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Give an Account of Kants Eithical Theory

  • Date Submitted: 01/09/2014 12:20 PM
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Kantian Ethics
  1) Give an account of Kant’s ethical theory (25 marks)
Immanuel Kant, a strong believer in an objective right and wrong based on reason, developed a moral theory in order to show and illustrate his beliefs concerning the universal character of moral laws and the objectivity of moral judgement. The main goal of Kant’s thinking is to encourage people to base morality on reason as opposed to feelings, inclinations, consequences and religion. Kant’s theory of ethics is deontological meaning that the moral act itself is what has moral value rather than the consequences or events which are likely to take place after the action has been taken.
Throughout his theory Kant links the idea of good will and duty together in an aim to help people make good moral judgements. Kant taught that only good will is unconditionally good as it can exercise pure practical reason. He attempts to illustrate this point by saying, ‘Good will, then, like a jewel, it would still shine by its own light, as a thing which has its whole value in itself.’ Immanuel’s theory teaches that abilities, virtues, talents and consequences count as nothing and should have absolutely no impact towards decision making. Kant then mentions that the idea of duty is what makes the good will good providing that the duty is done for its own sake rather than the possible benefits for yourself and others after the actual action.   Duty cannot be seen as moral if it contains the feeling of satisfaction as duty is only moral when it’s been commanded. Kant emphasises this point by saying ‘We are not moral for the sake of love but for duty’s sake only.’
Kantian ethics needs an objective basis for morality as a result practical reasoning must give the will commands or imperatives. In Kant’s theory, he distinguishes the difference between type types of imperatives – categorical imperatives and hypothetical imperatives.   According to Kant, hypothetical imperatives, which are actions that achieves some...


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