Essay about Kant 's Philosophy On The Moral Law

Essay about Kant 's Philosophy On The Moral Law

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As a philosopher during the Enlightenment era, Immanuel Kant is considered to be one of the great major thinkers of all time. His emphasis on the moral life and reason is his overall philosophy on life. One of his quotes even describes his overall philosophy; “Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing wonder and awe, the oftener and the more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.” (Arrington 261) Kant’s views on “the moral law” are still applicable today, and his concept of “the categorical imperative” is influential as well.
One of Kant’s most well known philosophies dealt with deontological ethics. Deontological ethics are ethical positions that judges the morality of an action based on the action 's dependability to a rule. According to Theodore Denise, Kant opposed the wide-spread consequentialist Utilitarian view, which says “that the test of right and wrong is whether an action has good consequences.” (Denise 144) Kant’s main hypothesis, found in his work The Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, is that human reasoning is based on respect for rules and laws (Arrington, 270). Since we are creatures of reason, we are duty-bound to follow set principles.
Kant uses the human mind in order to demonstrate how his deontological ethics work in the real world. Kant was influenced by French philosopher René Descartes theory of rationalism, and applied it to his theories of the mind. Since humans are born with rational minds, the moral law is within the person, and feelings of approval and disapproval are not entirely universal since they are subjective. Experience, on the other hand, occurs outside of the human mind, since humans already have intuition and understa...


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...believes that happiness has some role in his moral theory since happiness is something we pursue as rational humans. Kant also connects happiness to the existence of God- he believes that the existence of God was created solely to ensure happiness to moral agents (Arrington, 292). Therefore, happiness in Kant’s theory is legitimized by moral law, even if he believes that happiness is not as important as following laws and principles.
Even though his philosophy may have some contradictions, Immanuel Kant created influential ethics that have lasted the test of time. His categorical imperative theory has been applied constantly to everyday situations, the influence of rationalism in Kantian ethics were groundbreaking at the time. Even with the criticisms of his theories, Immanuel Kant has influenced the notion of ethics forever with his groundbreaking philosophies.

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