Ethics Revision

Revision for Ethics

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  • Created by: jamie
  • Created on: 03-05-10 18:50

Kantian Ethics

Immanuel Kant presented a Deontological argument so in his theory the ACTION is what establishes the morality/duty - you establish your duty and then do it.

Kant believed that there was nothing that could be said to be good except a good will: "Nothing in the world—indeed nothing even beyond the world—can possibly be conceived which could be called good without qualification except good will"

Categorical Imperitive

1. The principle of universality.

2. Treat people as an end in themselves.

3. Act as if you live in a kingdom of ends.

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Other beliefs

  • The good intention of fulfilling duty is what makes an action good.
  • Highest form of good is good will - other good things such as love have selfish motives.
  • Doing your duty is good in itself.
  • An action is only morally good when it is done for the sake of duty.
  • You should act out of duty, not emotion.
  • Kant's ethics are based on reason, not intuition - you cannot do something just because it "feels right" without an explanation.

Difference between good will and good behaviour

  • A good will is one that does the right thing with the right intentions;

"A shop-keeper is kind/polite, but it is not good will because they want to make money"

  • The "greatest good" - according to Kant - is good will (Summun Bonum)
  • Duty of good will is greater than the duty of preservation of life.
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Thank you :)

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