Immanuel Kant And John Stuart Mill Essay example

Immanuel Kant And John Stuart Mill Essay example

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Even though at the first glance, the two most influential philosophers in human history - Immanuel Kant and John-Stuart Mill seem to have a lot of disagreements on the central concepts of their moral philosophies – for example, while Kant is concerned more about the intentions of an action, Mill, on the other hand, believes that the consequences of an action are the only justification necessary for an act to be good or moral or right, they still have beliefs in common, such as the concept of the greater good and base their moral systems on a fundamental first principle.
Among all those concepts, which Kant and Mill disagreed with each other, morality (what is good and right) is the most fundamental (essential) one. Kant, who is widely considered to be the father of the modern ethics and one of the greatest philosophers in human history, intended to show, using rationality and reason that human ethics was based upon an uncompromising, single, supreme principle of morality, a principle that has a rational authority, leading rather than following the inclinations, and binding all rational creatures. His theory of morality based wholly on the concept of “good will” (Kant) For Kant, to have a good will is to act on moral principles that are wholly justified by what he called “practical reason” (Kant). He claimed that reason would recognize “its highest practical function as the establishment of a good will”. (Kant, pp9)
Moreover, Kant believed will to be crucial for two reasons, that are especially in contrast to the utilitarian morality set for by John Stuart Mill. First, Kant refused to believe that every action is determined by factors beyond our control. And second, he believed that it doesn’t make sense if people are blamed for w...


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...y it, but in the maxim according to which the action is determined.” (Kant, pp12) Therefore, to sum up, an action has no moral worth if it is not done from duty, but just because an action is done form duty doesn’t necessarily mean it has its moral worth; the maxim that determined this action has to at the same time be able to become a universal law of nature.
Therefore, for Kant, every time when you are not sure whether you are doing the right thing, you should always ask yourself if the maxim of your action can become a universal law of nature. Thus, according to Kant, suicide is wrong because it is against the universal law of nature. Our nature tells us to constantly improve our lives and promote them rather than destroy them. In this case, Kant said: “that maxim cannot obtain as a law of nature, and thus it wholly contradicts the supreme principle of all duty.”

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Immanuel Kant And John Stuart Mill Essay example

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