Kantian ethics was developed by Immanuel Kant towards the end of the Enlightenment period. Kant’s big establishment theory was known as The Categorical Imperative theory. The authors of Introducing Philosophy state,
“The conception of universal conformity to law is Kant’s central notion of duty. He defines it, as we shall see, as a generalized version of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Solomon, Higgins, Martin 494).
Kant says that one must only act on their maxim if, and only if, that maxim should become a universal law (Kant 496). This theory requires people to not only be treated as a means to an end, but also as ends in themselves.
Kant outlines lots of vocabulary for his audience in order to make the distinction between terms. One distinction he makes is the between hypothetical imperative and categorical imperative. The hypothetical imperative is described as“…the practical necessity of a possible action as means to something else that is willed.” (Kant 495). On the other side there is the categorical imperative which Kant explains as easily as, “Act only on that maxim whereby thou canst at the same time will that it should become a universal law.” (Kant 496). The authors of Introducing Philosophy describ...
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...ld not be legal. I think one could make a valid argument when saying that the moral standards over the years have shifted; the United States has experienced a shift in over ethics among the population. In 1996 the US was still experiencing bans on same-sex marriage, and today nearly every state has brought bills regarding the total legalization into the committees. If we look at the numbers we can infer that the greatest happiness principle from utilitarianism is in play. The majority of people are being please with the decisions of the government both back in 1996 and in 2014.
Both utilitarian and Kantian ethics can be seen in today’s society, but the utilitarian ideas of the greatest happiness principle outline the society more so than the latter. Over the years utilitarianism has progressed and evolved, whereas the Kantian ethics have pretty much stayed stagnant.
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