Kant

Kant created an absolutist universal law based on reason, and the person intention.

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What is the moral law within?
He believed that everyone knew how they ought to behave, this is the moral law within. It is a good action if it is followed, but if tangled with dubious intention how good is it?
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Outline Kants theory.
An action is only good, when they act from a sense of good will. It is the only pure motive. Only valid reason for using good will is a sense of duty. Good will + Duty = a moral action. To stop it from being selfish, the reason but be coldly rational
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Describe the hypothetical imperative.
Involves situations where if this happens, something else will occur. Eg- if i do this... then this will happen. The reason for an action is always for the outcome. Not obliged to obey this imperative unless outcome is desired.
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Why did the hypothetical imperative not work?
Because he was searching for an absolute moral rule, it was no use as judgements were not connected to morals and they were dependent on the outcome.
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Describe the categorical imperative.
This contains no uncertainty or dependence on other factors. Eg- You should do this. This is universal and applies to everyone at all times. If the action is represented as good in itself then the imperative is categorical. It was broken into maxims.
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What is a maxim?
A maxim is a smaller rule. By using maxims he could define the categorical imperative further.
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Describe the first formulation.
Universalisation, action must not be carried out unless everyone should do it in same situation. Is it logically possible? Do we rationally want everyone to act the same? If everyone is bad is it good? If one goes against it, it does not work.
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Describe the second formulation.
Humans as ends, everyone must be treated with respect and not as a means to an end, must be ends in themselves. So no exploitation, but we can use people as means, for example a doctor.
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Describe the third formulation.
Kingdom of ends, society made of people who are entitled to be treated as ends not means. Everyone should act as though others have the same human rights as themselves.
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Advantages of Kantian ethics.
1. people generally have the same ideas about morality. 2) based on reason, clear criteria for what is moral. 3) respect for human life and rights. 4) one rule for all, all cultures any time. 5) most recognise duty, it is part of being human.
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Disadvantages of Kantian ethics.
1) cold and inhumane duty being above all. 2) Not all agree duty is best, as some may get hurt. 3) outcome may be important in decision making. 4) hard to apply in real life. 5) human nature to consider consequence. 6) not all can rationally reason.
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Disadvantages of Kantian ethics continued.
7) Conflict of duties. 8) one person goes against it it'll collapses. 9) everything we do involves love and compassion. 10) all must live in kingdom of ends. 11) common moral code may be on culture, we have different values.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Outline Kants theory.

Back

An action is only good, when they act from a sense of good will. It is the only pure motive. Only valid reason for using good will is a sense of duty. Good will + Duty = a moral action. To stop it from being selfish, the reason but be coldly rational

Card 3

Front

Describe the hypothetical imperative.

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Why did the hypothetical imperative not work?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Describe the categorical imperative.

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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