Kant’s first formulation requires that one only operates within the rules they would wish were applied as universal laws. In this regard, the maxim will be applied to him as well. The first step would therefore be for him to state the law in the way he will always apply it in his everyday life. Second, the author would universalize the law (4; Atalay 45). This would involve stating the law in a way such that a third party would also be expected to apply the law.
At this point, it would be necessary for one to check whether the law raises contradiction. According to Kant, some maxims cannot even be stated without raising some contradiction. This is referred to as a contradiction in conception. There are three forms of contradictions in this regard. Firstly, the maxim may be seen as illogical or inconceivable as a law of nature. Secondly, the maxim shou7ld be consistent with a systematic harmony of reason and with the principles of the entity for which it is intended. Thirdly, the maxim should not be self-defeating upon universalization (5; Atalay 47).
Third, the law is weighed by determining if one would will that the law be applied as a universal. This form of contradiction is referred to as a contradiction of the will. This step involves determining if certain aspects of the maxim would make the maxim unsuitable for application as a natural law.
Atalay, Mehmet. ‘Kant’s Aesthetic Theory: Subjectivity vs. Universal Validity’. Percipi 1 (2007): 44-52. Print.
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