G5 kant


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  • Note: moral goodness can only come from a good will doing its duty.
  • G5 kant

    1. 1. Kant <ul><li>Are there absolute moral laws that we have to follow regardless of consequences? </li></ul><ul><li>First we want to know what Kant has to say about what moral rule we ought to follow. </li></ul>
    2. 2. 2 Types of Commands or Imperatives <ul><li>Hypothetical Imperatives – “If you desire Y, then you ought to do X” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hypothetical imperatives are conditioned on your actually desiring some outcome. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The imperative only has motivational force if you do desire the outcome that the action promises. </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>Categorical Imperatives – “You ought to do X” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Morality does not depend on our having certain desires. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Categorical imperatives are commands that we follow regardless of our personal end or desires. </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Fundamental Principle of Morality is a Categorical Imperative <ul><li>1. Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Act as though the maxim of your action were by your will to become a universal law of nature. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or that of another, always as an end and never as a means only. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Application of the C.I. <ul><li>Application of the categorical imperative results in moral rules that are absolute, i.e., admit of no exceptions </li></ul><ul><li>Applied to the judgment of specific actions: If action could become universal law, then it is morally correct. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: suicide; borrow money knowing you can’t repay it; charity; indolent man </li></ul>
    6. 6. Justification of the Categorical Imperative <ul><li>1. Nothing is intrinsically good but a good will: all other goods, such as happiness, intellectual eminence are worthless or positively evil when not combined with a good will. </li></ul><ul><li>2. A good will is one that habitually wills rightly. </li></ul><ul><li>3. The rightness or wrongness of a volition depends wholly on its motive. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Implication of the C. I. <ul><li>Does not depend on consequences. </li></ul><ul><li>To do something right requires that we do it for the right reason. </li></ul><ul><li>An action can have a proper outcome with out it being moral. (Amoral, Immoral, Moral actions) </li></ul><ul><li>Any action which is right or wrong in a given situation must be wrong for any rational being. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Primacy of Rationality in Kant’s Theory <ul><li>Because people have desires and goals, other things have value for them – we give other things value. </li></ul><ul><li>Human beings are valuable in and of themselves. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They have their own “ intrinsic worth” i.e., “ dignity” that is “ above all price” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Value of human beings stems from the fact that they are rational agents : free agents capable of making their own decisions, setting goals and guiding their conduct by reason. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We cannot treat individuals as things because they are the source of moral goodness. </li></ul><ul><li>To treat a person as an “end in themselves” means respecting their rationality. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Problems with the Kantian Approach <ul><li>Anscomb: proper way to construct moral maxims. </li></ul><ul><li>Conflicts between absolute moral rules: Dutch fisherman example. </li></ul><ul><li>Are all categorical imperatives actually hypothetical. </li></ul><ul><li>Mill’s criticism of Kantian ethics – Kant himself is appealing to consequences in evaluating which maxims to accept. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Kant on Retributive Justice <ul><li>Utilitarianism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Punishment increases the amount of suffering in the world. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Punishment may be justified if it: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Helps prevent crime </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Well designed punishment may help rehabilitate criminals </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Utilitarian rationale is close to our current notions of crime and punishment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ prison” = “correctional facility” </li></ul><ul><li>“ guard” = “ corrections officer </li></ul><ul><li>educational programs/counseling/work </li></ul>
    11. 11. <ul><li>Kantianism </li></ul><ul><li>Punishment is acceptable because it is what the criminal deserves. </li></ul><ul><li>Punishing prisoners as a way of preventing crime is using people as a means to an end. </li></ul><ul><li>Rehabilitation is a violation of the autonomy rights of the individual to choose what sort person they want to be. </li></ul><ul><li>People should be punished simply because they have committed a crime. </li></ul><ul><li>Punishment for crime should be proportional – seriousness of the crime determines the penalty. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Justification of Punishment <ul><li>1. We must treat people as an end-in-themselves </li></ul><ul><li>2. To treat someone as an end is to treat them as a rational being </li></ul><ul><li>3. To treat someone as a rational being is to treat a person as capable of reasoning about his or her conduct and freely deciding what he or she will do. </li></ul><ul><li>4. When we decide what to do to those who do wrong to us we look to the categorical imperative they have endorsed by their own actions. </li></ul>