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Chapter 7: Deontology


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Chapter 7: Deontology

  1. 1. Chapter Seven: Kantian and Deontological Systems <ul><li>Deontological Theories are of two kinds: </li></ul><ul><li>Act-Deontologists: each act is a unique ethical occasion and a decision must be made by consulting our conscience and intuition, and apart from any rules. </li></ul><ul><li>Act-Deontologists are divided into two groups: </li></ul><ul><li>Intuitionists and Decisionists </li></ul>
  2. 2. Act-Deontologists <ul><li>Intuitionists: believe that we must consult our conscience in every situation to discover the morally right thing to do. </li></ul><ul><li>Decisionists: Sometimes called existentialists, believe that there is no morally right answer until we choose for ourselves what is right and what is wrong. (See Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Rule-Deontological Theories <ul><li>Accept the principle of universalizability as well as the notion that in making moral judgments we are appealing to principles or rules. </li></ul><ul><li>Two types of rule-deontologists: </li></ul><ul><li>Objectivists </li></ul><ul><li>Absolutists </li></ul>
  4. 4. Kant’s Rule Deontology <ul><li>Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) </li></ul><ul><li>Absolutist and a Rationalist </li></ul><ul><li>Influenced by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>His Parents’ Pietism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s work on human freedom </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The debate between rationalism and empiricism </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. The Categorical Imperative <ul><li>A command to perform actions that are necessary of themselves without reference to other ends. </li></ul><ul><li>It contrasts with Hypothetical Imperatives which command actions not for their own sake, but for some other good. </li></ul><ul><li>Moral duties command categorically. </li></ul><ul><li>Actions are only morally valuable if done by a good will. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Kant’s Three Formulations of the Categorical Imperative <ul><li>The Principle of Ends: Each person has dignity and profound worth, therefore people should not be exploited or manipulated or merely used as a means to an end. </li></ul><ul><li>Human beings as rational beings have value and must be conceived as having unconditional worth. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Kant’s Three Formulations of the Categorical Imperative <ul><li>The Principle of Autonomy: Every rational being is able to regard oneself as a maker of universal laws. </li></ul><ul><li>We determine the nature of the moral law, not God or any authority. </li></ul><ul><li>We are our own authority morally speaking. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Kant’s Three Formulations of the Categorical Imperative <ul><li>Kant’s Ethics and Religion: </li></ul><ul><li>Although his ethics are fully autonomous, there is a religious dimension to his system. </li></ul><ul><li>We ought to do good because it is our duty to do so. </li></ul><ul><li>We are commanded by law to be morally good. </li></ul>