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Morality Vs Immanuel Kant

analytical Essay
2119 words
2119 words
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Immanuel Kant was an eighteenth century philosopher whose ideas redefined philosophical views of morality and justice, and provided a base for modern philosophers to argue these ideas. In Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, he argues against Hume’s idea of utilitarianism. Kant also explores the idea of freedom, free action, moral action, and how to determine if our actions are moral by use of the categorical imperative. Before Kant attempts to define freedom he first states that only rational beings are eligible to be free (Kant 57). Animals cannot be free because they are not rational beings (Hromas). A rational being is someone who acts according to reason and determines his/her actions free of alien causes (Hromas). An example of …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that kant refers to the categorical imperative as a principle we act upon. the action itself is what is just and not what the person’s intentions were.
  • Analyzes how utilitarians would say that stealing medicine from the store is acceptable if a rich man had many doses of the medicine.
  • Explains the categorical imperative that all objects in the world are good for someone. humans have their own "ends" and we should never treat another as "a means."
  • Explains kant's view of free action as an action caused by us and not something else. to be free one must imagine oneself and live his/her life "transcendentally" rather than empirically.
  • Explains that kant explores moral actions as well. the categorical imperative is an idea used to redefine ideas of morality.
  • Analyzes how kant redefined philosophical views of morality and justice, and provided a base for modern philosophers to argue these ideas.
  • Agrees with kant's view that freedom is just an idea because it cannot be empirically explained. he explains the categorical imperative and how our maxims should become a universal law.

The categorical imperative is an idea used to redefine ideas of morality (Kant 30). Morality is a priori; it is what we ought to do or ought not to do regarding an action (Hromas). "We know killing is wrong so we ought not to do it; we know this without experience" (Hromas). Morality is when everyone follows moral actions in agreement with the moral law and an action is not performed with a desire to feel a certain way (Kant’s Ethics). Immorality is when everyone follows the law except for one person (Hromas). Kant provides the example of a shopkeeper. The shopkeeper is to keep a fixed price for everyone so that the inexperienced shoppers do not get taken advantage of, such as a child (Kant 13). However, this action was done by the shopkeeper "for a self-interested purpose" (Kant 13). If the shop keeper did not keep a fixed price for everyone then word would spread about his not being fair to all customers and therefore no one will go into his store and he will go out of business. Another example is a street vendor in New York City. I am given a hotdog by a street vendor and am told it cost three dollars, but I only have one dollar and the vendor still sells me the hotdog for one dollar. A woman behind me asks for a hotdog and the vendor charges her three dollars. This vendor is not being fair to all of his customers because the woman and I both bought the same item but paid different amounts. I will come back to this street vendor but I am sure the woman will not. The vendor sold me the hotdog for one dollar because he wanted to receive some kind of payment for the food already in my hand and thus it was in his best interest to receive less

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