Kant's Prescription without Side Effects

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In Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Immanuel Kant proposes a new form of determining the morality of an action. His moral philosophy is grounded upon possessing a single virtue at hand: a good will. Contrary to opposing moral arguments, his views provide absolute parameters with which to prescribe morality through moral requirements, better known as categorical imperatives. In this paper, I will endeavor in Kant’s view of categorical imperatives to better understand how the aforementioned provide a means to determine an action’s morality and how, when confronted by objections, stand firm in their absolute grounds.
To thoroughly comprehend Kant’s moral philosophy, we must first understand two key elements by which it stands: good will and the categorical imperative. Primordially, Kant believes in good will. Some value happiness, justice or even authority; Kant, on the other hand, values our good will above anything else. Good will, he contends, is our commitment to do our duty for its own sake (Shafer-Landau, pg. 70). In other words, we will not be held accountable for actions out of our reach, only our ability and willingness to act in a good way—our ultimate duty. He believes this characteristic possesses unconditional value (value in and of itself, or on its own) and as such deserves to be exercised under all possible circumstances (Shafer-Landau, pg. 70-75). He goes as far as to say that actions will posses moral worth only if they are a result of our good will, similar to that which we intend to achieve(Shafer-Landau, pg. 70).
Good will is a must-have virtue according to Kant, which then ties us into categorical imperatives. If we are to be driven by a good will, or a will to do what is right, then we must conjecture ...

... middle of paper ... philosophy is so acclaimed is because it provides a stringent moral view without loopholes—it’s absolute. Kant was very clever in forming categorical imperatives and valuing good will, universal attributes which can be applied to everyone to determine moral status. As we saw in the course of this paper, his argument is strong against objection because morality is accredited to individuals and their duty and not side effects or resulting actions, things out of our realm to manage when attempting to act morally.

Works Cited
Arruda, Caroline T. "Normative Ethics: Deontology." Philosophy 2306. University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso. 26 Mar. 2014. Lecture.
Shafer-Landau, Russ. The Ethical Life: Fundamental Readings in Ethics and Moral Problems. New York: Oxford UP, 2010. Print.
Shafer-Landau, Russ. The Fundamentals of Ethics. New York: Oxford UP, 2010. Print.
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