An Exposition of Kant’s, Arendt’s, and Mill’s Moral Philosophy Essay

An Exposition of Kant’s, Arendt’s, and Mill’s Moral Philosophy Essay

Length: 2793 words (8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

An Exposition of Kant’s, Arendt’s, and Mill’s Moral Philosophy
Immanuel Kant adheres to Deontological ethics. His theory offers a view of morality based on the principle of good will and duty. According to him, people can perform good actions solely by good intentions without any considerations to consequences. In addition, one must follow the laws and the categorical imperative in order to act in accordance with and from duty. Several other philosophers such as Hannah Arendt discuss Kant’s moral philosophy. In her case study: “The Accused and Duties of a Law-Abiding Citizen”, Arendt examines how Adolf Eichmann’s actions conformed to Kant’s moral precepts but also how they ran of afoul to his conception of duty. In contrast, John Stuart Mill adopts a teleological view of moral philosophy. He exposes his view of consequentialism and utilitarianism to argue that an action is morally right only to the extent that it maximizes the aggregate happiness of all parties involved regardless of the motive. In the present paper, I will expose Kant’s moral precepts and the importance of duty in his Deontological principles. Then, I will evaluate Arendt’s report on Adolf Eichmann to analyze the ways in which his actions were in accordance to or against Kant’s moral philosophy. I will conclude my discussion with an evaluation of Mill’s approach to morality in order to examine the differences between his teleological philosophy and Kant’s ethical principles.
Kant’s moral philosophy is based on the categorical imperative (CI), good will, and duty. According to the CI, it is an absolute necessity, a command that humans should accord with universalizable maxims to treat people as ends in themselves and exercise their will without any concerns ab...


... middle of paper ...


...
In conclusion, Kant, Arendt, and Mill hold different moralities. The three philosophers all have different ways to analyze and perceive ethical principles. They all base their views on varying concepts of morality. Kant’s deontological ethics is grounded on concepts of duty, the categorical imperative, and good will. Similarly, Arendt utilizes Kant’s categorical imperative and idea of duty to share her account of Adolf Eichmann’s trial. She recognizes that even though Eichmann attempted to live according to a Kantian definition of duty, his behavior did not fit Kant’s moral precepts. Mill, contrastingly, holds a teleological philosophy and uses the concept of consequentialism and utilitarianism to argue against Kant’s morality. In any case, the three philosophers bring thoughtful ethical philosophical concepts which provide new ways to analyze moral conflicts.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Kant 's Philosophy And Philosophy Essay

- Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) grew up in a pietistic Lutheran family of modest means in a German-speaking region now part of Russia. He responded to the religious pressure he experienced at school as a boy by immersing himself in study and reading of early Latin writings. At the age of sixteen he began university studies in mathematics, physics, theology, and philosophy. II. Synopsis Kant’s preface opens with a discussion of the difference between physics, ethics and logic, the latter of which Kant views as “formal philosophy” in contrast with physics and ethics, which he calls “material philosophy.” Physics, Kant describes as dealing with how the world works, whereas ethics deals with how it ou...   [tags: Immanuel Kant, Morality, Philosophy]

Powerful Essays
1202 words (3.4 pages)

Kant: Metaphysical Exposition of Space Essay

- Kant: Metaphysical Exposition of Space Explain and asses what you think to be the best argument Kant gives as his “Metaphysical Exposition of Space” (B37-40) that space cannot be either and actual entity (Newtonian concept) or any independent relation among real things (Leibnizian concepti be on). In other words, is he successful in arguing that space must be (at least) a form of intuition. Do any of his arguments further show that space must be ONLY a form of intuition and not ALSO something Newtonian or Leibnizian....   [tags: Space Kant Philosophy Essays]

Powerful Essays
2558 words (7.3 pages)

Essay about Kant 's Philosophy And Philosophy

- Immanuel Kant was a philosopher born on April 22, 1724, in Konigsberg, East Prussia. Kant devoted his life into writing, reading and teaching. During his time, Kant began his philosophical journey being a believer of rationalism, which is the study of anything based of reasoning or knowledge justifying an idea. He studied this for years but figured a different view was better. That view was the view through metaphysics. Metaphysics is the base of all philosophy which analyzes abstract concepts of life such as time and space....   [tags: Morality, Ethics, Immanuel Kant, Philosophy]

