Essay about Immanuel Kant and The Hypothetical Imperatives

Essay about Immanuel Kant and The Hypothetical Imperatives

Length: 1148 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Immanuel Kant an influential philosopher of deontological, or duty based, ethics. Kant believed actions are given moral worth, not by the outcome, but by the motive behind it, and the only way to act morally is one that comes about based on universal laws. There is a class of imperatives that we must do, despite the outcome. Kant called these "categorical imperatives," we can call these moral actions. We do them because we feel obligated, they are our duty, and we do so whether we like the outcome, or not. There is also "hypothetical imperatives," these are things we need to do to get a specific outcome. Kant states that if we believe that an action is moral that we could argue that it be a universal law.
I initiated and volunteered to help my father in his quest to sobriety because it was my duty. Taking this responsibility has pulled on my heart strings, and led to disappointment. My mom was not supportive in his sobriety, but that's your typical codependent in denial. I do feel that it was somewhat of a selfish act; I wanted him sober, and no hoop was too small to try and jump through. It was selfish, yet I knew I was the only one in his corner that was willing to fight and do what it took to get him there. My intentions were to enable my father to get sober, it was the right thing to do, and it was my duty, but it was an act of selfishness. Immanuel Kant, one of the most influential philosophers in the history of western philosophy. "In Kant’s view, the sole feature that gives an action moral worth is not the outcome that is achieved by the action, but the motive that is behind the action. And the only motive that can endow an act with moral value, he argues, is one that arises from universal principles disco...


... middle of paper ...


...on my emotions. "We might be tempted to think that the motivation that makes an action good is having a positive goal–to make people happy, or to provide some benefit. But that is not the right sort of motive, Kant says. No outcome, should we achieve it, can be unconditionally good. Fortune can be misused, what we thought would induce benefit might actually bring harm, and happiness might be undeserved." I believed my efforts would bring nothing but good, however, I damaged myself in the process of trying to help another being. Even though, my intentions were moral, it did not necessarily mean the outcome would be good. My motive according to Kant, was not the right kind of motive- I thought I was helping, I thought I would make myself and others happy, but in the end, my motive back fired and left me frazzled, disappointed, and my father still an alcoholic.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Morality As A System Of Hypothetical Imperatives Essay

- For many years, the philosopher Immanuel Kant has argued for the existence of categorical imperatives. He defines categorical imperatives as rules that must be followed regardless of external circumstances, and that have content that is sufficient enough in and of itself to provide an agent with reason to act in a certain way. He is certain that moral rules fall under this label, and since his death, many of his followers have fought to support this claim. However, in 1972 a woman named Phillipa Foot presented an argument against this claim in her paper entitled, “Morality as a system of hypothetical imperatives.” Although she asserts in the paper that Kant is incorrect, an analysis of her...   [tags: Categorical imperative, Immanuel Kant]

Strong Essays
1664 words (4.8 pages)

Immanuel Kant On Morals And The Second Essay

- Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant was born April 22, 1724 in Konigsberg, Prussia, which is now Kaliningrad, Russia (“Immanuel Kant”). This was a beautiful town with lots of traveler’s right on the Baltic Sea. Immanuel Kant was very liked by the town’s people and not one time in his life left this town of Konigsberg. He also went on the exact same walk at the same time every day. There was only two times in his adult life that his walk was interrupted. The first was when he passed David Hume’s book on morals and the second was when he saw a poster on a tree about the French Revolution....   [tags: Immanuel Kant, Categorical imperative, Ethics]

Strong Essays
1614 words (4.6 pages)

Immanuel Kant 's Formulations Of The Categorical Imperative Essays

- Essay #2: Immanuel Kant’s Formulations of the Categorical Imperative In his book, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, Immanuel Kant theorizes an absolute and universal guide based on the principle of reason to determine what humans morally ought to do— the categorical imperative. The categorical imperatives consists of different formulations, which simply act as different ways of defining it. Within his formulations, Kant stresses the importance of universalism, equality, and Categorical Imperatives versus Hypothetical Imperatives Before delving into the different formulations of the categorical imperative, Kant must distinguish between categorical imperatives and hypothetical impera...   [tags: Categorical imperative, Immanuel Kant]

Strong Essays
1213 words (3.5 pages)

