Essay on Immanuel Kant 's Philosophy Of Ethics

Essay on Immanuel Kant 's Philosophy Of Ethics

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“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...


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...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.”

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Essay on Immanuel Kant 's Philosophy Of Ethics

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