being indebted and unable to oblige in return.
Friendship is, on account of the sweetness of the sensation arising from the mutual possession of one another, approaching indeed almost to a melting together, somewhat so exceedingly tender, that when it is hung upon feelings, it is not secure a single instant from interruption, but demands for its guard that the mutual surrender and confidence be conducted upon principles or firm rules, circumscribing love by demands of reverence. Such interruptions are frequent among the uneducated, which yet do not produce any rupture (for biting and scratching is common folks’ wooing); they cannot let each other alone, and yet cannot bring themselves into harmony, the very rupture being wanted to sustain the intimacy, and give a relish to the sweetness of reconciliation. At all events, the love of friendship cannot be impassioned; for this is blind, and in the sequel evaporates.
Moral friendship, as contradistinguished from the æsthetical, is the entire confidence of two people, who reciprocally impart to one another their private opinions and emotions, so far as such surrender can consist with the reverence due from one to the other.
Man is destined for society, although in part unsocial; and in his progress through life he feels the mighty need to confide himself to others, and that without having any further end in view. On the other hand he is warned to fear the misuse others might make of this disclosure of his sentiments, and so sees himself compelled to lock up within himself a good deal of the judgments he forms, particularly with regard to other men. He would fain converse with others relative to their opinions of the government, religion, and what they think of the society he mixes in; but he dare not hazard it, for others, by cautiously concealing their sentiments, might employ his to his disadvantage. he would willingly unbosom to another his wants, defects, errors, and faults; but he must dread that that other would conceal his, and that he might forfeit that other’s reverence, were he to disclose his situation candidly.
So that if he find a man who has good sentiments and understanding, and to whom he can open up his heart unreservedly, without apprehending that danger, and who generally falls in with his way of thinking, then he may give vent to his thoughts. He is no longer alone, imprisoned with his opinions, but goes forth to enjoy freedom, which he is precluded from, amidst the great mass of people. Every one has secrets, and dare not blindly intrust himself to others, partly owing to the ignoble cast of thinking of the most, who would abuse the secret against his interest, and partly owing to the want of understanding of many, i.e., their indiscretion, and being unable to discriminate betwixt what things are fit to be repeated, and what not. Now, it is exceedingly seldom we find those qualities together in the same Subject, especially since friendship demands that this intelligent and intimate friend deem himself obliged not to communicate the secret he has been intrusted with to any other, how trustworthy soever he may think him, at least without the consent of the other.
Notwithstanding all this, the pure moral friendship is no ideal, but is to be found extant here and there, in its perfection. But that intermeddling friendship which molests itself with the ends of other men, even though it does so out of love, can have neither the purity nor that entireness which is indispensable towards a defined maxim, and is only an ideal in wish, which, in cogitation, it is true, has no bounds, but must in observation and experience shrink within a very narrow compass.
A friend of man is he who takes an æsthetic participation in the welfare of his race, and who never will disturb it but with inward regret. This phrase, however, friend of man, is more limited than that of a philanthropist, for the friend cherishes the representation of the equality of his species, and has at least the idea of becoming indebted to them, even while he obliges them, where he figures to himself all mankind as brethren under a common Father, who wills their joint and common happiness. For the relation of protector, as benefactor, relatively to the protected, is no doubt one of love, but not of friendship, the reverence due from each to other not being alike. The duty to cherish goodwill to mankind as their friend (a necessary condescension), and the laying to heart of this duty, serves as a guard against pride, which is too apt to invade the prosperous, who possess the resources of good deeds.
Sec. 48.—Of the Social Virtues.
It is a duty both to one’s self and to others to bring his ethical accomplishments into Society, and not to isolate himself,—to make, no doubt, himself still the immoveable centre of his own principles, but then he ought to regard this circle which he has drawn around him as capable of expansion, till it swell to the size of the most cosmopolitical spirit, not in order immediately to advance the end of the whole world, but only to advance the means which indirectly tend thitherwards, viz., urbanity of manners, sociability, affability, and decorum, and so to accompany the Graces with the Virtues; to establish which companionship, is itself one of the offices of virtue.
All these are, it is true, no more than mere by-work (parerga), or accessory virtues, giving a fair virtuous appearance. These, however, never deceive, as everybody knows for how much they are to pass current. They are valid only as small coin, and yet conduce to strengthen man’s virtuous sentiments, were it even merely by awakening the endeavour to bring this outward form as near as possible to a reality, in rendering us accessible, conversable, polite, hospitable, and engaging in our daily intercourse; which things, although one and all of them no more than a mere manner of behaviour, do, by being obligatory forms of sociability, at the same time oblige others, and promote the cause of virtue, by making it beloved.
A question may, however, be raised, whether we may venture to frequent the society of the wicked? But we cannot avoid meeting with them, unless by withdrawing from the world; and besides, our judgment as to their characters is incompetent. But whenever vice is a scandal, i.e., is an openly given example of unblushing contempt for strict laws of duty, and does therefore entail the infamy of dishonour, then all former intercourse must be broken up, or at least carried on as sparingly as possible, even should the law of the land annex no punishment to the crime; for, to continue in society with such a person, is to throw a stain on honour, and to prostitute the virtues of sociability, to whomsoever is rich enough to bribe his parasites with the voluptuousnesses of luxury.
METHODOLOGY OF ETHICS.