4-20 kant’s deontological ethics
transcendental arguments <ul><li>&quot;I call all knowledge  transcendental  if it is occupied, not with objects, but with...
immanuel kant <ul><li>thought that morality is not contingent but necessary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>our feelings and inclina...
teleological story of reason <ul><li>it is widely admitted that kant’s story of the origin of reason as guide of the will ...
first proposition of morality <ul><li>an action must be done from a sense of duty, that is, it must be done  because  it i...
second proposition <ul><li>the moral value of an action is determined by the fact that it is done in respect for the law, ...
third proposition <ul><li>duty is the necessity of acting from respect for the law </li></ul><ul><li>one cannot respect th...
different imperatives <ul><li>hypothetical imperative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>if you want a, then do b </li></ul></ul><ul><u...
categorical imperative <ul><li>“ act only on that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it would become a unive...
second formulation of the c.i. <ul><li>“ act as to treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of an other, in e...
issues with kant <ul><li>look at the four illustrations (pp. 459-460).  many people consider these to be problematic in te...
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4-20

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4-20

  1. 1. 4-20 kant’s deontological ethics
  2. 2. transcendental arguments <ul><li>&quot;I call all knowledge transcendental if it is occupied, not with objects, but with the way that we can possibly know objects even before we experience them.&quot; COPR , A12 </li></ul><ul><li>starts with some concept that is taken as given and then argues backwards for the necessary conditions for that things </li></ul>
  3. 3. immanuel kant <ul><li>thought that morality is not contingent but necessary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>our feelings and inclinations have no bearing on the moral worth of any action </li></ul></ul><ul><li>the only thing that is wholly good without qualification is the good will </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the good will alone determines the virtuous character of any act. without it any act can also be vicious. however, it is a contradiction to think of the good will being anything other than good </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. teleological story of reason <ul><li>it is widely admitted that kant’s story of the origin of reason as guide of the will is problematic at best. moreover, as it seems unnecessary for the rest of his argument, we need not detail its many issues here. </li></ul>
  5. 5. first proposition of morality <ul><li>an action must be done from a sense of duty, that is, it must be done because it is the law </li></ul><ul><li>lining up one’s desires such they accord with duty is not moral. inclination and desire cannot be the ground of any moral action </li></ul>
  6. 6. second proposition <ul><li>the moral value of an action is determined by the fact that it is done in respect for the law, not from the consequence of the action </li></ul><ul><li>determining the consequence is a posteriori, and the law as a guide to action must be formulated a priori </li></ul><ul><ul><li>this means the moral worth of an action is maintained regardless of the outcome – a moral act is still moral even if the outcome is not desirable, and vice versa </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. third proposition <ul><li>duty is the necessity of acting from respect for the law </li></ul><ul><li>one cannot respect the outcome of an act precisely because it is simply an effect </li></ul><ul><ul><li>if we respected effects we would be grateful to trees for falling just in time to prevent someone from murdering us </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. different imperatives <ul><li>hypothetical imperative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>if you want a, then do b </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>if you want a good job, then graduate from school with honors; if you want to graduate from school with honors, then get good grades; if you want to get good grades, then study hard; etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>kant said these cannot characterize moral actions because they are determined by the particulars of any situation. left in such a state actions will always be guided by inclinations, and inclinations cannot provide universality, something necessary for an act to be truly moral </li></ul></ul><ul><li>categorical imperative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>says to do something merely because it is the right thing to do without regard for some further end </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. categorical imperative <ul><li>“ act only on that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it would become a universal law” </li></ul><ul><li>this universalizes the principles of conduct </li></ul><ul><li>you can judge whether any maxim (subjective rule) you have is moral by attempting to make it a law (objective rule). if you can do so without contradiction, the action is moral. </li></ul><ul><li>it is important to note that, on its own, the categorical imperative is empty. it is only with the application of some particular maxim that it attains its power </li></ul>
  10. 10. second formulation of the c.i. <ul><li>“ act as to treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of an other, in every case as an end and never as merely a means only.” </li></ul><ul><li>rational beings, as the ground for moral laws, must be of absolute worth. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>all objects treated as means are only of conditional worth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>if they were only of conditional worth, there would be no moral law whatsoever. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>hence, it cannot be the case that rational beings are only of conditional worth. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. issues with kant <ul><li>look at the four illustrations (pp. 459-460). many people consider these to be problematic in terms of demonstrating the kind of contradiction kant believes to exist </li></ul><ul><li>can’t we universalize non-moral acts? </li></ul><ul><li>can’t we come up with non-moral acts that don’t involve any sort of contradiction? </li></ul>

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