Zusammenfassung / Summary
The categorical imperative, in the formula of humanity as end in itself, demands to use every person always at the same time as end, never merely as a means. According to Gerold Prauss, Kant should have distinguished more carefully between ‘not merely as a means, but at the same time as end’ and ‘not as means at all, but only as end’. Whereas the first formula describes a legal relationship between two self-determining subjects who mutually recognize one another, the second formula applies to situations in which I face a rational being that depends on my help. For Prauss, only in the second case the ethical duty deserves to be called moral. The paper traces Prauss’ considerations regarding right and morals as well as regarding the role played by the secular state in their realization. These considerations are discussed as an extremely stimulating attempt to make sense of the Kantian thesis that reason is practical of itself.