preview

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

Powerful Essays
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.
Get Access