Essay about Immanuel Kant’s Non- consequentialist Ethical Theory

- 1. Introduction According to Immanuel Kant the driving force behind our actions should be dictated by what is inherently good as sole consideration and not be based upon the effects of what such actions may produce such as the case in the consequentialist theory of cause. In this essay Kant’s ethical non-consequentialist theory will be briefly investigated and a comparison drawn between the two different theories in order to establish merit in employment thereof in practice. 2. Kantian Morality Central to Kant’s morality theory is his claim that: “It is impossible to conceive anything at all in the world, or even out of it, which can be taken as good without qualification, except a good will...   [tags: Immanuel Kant]

Strong Essays
1365 words (3.9 pages)

Difference Between A Hypothetical And A Categorical Imperative? Essay

- Melissa Stachowiak Good Life Take-home #2 Professor Gan November 20, 2015 5.) What is the difference between a hypothetical and a categorical imperative. In class when we had the conversation about chapter two of Immanuel Kant’s Grounding of Morals, we had discussed the imperatives. The imperatives are broken down into two sections, hypothetical imperative and categorical imperative each having different meanings. Hypothetical imperative is described as a “command that a particular action is necessary as a means to some purpose, such as the attainment of personal happiness” (Kant)....   [tags: Categorical imperative, Immanuel Kant]

Strong Essays
1389 words (4 pages)

Utilitarianism And Kant 's Theory Of The Categorical Imperative Essay

- Moral decision-making constitutes an important part of the everyday human life. In this paper, I will examine and contrast Utilitarianism and Kant’s theory of the Categorical Imperative, both, which provide people with a moral structure, and how the issue of etiquettes relates to Kantian Theory. It is important to note that both the theories have their advantages and drawbacks, thus to enable one to make a methodical decision, it is important to understand the basic principles of each. However, in this paper there will be a main focus on Kantian Categorical argument and then discussing the issue of etiquettes....   [tags: Immanuel Kant, Categorical imperative, Morality]

Strong Essays
1620 words (4.6 pages)

Immanuel Kant's Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals Essays

- Immanuel Kant's Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals In his publication, Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, Immanuel Kant supplies his readers with a thesis that claims morality can be derived from the principle of the categorical imperative. The strongest argument to support his thesis is the difference between actions in accordance with duty and actions in accordance from duty. To setup his thesis, Kant first draws a distinction between empirical and “a priori” concepts. Empirical concepts are ideas we reach from our experiences in the world....   [tags: Kant Philosophy Metaphysics Essays]

Strong Essays
1572 words (4.5 pages)

Essay Philosophy: Immanuel Kant

- Immanuel Kant, like his predecessors John Locke and Thomas Hobbes, believed morality was based on standards of rationality. His influential work, The Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, argues for the existence of a “foundational principle of a metaphysics of morals”. 1 Such a principle, he asserts, must account for three propositions of morality: only actions done from duty have genuine moral worth, moral value arises from the maxim its action involves, not from the purpose that is to be achieved through it, and that a duty is an obligation to act in a specific manner out of respect for the law.2 Kant names this foundational principle the categorical imperative....   [tags: Morality, Categorical Imperative]

Strong Essays
1083 words (3.1 pages)

Immanuel Kant Essays

- Immanuel Kant 1724-1804 Immanuel Kant was born on April 22, 1724 in Konigsberg, East Prussia. He was the son of a saddler. At age 8, he entered the Collegium Fredericianum, a Latin school, where he remained for 8 1/2 years and studied the classics. He then entered the University of Konigsberg in 1740 to study philosophy, mathematics, and physics. The death of his father halted his university career so he became a private tutor. In 1755, he returned to Konigsburg where he later resumed his studies....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
3187 words (9.1 pages)

Immanuel Kant Essays

- Kant is a deontological philosopher; that is, in examining morality he says that the ends must not be looked at, only the means. Kant began by carefully drawing a pair of crucial distinctions among the judgments we do actually make. The first distinction separates a priori from a posteriori judgments by reference to the origin of our knowledge of them. A priori judgments are statements for which there is no appeal to experience in order to dertermine what is true and false. A posteriori judgments, on the other hand, are statements in which experience determines how we discover the truth or falsity of the statement....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
683 words (2 pages)