Powerful Essays
1476 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on Kant 's Philosophy On Lying

- Immanuel Kant is a firm believer in the ideology that morality is solely based on duty and reason alone. This simply way of thinking is known as a deontological moral theory, which states that “the rightness or wrongness of actions does not depend on their consequences but on whether they fulfill our [mankind’s] duty” (“Kantian Ethics”). Based on his theory and throughout a significant number of his writings, Kant argues that it is not okay to lie. If Kant’s theory is correct, then no one could ever lie, not even to protect a friend from serious harm....   [tags: Morality, Immanuel Kant, Ethics, Philosophy]

Powerful Essays
1433 words (4.1 pages)

A Discussion Of Kant 's Moral Philosophy Essay

- Universal or Limiting: A Discussion of Kant’s Moral Philosophy The benefit of a moral theory that is applicable in all situations and does not change depending on the circumstances is clearly appealing. Immanuel Kant lays provides such a moral philosophy in “Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.” Kant’s main arguments are born of reason, not of experience and center on the idea that moral principles should be applicable in all situations. Because of this, Kant’s moral theory may seem rigid and unfeeling to modern readers....   [tags: Morality, Ethics, Immanuel Kant, Philosophy]

Powerful Essays
1200 words (3.4 pages)

Eichmann in Jerusalem by Hannah Arendt Essay

- In the book Eichmann Jerusalem by Hannah Arendt, we are shown a man that is seemingly normal and a common type of man. As the the trial goes on, we begin to see deep inside the mind of this banal, monstrous man. Evil does not always have a “look”, sometimes evil is found in the most ordinary of men with a cliche lifestyle and a stamp of approval from half-a-dozen psychiatrists. Eichmann was a simple man that thought of himself as always being the law-abiding citizen. Eichmann stated in court that he had always tried to abide by Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative (Arendt,135)....   [tags: kantian principles, emmanuel Kant]

Powerful Essays
1296 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on Kant 's Moral Philosophy On A Formal Sense

- For me, this class has been an interdiction to philosophy in a formal sense. "While reading Mistakes Were Made, but not by me" by Tavris and Aronson and Justice by Sandel I made quite a few connections in the material. The most protrusive of chapters in these books to me were on Immanuel Kant in justice, and Wounds, Rifts, and wars in Mistakes were made. Because of Kant’s Philosophy on the will to do good, and the story of how Jim and Dianne felt when dealing with Jim 's affair, I couldn’t help but see parallels in these sections....   [tags: Morality, Ethics, Immanuel Kant, Philosophy]

Powerful Essays
864 words (2.5 pages)

Kant 's Philosophy On Moral Philosophy Essay

- One of the first mature works on moral philosophy is Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals by Immanuel Kant. In this book, Kant explains his message and ideas by providing examples and proving himself throughout the entire book that morals are an important aspect in life as well as why they are expressing the principles behind this concept. Kant laid the fundamental principle of morality and shows how it applies to use as human beings. One thing that sets Kant apart is the amount of explanations that he brings into his book....   [tags: Immanuel Kant, Morality, Ethics]

Powerful Essays
875 words (2.5 pages)

Kant 's Philosophy On Philosophy And Morality Essay

- History of Kantianism Kant was born into a lower-class Pietist (evangelical Lutheran) family in an area of Prussia which is now part of Russia. [3] Though his parents were religious, Kant was more likely influenced by their work ethic than by their religion. [3] While living in Prussia, Kant learned about the enlightenment movement, which provided a contrast to help him develop his views on autonomy and freedom. [7] Another of the main influences for Kant was the recent work of scientists, specifically, Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton....   [tags: Ethics, Immanuel Kant, Morality]

Powerful Essays
1663 words (4.8 pages)

The Critical Philosophy of Immanuel Kant Essay

- The Critical Philosophy of Immanuel Kant Criticism is Kant's original achievement; it identifies him as one of the greatest thinkers of mankind and as one of the most influential authors in contemporary philosophy. But it is important to understand what Kant means by'criticism', or 'critique'. In a general sense the term refers to a general cultivation of reason 'by way of the secure path of science' (Bxxx). More particularly, its use is not negative, but positive, a fact that finds expression in the famous expression, 'I have therefore found it necessary to deny knowledge to make room for faith' (Bxxx)....   [tags: Kant Philosophical Essays]

Powerful Essays
2523 words (7.2 pages)