Kantian Ethics

what is a contradiction in will?
In Kantian ethics, the test for whether we can will a maxim to become universal law can be failed if, although the maxim is not self-contradictory, we cannot rationally will it.
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what is a contradiction in conception?
In Kantian ethics, the test for whether we can will a maxim to become universal law can be failed if it would somehow be self-contradictory for everyone to act on that maxim.
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what is Kant's 1st formulation of the categorical imperative?
The universal law formulation
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what does the 1st formulation state?
Act only according to that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it becomes a universal law
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what is Kant's 2nd formulation of the categorical imperative?
The humanity formulation
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what does the 2nd formulation state?
Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same tie as an end Hypothetical Imperative
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what is a hypothetical imperative?
A command concerned with achieving a goal rather than with duty for its own sake.
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what is duty?
Obligations that we have towards someone or something. Kant places duties at the centre of his deontological ethical theory.
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what is a maxim?
A personal principle that guides our decisions. e.g. stealing a loaf of bread when hungry would be acting on a maxim that it is OK to steal if necessary.
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what is good will?
According to Kant, it is the only thing that is good without qualification and irrespective of effects.
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what is acting in accordance with duty?
An action which is done for some other reason other than duty e.g. to feel altruistic. According to Kant, these actions are not moral ones.
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what is acting for the sake of duty?
An action which is done solely for the sake of duty and is therefore a moral one according to Kant.
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what is universability?
The quality of being true in or appropriate for all people in all situations
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what is a perfect duty?
Resulting from a contradiction in conception, this is a duty that we are obligated to do in all situations.
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what is an imperfect duty?
Resulting from a contradiction in will, these are duties which we should perform at some times as we would will that people help us at times.
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give an example of a contradiction in conception
the suicidal man. the maxim is "i will end my life because of self love." This is self-contradictory and leads to a perfect duty that no one should commit suicide.
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give an example of a contradiction in will
, a man may have a ‘talent’ that would be useful to others, but he decides not to cultivate said ‘talent’. It would not be seen as a contradiction in conception to universalise the maxim “it is fine to neglect my natural challenge if I choose to,” bu
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what does Kant mean by ought implies can?
If our choices aren’t free then we can’t be moral agents We can only be expected to perform a moral action if it is possible for us to do it. (“ought” implies “can”)
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what is a categorical imperative?
A categorical imperative is a command which is based on reason and is your duty (what you “ought” to do) regardless of any benefit to you or possible consequences.
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What is a deontological approach to ethics?
A type of normative moral theory which views the moral value of an action as lying in the action itself (in contrast with consequentialist ethics which is concerned with the outcomes of an action). Deontological ethics, such as Kantian ethics, propos
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something is morally permissible if...
1. You can conceive of the maxim becoming a universal law without contradiction 2. If you would will (want) the maxim to become a universal law.
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what are trivial acts?
those acts which are morally permissible but we have no moral duty to do them
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give an example of a trivial act
i will chew my food 32 times before swallowing
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what is a contradiction in conception?

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In Kantian ethics, the test for whether we can will a maxim to become universal law can be failed if it would somehow be self-contradictory for everyone to act on that maxim.

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what is Kant's 1st formulation of the categorical imperative?

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what does the 1st formulation state?

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what is Kant's 2nd formulation of the categorical imperative?

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