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March 28, 2016 | Author: | Posted in philosophy, social sciences

Running head : Kant ‘s Categorical Imperative

Kant ‘s Categorical Imperative in Relation to Kant ‘s Ethics

John Q . Student

Wright State University

Kant ‘s Categorical Imperative in Relation to Kant ‘s Ethics

This is intended to briefly describe the idea of an ethical or moral categorical imperative based on the writings of Immanuel Kant This philosophy is most thoroughly expressed in Kant ‘s Groundwork of Metaphysic Ethics , but it is refined in Critique of Practical Reason and Metaphysical Elements of Jurisprudence

The notion of a categorical moral imperative suggests that [banner_entry_middle]

certain maxims are of such a high value that they should be acted in accordance with just because of what they are and their relationship to goodness . A categorical imperative does not take into account the probable outcome of one ‘s act . As long as one acts in accordance with a categorical imperative , he or she is held to be acting morally

It is important to understand that in Kant ‘s ethical theory , the person performing an act must have a choice regarding his or her behavior . Free will is necessary for there to be ethical categorical imperatives because it makes no sense to speak of an ethical rule if there is no chance that a person might be able to break the rule . If an individual cannot choose but to behave in a particular fashion , he is by necessity forced or determined to behave in a particular way . If behavior is determined , it makes no sense to even speak of categorical imperatives or ethical rules because an individual can ‘t help but act in a particular way and isn ‘t subject to moral evaluation . This need to be able to make choices is often express as “ought implies can ” That is before a person can be declared to be either a moral or an immoral person , he or she has to be able to choose between two or more potential acts

The maxims Kant alludes to are such things that one might consider to be typical precepts of moral behavior : promise keeping , telling the truth do not steal , do not kill other human beings (or yourself ) and similar ethical proscriptions . Kant suggests that the way to approach ethical situations is for the agent to act as if the act he or she was performing would be one that he would like to see become a universal law , or categorical imperative

Such precepts are helpful guidelines for behavior , but are not in themselves good . Likewise there are qualities that may strengthen a good will , but they are not absolutely good since they may be perverted to accomplish bad things . Examples of such properties are : temperance (restraint , self-command (self-discipline , and calm consideration (Kant , 1871 ,

. 2 . According to Kant the ultimate moral imperative is to act with good will or intention “There is nothing in the world which can be termed absolutely and altogether good , a will alone excepting (Kant , 1871 ,

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Kant ‘s moral theory postulates three primary… [banner_entry_footer]


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