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 ... ...
Morality is central to all rational beings, whereby a moral action is one determined by reason, rather than our personal desires as suggested by Kant (1785) in contrast to Hume. (1738). Furthermore, Kant suggests that an action is moral only on account of its being reasoned, therefore the moral worth of an action is determined by its motives and not by its consequences. Exploring the works of Hume (1738) and Kant(1785) on morality and ethics, we will ask the question whether we should do what is morally right, even when you could profit by doing something wrong, and furthermore, we shall discuss morality as a type of game, yet something you cannot opt out of, as something Foot describes as 'inescapable'. (Foot 1972: 311).
Kant believes that there is a supreme principle of morality which he referred to it as the Categorical Imperative, whereas Mill held a Utilitarianism view on morality. The fundamental difference is that Kant’ Categorical Imperative holds
Immanuel Kant's Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals In his publication, Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, Immanuel Kant supplies his readers with a thesis that claims morality can be derived from the principle of the categorical imperative. The strongest argument to support his thesis is the difference between actions in accordance with duty and actions in accordance from duty. To setup his thesis, Kant first draws a distinction between empirical and “a priori” concepts. Empirical concepts are ideas we reach from our experiences in the world. 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.
This delineates it from the deontological schools (e.g. ; Kant’s Categorical Imperative) which emphasize certain rules or obligations which are necessarily moral for reasons separated from people and consequences. Consequentialism focuses on the consequences of the actions to judge moral value; utilitarianism is an example of this school and states that the right thing to do is what maximizes overall utility (Hursthouse, Rosalind, Stanford Encylopedia). These different branches are often philosophically challenged in discourse and also in real life examples of moral dilemmas. Their distinct approaches to judging morality in our world make them mutually exclusive theories.
Kant's Categorical Imperative Deontology is the ethical view that some actions are morally forbidden or permitted regardless of consequences. One of the most influential deontological philosophers in history is Immanuel Kant who developed the idea of the Categorical Imperative. Kant believed that the only thing of intrinsic moral worth is a good will. Kant says in his work Morality and Rationality “The good will is not good because of what it affects or accomplishes or because of it’s adequacy to achieve some proposed end; it is good only because of it’s willing, i.e., it is good of itself”. A maxim is the generalized rule that characterizes the motives for a person’s actions.
Kant and Deontological Theory Immanuel Kant was a moral philosopher. His theory, better known as deontological theory, holds that intent, reason, rationality, and good will are motivating factors in the ethical decision making process. The purpose of this paper is to describe and explain major elements of his theory, its essential points, how it is used in the decision making process, and how it intersects with the teams values. While Kant’s theory may seem “overly optimistic” (Johnson, 2008) now, it was ruled as acceptable and rational behavior then. Kant believed that any moral or ethical decision could be achieved with consistent behavior.
Kant proposes a test that ensures that humanity is treated with respect, and not used merely as an instrument. To understand how he defines this test, we must first take a look at the foundation of his main principle, the Categorical Imperative. Kant’s way of determining morality of actions is quite different from other philosophers, and many find it extremely hard to grasp or implausible. The central concept of his basic test for morality found in his Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals is the categorical imperative. “The representation of an objective principle, insofar as it is necessitating for a will, is called a command (of reason), and the formula of the command is called an imperative”(Kant, 24).
Mill holds an empiricist theory while Kant holds a rationalist theory. Kant grounds morality in forms that he believes, are necessary to free and rational practical judgment, namely his deontological ethics. Mill?s utilitarian theory is a form of consequentialism because the rightness or wrongness of an act is determined by the consequences. Thus, deontologicalism and consequentialism are the main criticisms for both these theories. Kant?s ethics of pure duty is the basis for his categorical imperative, which provides the basis for his universalist duty based theory.
Kantianism focuses on the motivation of actions, has clear and distinct set of universal rules, and is morally logical. On the other hand, Utilitarianism relies on the consequences of an action, has no set universal laws as each action is assessed on an individual basis, and morality is based on the results of the assessment. Because of these reasons, I believe that Kantianism is the more ethically plausible theory of the two. Bibliography: Susan Dodds, Lecture 2 notes, 'Utilitarianism.' Susan Dodds, Lecture 7 notes, 'Kantianism.'