Hume sees moral judgements as being caused by sentiments of pain or pleasure within an agent as reason alone can never motivate, whereas Kant see the only moral actions as being those caused by reason alone, or the categorical imperative. I think that both theories have a problem with coming up with absolute moral laws - Hume's theory because absolute morality would appear to be impossible if morality is based on an individual's sentiment, and Kant's theory because it cannot prove the existence of the categorical imperative.
Humanity, which comes from Kant’s notion of the categorical imperative, is understood, “as an end, never as a means” (Holtman pg.105). That is vital in comprehending Kant’s proposal that we as humans are the only beings capable of acting on the basis of policies or plans (Johnson pg.21), or in accordance with moral law. Unlike animals, humanity to humans is not something that serves to satisfy one’s instinctual pleasures, it is instead something which guards our existence through which man attains life. It is from this
On the other hand and in contrast, “a priori” concepts are ideas we reach as an end point of reasoning prior to or apart from any experience of how things occur in the world. Kant then claims that moral actions are supposed done for the reason of morality alone. This train of thought leads to the conclusion that an understanding of morality must be based on “a priori” concepts of reason. Truly moral ideas are then universally valid if and only if they are based on “a priori” concepts. From this idea of “a priori” concepts, Kant begins his thesis with the notion that the only thing in the world that is a qualified good is the “good will”, even if its efforts bring about a not necessarily good result.
It is a personal experience and no one can judge one’s sentiments or feelings. Since reason is the discovery of truth or falsehood, reason cannot be t... ... middle of paper ... ...r to the experience and with no regard to the situation contradicts Hume’s experimental/situational approach to passions governing moral decisions. Hume’s idea of passions depends a lot on man’s prior life experiences. Kant believes that happiness and being moral are not the same. Hume would argue that man may have a duty to be happy, but the degree to which we are happy cannot be judged morally.
In his essay writing “What is Enlightenment?” Immanuel Kant defines enlightenment as “man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity” (Kant, 1). In order for us to completely understand this definition, we must first understand what Kant meant by “Immaturity”. In the writing Kant defines immaturity as “the inability to use one’s understanding without the guidance from another”(Kant, 1). Furthermore, Kant believes that this immaturity is self-imposed, and that it is the individual’s fault for lacking the courage and resolve to think for themselves, but instead pay others to think and understand for them. I substantially agree with this idea, however, his remarks on immaturity in relation to the government, the way people should live, and religion is quite impetuous and irrational.
Kant believes in developing a pure moral philosophy, a universal law, based on a priori concept of reasoning. A priori knowledge is the knowledge a person has before any experience. He also talks about a posteriori knowledge, which stands for the knowledge after experience. As a posteriori knowledge is depended on experiences, it cannot be considered in making a moral decision because it requires a general law. Kant also refuses to consider any kind of specific interests and circumstances in making a decision.
Kant's Humanity Formula “Few formulas in philosophy have been so widely accepted and variously interpreted as Kant’s injunction to treat humanity as an end in itself”(Hill, 38). Immanuel Kant’s views, as elucidated in his book, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, are based on the belief that “people count” by prohibiting actions which exploit other individuals in order for self-prosperity or altruistic ends. Ethics then, are confirmed by the dignity and worth of the rational agency of each person. Since human beings are the only rational beings capable of decision making and reasonable judgement, humanity must be valued. Kant proposes a test that ensures that humanity is treated with respect, and not used merely as an instrument.
For centuries, philosophers and theorists have argued over the topic of morality. Trying to determine if a person can exhibit complete morality or whether other concepts like free will and the concepts behind self-interests will win out over morality and duty. They asked questions aimed at determining what can drive a person to ignore morality and duty as well as examining the actions that they felt embodied morality and duty. Immanuel Kant also sought to explain morality and duty. However, Kant’s perception of what constitutes morality was highly criticized and often discounted.
Immanuel Kant's Theory Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) discussed many ethical systems and reasoning’s some were based on a belief that the reason is the final authority for morality. In Kant’s eyes, reason is directly correlated with morals and ideals. Actions of any sort, he believed, must be undertaken from a sense of duty dictated by reason, and no action performed for appropriateness or solely in obedience to law or custom can be regarded as moral. A moral act is an act done for the "right" reasons. Kant would argue that to make a promise for the wrong reason is not moral you might as well not make the promise.
Kant claims that humans cannot see things in themselves due to the cognitive limitations that they have, (Grier). Using his theory of transcendental idealism, he proves transcendental realism wrong. Kant’s ‘Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics’ constitutes his theory of knowledge, while disproving any scepticism caused by Hume, by claiming that knowledge of objects are independently determined by how they are perceived by us. To better understand its meaning, transcendental idealism needs to be defined against other forms of idealism. Idealism, in general, is the claim that reality is dependent on the mind and their ideas, (Morrison).