Kantian Ethics

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Kantian Ethics- Kant

Kantian Ethics- Kant-"Ought implies can"= We have moral obligation to do our DUTY

  • Rational- Sense of duty= Distinguish between right/wrong
  • Absolute- Morality of an action takes no regard to the situtaion it is in
  • Deontological- No emotion= Good Will- Act out of duty and reason 
  • Innate Moral Duty- Conscience/ feelings of guilt tells us when we violate moral law- "To act morally is to perform one's duty & one's duty is to obey the innate moral laws"
  • Priori synthetic- Morality can be known using reason and can be verified
  • Good will & Duty- To fulfill one's duty is to perform those actions that are morally required. Should peform our duty- duty is intrisically good, not act out of emotion- "A good will is not good because of what it accomplishes... it is good through its willing- that is good in itself"
  • Importance of freedom- Free will, autonomous. To act morally, we must be free, it follows that there must be a God & life afer death, otherwise morality doesnt make sense- SUMMUM BONUM- The supreme good
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Kantian Ethics- Kant

  • Hypothetical imperative- An action which achives a goal/result
  • Categorical imperative- An absolute & universal sense of moral duty which directs humans to do the right action

1. The principle of law- We should universalise our actions& turn them into a universal law

2. Always treat people as ends in themselves, not as means to an end- Treat everyone as if they had the same dignity and freedom as you do

3. Act as though you live in a kingdom of ends-  Laws that could be applied to everyone

  • 3 Postulates of Pure Pratical Reason:

Must be free, Must be an afterlife- summum bonnum, God must exist for a fair judge 

Strengths- CI, prohibit acts that are seen immoral. Gives human intrinsic worth, promoting equality. In a secular age, Kants emphasis on duty plays a signifcant counter-cultural role in an individualistic society.  Weaknesses- Inflexible, consequences do matter. "Duty for dutys sake" - impersonal. Warnock- "The CI weaknesses lies in the separation of reason from emotion"

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