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1111298173 282416 8 1111298173 282416 8 Presentation Transcript

  • Chapter Eight: Kant and Deontological Theories For Deontological theories it is not the consequences that determines the rightness or wrongness of an act but certain features in the act itself or in the rule of which the act is a token
  • Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) Absolutist and a Rationalist Influenced by: His Parents’ Pietism Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s work on human freedom The debate between rationalism and empiricism Natural law intuitionist theories
  • Rationalism and Empiricism Rationalism: pure reason could tell us how the world is, independent of experience. Empiricism: denied that we have any innate ideas and argued that all knowledge comes from experience. Our minds are a tabula rasa, an empty slate, upon which experience writes her lessons
  • Act- and Rule-Intuitionism Act-intuitionism: each act as a unique ethical occasion and holds that we must decide what is right or wrong in each situation by consulting our conscience or our intuitions or by making a choice apart from any rules
  • Act- and Rule-Intuitionism Rule-intuitionism: must decide what is right or wrong in each situation by consulting moral rules that we receive through intuition.
  • The Categorical Imperative A command to perform actions that are necessary of themselves without reference to other ends. It contrasts with Hypothetical Imperatives which command actions not for their own sake, but for some other good. Moral duties command categorically. Actions are only morally valuable if done by a good will.
  • The Principle of the Law of Nature Act as though the maxim of your action were by your will to become a universal law of nature.
  • The Principle of Ends So act as to treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of any other, in every case as an end and never as merely a means
  • The Principle of Autonomy So act that your will can regard itself at the same time as making universal law through its maxims
  • The Principle of the Law of Nature: Four Examples Making a Lying Promise Committing Suicide Neglecting One's Talent Refraining from Helping Others
  • Counterexamples to the Principle of the Law of Nature Counterexample 1: Mandating Trivial Actions Counterexample 2: Endorsing Cheating Counterexample 3: Prohibiting Permissible Actions Counterexample 4: Mandating Genocide
  • The Problem of Exceptionless Rules Kant's categorical imperative yields unqualified absolutes. The rules it generates are universal and exceptionless Ross and Prima Facie Duties Kant and the Prima Facie Solution
  • The Problem of Posterity Kant with his strong emphasis on particular rational people would have a particularly difficult time generating principles that would require duties to future agents Kant seems to require identifiable people as the objects of our duties