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    Kant Kant Presentation Transcript

    • Kant Revision
      • Theory based on reason/ logic (a priori)
      • Kant is a Rationalist
      • Not clouded by emotion or sense experience
      • Ethical dilemmas based on intention, not unknown future outcomes = Deontological
    • Duty
      • Doing what is right for no other reason than because it is good/ the right thing to do.
      • Doing duty for duty’s sake.
      • No emotions or ulterior motives
      • “ Duty involves freely choosing the action”
      • All rational beings have a sense of right and wrong.
      • As long as you do your duty you are morally blameless.
      • Duty is discovered through the categorical imperative.
      • What happens when duties conflict?
    • Goodwill
      • A moral action is one performed with goodwill, wanting to benefit others – good intention.
      • “ Goodwill shines forth like a precious jewel.”
      • Goodwill is the highest form of good.
      • Kant used example of shop keeper:
      • A shop keeper might be pleasant but it is basically because s/he wants the customers money, in order to make profit.
      • Act only good if its an act based on the sense of good will.
      • “ it is impossible to conceive of anything at all in the world, or even out of it, which can be taken as good without qualification, except good will.”
      • All other qualities e.g. kindness can be misused.
    • Moral law
      • Duty + goodwill = moral law.
      • To act morally is to do one’s duty and one’s duty is to obey the moral law.
      • All moral life strives for the summon bonum.
      • “ The moral law within” meaning that everyone can reason how they ought to behave in a situation.
      • Free to choose to act towards moral law or not.
      • Summon Bonum
      • Humans seek an ultimate end called the supreme good,
      • Not achievable in this life, therefore must be an afterlife and a God/ Deity to guarantee this.
      • Imperatives – essential acts/ must do’s
      • In “Groundwork of the metaphysics of morals.”
      • Two types of imperatives
      • Hypothetical Imperative : “If I want x I must do y.”
      • E.g. if you want to go on holiday, I have to save up for it.
      • There is no obligation to obey this imperative unless you want to achieve the outcome.
      • Hypothetical imperative no good as a absolute moral rule because these judgments not connected with morals and they are dependant on outcome. “If I do this... Then this will happen” = teleological
      • Categorical Imperative : “You should” “You must” “You will” = absolute/ objective
      • Kant gives four examples to explain his First Formulation of Categorical Imperative:
      • Making a lying promise
      • Suicide
      • Neglecting one’s talent
      • Refraining from helping others
      • Formulation 1
      • “ Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it will become a universal law.”
      • The action is right if the maxim (general rule) can be universalized.
      • E.g. if everyone had an abortion universally: they are breaking their duty to reproduce but human race would also die out.
      • Formulation 2
      • Every rational being exists “ as an end in himself and not merely as a means to be arbitrarily used by this or that will.”
      • Do not use people as a means to your own end
      • Formulation 3
      • A kingdom of means.
      • To preserve moral integrity of each individual, every individual should behave as though every other individual was an ‘end.’
    • Evaluation
      • Are we rational?
      • No common moral code within humanity: right and wrong depends on culture/ society brought up in
      • Can we switch off emotions? Emotions make us human, separate us from animals. Emotions needed in moral dilemmas
      • Is there any such thing as an action that does not have an ulterior motive?
      • Too generalised?
      • Cold and inhuman basis for morality: morals based on love and compassion not classed as moral e.g. a person giving to charity out if compassion is not doing a virtuous thing because not out of sense of duty.
      • Can duties by wrong and evil e.g. Hitler
      • Categorical imperative: To rigid
      • Meant to be deontological but isn't the question “what happens in everyone did this universally” looking at end results?
      • Are consequences really irrelevant?
      • What if your duty cannot be universalised?
      • Hard to put into practise in actual situations