TEI-conformant XML files

For scholars interested in developing alternate views of the German texts, views other than the fairly conventional ones on offer here, I have also prepared the following XML files encoded with TEI-conformant markup:

These data files containing the German text have been minimally encoded to allow for maximum flexibility in adapting them to suit your own research objectives. They have the same Creative Commons Non-Commercial Attribution Share-Alike license as everything else on the site.

German texts in print

The German text is of course also available in traditional-book form:

  • Kraft, Bernd and Dieter Schönecker. Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten. Hamburg: F. Meiner Verlag, 1999. ISBN 3787314431
  • Valentiner, Theodor. Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten. Stuttgart: Reclam, 1984. ISBN: 315004507X

These two German-text editions are readily available and inexpensive. The Kraft and Schönecker volume is generally more helpful for scholarly research, but the Valentiner volume cannot be beat for its convenience: it is very small, measuring approximately 9.5 x 14.7 centimeters (3.75 x 5.75 inches), and can fit in your pocket.

Translations in print

There have also been many traditional-book translations of the Grundlegung. All the translations listed below are generally good, in their own way. Before making a purchase, you just need to be aware that there are differences between the translations as to how closely or literally they follow the original German text and that these differences will have a bearing on how you experience the text. To provide you with some orientation, you may note that my own two translations available here on the site would be at or near the two extremes of this translation spectrum, the more literal Scholar translation at one end, the looser Student translation at the other. In the list below, the translations nearer the top generally follow the German text more closely than those nearer the bottom.

  • Wood, Allen W. Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002. ISBN: 0300094868
  • Gregor, Mary J. Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. ISBN: 0511003188
  • Timmermann, Jens. Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals: A German-English Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. ISBN: 9780521514576
  • Ellington, James W. Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals; with On a Supposed Right to Lie because of Philanthropic Concerns (Third Edition). Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co., 1993. ISBN: 0872201678
  • Paton, H. J. The Moral Law: Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals. London: Routledge, 1991. ISBN: 0415078431
  • Beck, Lewis White. Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals and What is Enlightenment (Second Edition, Revised). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1990. ISBN: 0023078251
  • Abbott, Thomas Kingsmill. Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Ethics. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2005. ISBN: 0486443094
  • Zweig, Arnulf and Thomas E. Hill, Jr. Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. ISBN: 019875180X
  • Liddell, Brendan E. A. Kant on the Foundation of Morality: a modern version of the Grundlegung. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1970. ISBN: 0253331714

I haven't undertaken a detailed comparison of the translations listed above; so the list should only be used as a rough guide to give you some idea of what you'll be getting if you buy one of these more or less traditional-book translations. I should also point out the following:

  • Most of the translations have accompanying supplementary material of some kind: analysis, commentary, indexes, glossaries.
  • The Abbott translation, which dates from the 1800s, has recently been revised by Lara Denis and published by Broadview Press, but I have no further knowledge of it.
  • There's an online translation (see the link in Additional Online Resources below) by Jonathan Bennett that is intended for beginning students and so would be at or near the bottom of the above list. I have not included it in the list because it is not available in print as a traditional book, and it is abridged.
  • Some of the translations are now available in some kind of ereader format.

Additional Online Resources

There are many other online resources. Here are a few, in no particular order: