S Categorical Imperative And John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism

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Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Imperative and John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarianism are two schools of thought that view morality differently. Both Kant and Mill understand and agree that some form of morality exists. They both recognize that the concept of morality applies to all rational beings and that an action can be deemed as moral or immoral based on reason. Despite being reasonably in agreement about what morality is; there are numerous important differences between Mill and Kant’s perception of morality. 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…show more content…
This means that our actions are conscious driven and that our intentions are bounded in rationality to fulfill one’s duty. For Kant, morality should be necessary and universal (Kant, 2005: 49) He provides that actions must be universal and be based on a set of moral rules in order for them to be classified as moral or immoral. Reason is a main component of Kant’s argument of morality. Kant’s view of morality is premised on the notion of “good will,” which ultimately ensures that an act complies with moral principles (Kant, 2005: 18). An act will be deemed good depending on the motive or intention behind the act. He suggests that an action can be determined to be moral by using reason to question the intention or motive behind an act. He states that the universal law, “act only on the maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law” (Kant, 2005: 161). Furthermore, Kant argues that morality has a sense of duty attached to…show more content…
For instance, both philosophers recognize that morality needs to follow a set of moral rules. These rules for Kant are referred to as “duties” and “subordinate principles” for Mill (Kant, 2005: 37; Mill, 2011: 26). In addition, both philosophers provide that morality tends to be stimulated by something. For Kant, morality is in part about fulfilling a duty to humanity. Whereas for Mill, the purpose of morality is about overall happiness. Another similarity that is important to note is that both Kant and Mill have corresponding duties. For instance, the duties identified by Kant is similar to Mill’s subordinate principles. They both recognize duties such as not to rob, murder, lie or deprive other people’s liberty (Mill, 2011: 28; Kant, 2005:
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