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Immanuel Kant 1724-1804…read more

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Kantian Ethics:
The Basics…read more

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Kantian Ethics: The Basics
· Kant's approach is Deontological. This means
that for Kant, the right or wrongness of the
action is in the action itself, and not in its
· Kant is a rationalist. He believes that reason is
the means by which we can analyse the world.
· Kant sets out his ideas in his book "Grounding
for the Metaphysics of Morals", and discusses it
further in his "Critique of Practical Reason"…read more

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· The only thing, Kant says, which is good in
and of itself is what he calls a Good Will.
· The Good Will is a sense of duty we have
to do the right thing.
· He believed that "all rational beings" have
the duty to behave morally.…read more

Slide 5

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The highest good, which is only achievable in the moral community.
· Kant believed in an ultimate end called the supreme good. This is what he
called the summum bonum which is also the state in which virtue and
happiness are united. However Kant felt that this lifetime was not enough to
achieve the summum bonum and therefore he deduced that we must have
immortal souls. The afterlife must exist in order for God to proved us with an
opportunity to achieve the summum bonum. This is because it would be
illogical to be required to seek an impossible end. God's existence is morally
necessary. If we are to live as a moral being we must believe that we live
and act in a moral world even if it doesn't appear as such.
· He also rejects any theoretical arguments to prove God's existence. A
rational moral person should believe in God. We do not need God to be able
to recognise what is morally right but for Kant morality lead to God.
· "Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe...
the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me." Kant
Summum Bonum…read more

Slide 6

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Categorical and Hypothetical
· Kant says that morality is a "categorical
· He contrasts this with it being "hypothetical
imperative"…read more

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