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 ... ...
Therefore, actions are only moral if the action could be described as a universal law, known as a categorical imperative. A maxim according to Kant is to act in a way that we would will the action to be a universal law, as opposed to the hypothetical imperative which demands that we act to achieve a certain ends. (Kant in Signer 1994). Therefore, we to act morally good, we sho... ... middle of paper ... ...nature and is a game we play, yet it has its own rules that we must abide by if we are to exist in a society. So why do what's morally right?
Kant and Mill’s point of view on the actions of Paul J. Hill will be presented based on their theories. Lastly, I will explain why I believe that Kant’s theory provides a more plausible account of morality. Kantianism and Utilitarianism are two theories that attempt to answer the moral nature of human beings. Immanuel Kant’s moral system is based on a belief that reason is the final authority for morality. John Stuart Mill’s moral system is based on the theory known as utilitarianism, which is based upon utility, or doing what produces the greatest happiness.
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.
Imperative is recognized as being a command and we should exercise our will in this manner. Categorical in virtue is implementing rational will since this happens to be endless with us. • The formula of the universal law of nature viewed by Kant was that any normal moral idea was considered moral duties directed towards our selves and others with differences between imperfect and perfect duties. However, it may be recognized and viewed into four separate categories of duties: perfect duties to ourselves, perfect duties to others, imperfect duties to ourselves, and imperfect duties to others. Therefore, Kant believes that duty is derived from the CI and that the CI is the fundamental method of morality.
Kant's Moral Principles In the Foundation of the Metaphysics of Morals, the author, Immanuel Kant, tries to form a base by rejecting all ethical theories that are connected to consequences, and then focusing on our ethical motivations and actions. Kant wants to derive good characters out of contingently right actions. He believes that everything is contingent (everything can have good or bad worth, depending on how it is used). So he is trying to find the supreme principal of morality in all his reasoning. Kant also believes that an action is right or wrong based solely on the reason by which it was performed.
“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). In other words, an imperative is something that a will ought or shall do because the will is obligated to act in a way in which conforms to moral law. Imperatives can also be referred to as the supreme principle of morality. According to Kant, there are two types of imperatives: hypothetical and categorical. Hypothetical imperatives are actions that look for the best means to a goal, however, the goal might not necessarily be an end in itself.
An overall goal of ethics is determining the morality of the human kind and judging their actions as good or bad. One of the many strategies of this goal is called deontological ethics founded by Immanuel Kant. Kant focused on an individual’s motives and judged them on the fundamentals of good will, duty, and universality. He believed that if an action does not have these structural foundations, then the actions are unworthy to claim good moral. Kant also created formulations in order to help decide whether if an action of duty is considerable for judgment.
Kant described two types of common commands given by reason: the hypothetical imperative, which dictates a given course of action to reach a specific end; and the categorical imperative, which dictates a course of action that must be followed because of its rightness and necessity. The categorical imperative is the basis of morality and was stated by Kant in these words: "Act as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will and general natural law." Therefore, before proceeding to act, we must decide what rule we need to follow if we were to act, whether we are willing for that rule to be followed by everyone all over. Kant believes that moral rules have no exceptions. It is wrong to kill in all situations, even those of self-defense.
Actions are the result of our choices and we should base our actions on our choices. Kant starts off his work by mentioning the word maxim. Kant believes that we act on a maxim when we make our own decisions. Maxims, in other words, are defined as a intent or goal. We set out on a maxim to achieve the best possible outcome, which brings Kant to his next argument that “good will appears to constitute the indispensable condition even of being worthy of happiness” (Kant 18).