Kantian Ethics

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Kantian Ethics

  • absolute & deontological
  • all about duty - hume said it is "cold & heartless"
  • "the good will shines forth like a precious jewel"
  • morality is consciously deciding what is right, no matter of consequences
  • to act out of duty is to do thibgs that are morally obliged & not do things that are morally forbidden
  • god doesn't control people/tell them what to do: you choose through your moral sense
  • SUMMUM BONUM : highest good, virtue & happiness & goodness meet, achieve it in afterlife therefore people have immortal souls & god must exist to allow this to happen
  • all people have duties: ought -> should -> could
  • good will is only pure motive for acting
  • good will + duty = moral action
  • no emotion or reward as motivation
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Imperatives

CATEGORIAL:
• deontological/universal/absolute/objective
• tells you what to do -> you should do 'x'
• broke it down into smaller rules -> maxims
• universalisation - moral law must apply to everyone, everywhere, always therefore if it's wrong for one person therefore all people must act in a similar way
• humans as ends not means - don't exploit people for you to get what you want, treat peope with respect. people are the highest point of god's creation and therefore should be treated as such
• kingdom of ends - the whole of society functions are based on the golden rule
HYPOTHETICAL:
•teleological
• doesn't tell you what to do - it's conditional & relative / subjective
• reason for action is related to outcome
• 'if I do this.. this will happen.'
• they relate to desires/needs
• kant rejected them as he was looking for a universal law and this was not it

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