Essay on Immanuel Kant 's Philosophy Of Ethics

Essay on Immanuel Kant 's Philosophy Of Ethics

Length: 1001 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

“Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above and the moral law within.” said Immanuel Kant. Morality is referred to as a societal code of conduct put forward by rational persons given the specified conditions. Throughout time, the concept of what morality is has played a crucial role in the study of ethics. Considered as the most influential thinker of the enlightenment era and one of the greatest western philosophers, German philosopher Immanuel Kant profoundly impacted the study of ethics. Kant believed morality should be based on reason as opposed to circumstances. As a deontologist, he was concerned with the actions of people as well as their use of will as rational agents, rather than the consequences of their actions. Immanuel Kant 's version of deontology was based on what he called the categorical imperative which he intended to be the basis for all morals. According to Kant, morality has to be based on the Categorical Imperative, due to the need for morality to be in such a way that the person is commanded by it and cannot opt out of it based on the situation. The Categorical Imperative is an unconditional moral obligation that is binding in all circumstances no matter the consequences. Indeed, it is not a command to perform specific actions yet a step-by-step procedure to evaluate if an action is morally correct. Albeit, the Categorical Imperative has four different formulations, Kant emphasized that each version is a different way of expressing the same rule. One can determine whether the motive of an action is morally correct if the motive can be turned into a universally applicable maxim. Conversely, Kant’s deonto...


... middle of paper ...


...rder to function yet morality cannot be absolute and is relative to historical and cultural circumstances.

Kantian ethics are often viewed as the paradigm of the deontological theory. However they aren’t suited for the moral discussions many people make on a daily basis due to their uncompromising stance. Kant’s Categorical Imperative is based on moral absolutism rather than moral relativism. Like most ethically based philosophies, Immanuel Kant’s deontological theory is flawed. In reality, morality is founded on both the nature of an action as well as the circumstances and consequences that the action produces. Nevertheless, morality differs from person to person and actions cannot be universalized due to specific conditions, circumstances and the consequences the action can yield. As David Hume stated: “The Rules of morality... are not conclusions of our reason.”

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay on Immanuel Kant 's Philosophy Of Ethics

- “Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above and the moral law within.” said Immanuel Kant. Morality is referred to as a societal code of conduct put forward by rational persons given the specified conditions. Throughout time, the concept of what morality is has played a crucial role in the study of ethics. Considered as the most influential thinker of the enlightenment era and one of the greatest western philosophers, German philosopher Immanuel Kant profoundly impacted the study of ethics....   [tags: Immanuel Kant, Morality, Deontological ethics]

Better Essays
1001 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Immanuel Kant And Kant 's Theory

- ... If the maxim passes all three steps, it is morally right. In one of Kant’s examples. He speaks of a man who is “reduced to despair” and wants to kill himself. Kant defines this man’s maxim as the following: “From self-love I adopt it as a principle to shorten my life when its longer duration is likely to bring more evil than satisfaction.” Kant goes on to explain, using logical reasoning the categorical imperative, that in order for this maxim to be right, it would need to hold true in ALL cases....   [tags: Ethics, Immanuel Kant, Morality, Philosophy]

Better Essays
881 words (2.5 pages)

Arthur Schopenhauer Vs Immanuel Kant Essay

- Arthur Schopenhauer Versus Immanuel Kant 2 Arthur Schopenhauer’s meaning of life includes ideas that attempt to identify factors that constitute happiness. According to Schopenhauer, the three factors are what one is, what one has, and how one is regarded by others. ( Pigliucci, 2006 ) What one has and how one is regarded appear to be the two deciding factors that determine an individual’s happiness. Not much consideration is given to what one is. These ideas led to the philosophy that “personality is the greatest factor in happiness.” ( Pigliucci, 2006 ) Schopenhauer believed that personal attributes that are possessed need to be utilized to their maximum potential....   [tags: Immanuel Kant, Philosophy, Ethics, Morality]

Better Essays
777 words (2.2 pages)

