Essay on Kant´s Philosophy of Ethics

Essay on Kant´s Philosophy of Ethics

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In the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Immanuel Kant proposes his philosophy of ethics. In order to accurately approach this topic and present fluent deduction he begins by defining philosophy into three fields. There is “Physics” of which studies the physical world, there is “Ethics” of which is the study of morality and finally there is logic of which serves to study logical principles. Kant then divides the studying into two parts as well, separating it as either “empirical” (serving to study experiences) or “pure” (serving to study concepts). As Kant uses this work to achieve a certain goal it is important to note that within the text he is proposing a pure study of morality, for morality is applied to all rational beings and therefore must be derived from original concepts of reason.

Kant begins by first defining actions as moral under the single circumstance that they are taken to serve morality and morality alone. Additionally, the moral quality of an action is not measured to the outcome that follows it, but only from the motive that provoked it. Finally Kant states that actions are undertaken from the duty to of moral law and therefore is not taken to also serve an ulterior motive such as ones need, desire or passion. With this explanation in mind one must deduce that specific interests, consequences or circumstances cannot be taken into consideration and therefore the act of serving “moral law” must contain a general method that can be applied in every situation. Opposed to working for outcome it must be done in order to only convey the standard that it is an action only made for pure motives and out of pure respect for the law. The method that fulfills these standards is that one should act in accord with w...


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...ve sides to man along with reason. It is when these parts act in harmony with reason governing that Aristotle states that man becomes virtuous. It is this harmony that allows me to be the best at whatever I so choose, to experiment with extremes until I find the mean that best suits me and it is ultimately these experiences that get one through life. To live by Kant’s process is hardly possible and allows one no room breathe. Aristotle's take is down-to-earth, practical, flexible, and realistic. Those who spent their whole lives seeking the holy grail lived far less than those that were grateful for what they had.



Works Cited

Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics. Trans. Martin Ostwald. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 1999. Print.

Kant, Immanuel. Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals. Trans. James W. Ellington. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 1993. Print.


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