Immanuel Kant And Ayn Rand Essay

- Philosophy is amongst the most difficult and challenging subjects anyone can discuss. Philosophy has changed throughout the years and it can be inquiring and critical. Most philosophers have different theories on how the world should be and there are many issues and questions that arise. What is real; what is truth; what is good; is the mind something separate from the body; and are we free, or are our actions determined so that we no longer have any control or influence. Immanuel Kant and Ayn Rand are two Philosophers that are respected for their different philosophies....   [tags: Immanuel Kant, Philosophy, Ethics, Ayn Rand]

Better Essays
1228 words (3.5 pages)

Essay about Kant 's Philosophy And Philosophy

- Immanuel Kant was a philosopher born on April 22, 1724, in Konigsberg, East Prussia. Kant devoted his life into writing, reading and teaching. During his time, Kant began his philosophical journey being a believer of rationalism, which is the study of anything based of reasoning or knowledge justifying an idea. He studied this for years but figured a different view was better. That view was the view through metaphysics. Metaphysics is the base of all philosophy which analyzes abstract concepts of life such as time and space....   [tags: Morality, Ethics, Immanuel Kant, Philosophy]

Better Essays
1476 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on Kant 's Philosophy On Lying

- Immanuel Kant is a firm believer in the ideology that morality is solely based on duty and reason alone. This simply way of thinking is known as a deontological moral theory, which states that “the rightness or wrongness of actions does not depend on their consequences but on whether they fulfill our [mankind’s] duty” (“Kantian Ethics”). Based on his theory and throughout a significant number of his writings, Kant argues that it is not okay to lie. If Kant’s theory is correct, then no one could ever lie, not even to protect a friend from serious harm....   [tags: Morality, Immanuel Kant, Ethics, Philosophy]

Better Essays
1433 words (4.1 pages)

Immanuel Kant 's Universal Law Test Essay

- In this paper, I will argue that Immanuel Kant’s universal law test is a form of consequentialism. I will begin by explaining Kant’s formulation of his Categorical Imperative, and the moral theories on which it relies. Next, I will introduce John Stuart Mill’s criticism of Kant’s moral theory, and explain why I believe that he is correct in claiming that Kant’s arguments ultimately rely on utilitarian principles. In his book Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant argues that “There is no possibility of thinking of anything at all… which can be regarded as good without qualifications, except a good will” (7)....   [tags: Immanuel Kant, Morality, Ethics, Philosophy]

Better Essays
1054 words (3 pages)

A Discussion Of Kant 's Moral Philosophy Essay

- Universal or Limiting: A Discussion of Kant’s Moral Philosophy The benefit of a moral theory that is applicable in all situations and does not change depending on the circumstances is clearly appealing. Immanuel Kant lays provides such a moral philosophy in “Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.” Kant’s main arguments are born of reason, not of experience and center on the idea that moral principles should be applicable in all situations. Because of this, Kant’s moral theory may seem rigid and unfeeling to modern readers....   [tags: Morality, Ethics, Immanuel Kant, Philosophy]

Better Essays
1200 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Kant 's Moral Philosophy On A Formal Sense

- ... Dianne Feels angered by this as most would but is it moral. On the other hand, Jim did come right out and told Dianne. There is a saving grace hidden underneath this. However, Jim came out and told his wife about the affair which came from a good place; he did not perpetuate the lie, which is an act of good coming from a place of “good” making this action moral. Though it is unclear based on the reading of the Kant section in Sandel’s book I did find some information that assisted. Kant states: “The greatest violation of a human being’s duty to himself regarded merely as a moral being (the humanity in his person) is the contrary of truthfulness, lying....   [tags: Morality, Ethics, Immanuel Kant, Philosophy]

Better Essays
864 words (2.5 pages)

Kant And Kant 's Categorical Imperative Essay

- Immanuel Kant was a famous German philosopher (1724-1804). His many philosophical writings influenced large population from all over the world. Even today, his works still form a major point of reference in research carried out in the modern world. His writings had a strong base such that they brought a new dimension in religion, law and history. Although all his writings were popular but Metaphysics of Morals was very influencing. Kant argued that our desires and emotions are categorically imperative, which means that they are conscience driven....   [tags: Ethics, Immanuel Kant, Morality, Philosophy]

Better Essays
1165 words (3.3 pages)