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Kant and the Categorical Imperative

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Kant’End Matchs Begin Match to source 1 in source list: http://sguthrie.net/kant.htmcategorical imperativeEnd Match forms the basis of moral justification.

His categorical imperative defines core his moral philosophy. Kant’s ethical theory lies on the fact that whether the action is morally right or wrong. Kant has proposed a method for determining morality of an action. Whether the action is morally right or is it morally wrong can be determined by the law he proposed.

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Begin Match to source 2 in source list: http://philosophy3.ucsd.edu/~atterton/index_files/Kant_Sample.pdf”If now the action is good only as a means to something else, then the imperative is hypothetical; if it is conceived as good in itself and consequently as being necessarily the principle of a will which of itself conforms to reason, then it is categorical .

. . .” (Kant,End Match Good Will) Begin Match to source 1 in source list: http://sguthrie.

net/kant.htmSo he says that in order for an act to be categorically imperative, it must be thought to be good in itself and in conformity to reason.

As a categorical imperative, it asks us whether or not we can “universalize” our actions, that is, whether it would be the case that others would act in accordance with the same rule in a similar circumstance. This is seen in Kant’s statement about the categorical imperative:Act only on that maxim whereby thou canst at the same time will that it shouldbecome a universal law.

[Kant]”End Match (Guthrie)Ethics, also referred as moral philosophy, addresses the issues of ethics and moral situations, where we are concerned with what we ought to do in terms of right and wrong, when the matter is not of personal interest. It does not only code the issues of moral concerns, but defines a reasonable base of moral beliefs. Therefore, it differs from morality in that the products of beliefs in Ethics are critical and reflective.Ethical theory is to reflect in a sensible and consistent manner on various issues that concern moral.

It differs with applied ethics in that it concerns all moral questions, whereas later concerns with only specific issues that are only of contemporary in the society. There are two forms of ethical theories i.e., theoretical normative ethics and metaethics.

Everyone, who is sent to this world is unique, however, we are shaped by our environment in which we live, in all levels of our being. Environment around us has a very deep effects on our personality, therefore, it has become a major source in which consciousness is defined. Environment constantly interacts with our personal beings and determines our nature.However, one would think that knowing our-self is a simple matter.

Everyone knows himself. A person refers to his own self first by his name, features, character, height, weight, width, then his designation, and social relations. However, this is not an essentiality, nor it defines the philosophy of self-nature. Man as other objects do, acquires space and time.

Therefore, his usual view of himself as a human, as man or a woman, as a friend and relative of different people, and other physical dimensions, etc., are to know the himself as he knows any others in the world (Krishnananda, The Nature of The Self). Man is considered as an object rather than a subject. As he can perceive others in the nature, he could be seen by others in space, as an object with physical dimensions.

Therefore, because of sensual perception he is not different from other objects of sense. However, the perception of oneself through the sense organs is not meant in the philosophy of “the nature of the self”. Because in that case, knowledge is limited to the sense organs. Here philosophers mean knowing one’s inner-self that cannot be viewed by others.

How an object appears in our own mind is “Phenomena”. We normally stick to the world of our own experiences through our consciousness, and do not have access to the world outside of this. According to Kant, consciousness or conscious experience is imposing certain effects and conditions on the manner in which we perceive phenomenal objects. Few of such conditions are the forms of time and space and the abstract forms of relations between events and objects such as the concept of substance and the relation between cause and effect.

Things-in-themselves, is about the actual existence of reality apart from our own consciousness, experience, our minds, and all the conditions that our minds might impose on phenomenal objects. However, this creates confusion about the understanding of concepts like substance and cause and effect. The question arises that whether these concepts apply to things-in- themselves in a similar fashion as they apply to phenomena. Kant pointed out that apart from the application of these concepts to phenomena, it is the ‘particular way’ in which these principles are applied.

The principles of cause and effect are applied in a continuous series in phenomena. It states that every effect has a cause, and in turn, every cause again has another cause, and so forth. This elaborates determinism, which states that everything is causally determined to act in a certain way. Everything, which is going to happen, is pre-determined and is the result of prior event.

According to Kant, science views things by the logic of determinism, but not by us, because we do things by free will, which contradicts determinism. Free will engages a free cause that is not determined by any type of prior cause. Free cause, also called an unconditioned cause, since it is free of any past causal condition, and occurred to Kant in that he viewed phenomenal reality in the same way. According to his philosophy, “characteristic of phenomenal reality was that everything was conditioned by something else.

” In this case, Kant’s view adds on the point of view of Buddhist philosophy: “in the reality that we see, everything is conditioned by everything else.” Buddhist thought is the principle of Relative Existence or No Self Nature. It defines that nothing has an essence, nature, or character by itself and the things in isolation are “empty.” The nature of everything that exists is only due to the earlier existence of prior events or anything.

Therefore, existence is completely relative and conditioned by everything else.The answer provided is based on reasoned arguments that should be inconsistent with the reasonable answers. However, the questions, which are asked in normative ethics, are not descriptive or factual. The answers to the questions explain, what people in fact think, not what people should think.

People can disagree between rightness and wrongness of an action, and between why the action was wrong or right. For example if two people agree that particular action was wrong, they can disagree why the action was wrong. Thus normative ethics explains to answer the questions of why we should or should not perform certain actions that if a person believes alone will lead us to discrepancies and misunderstanding.When we are exploring our lives for a “meaning”, we generally focus on to find out two types of meanings.

Meaningful life might be different in views of different people depending upon the achievements in different areas, which cover happiness, wealth, richness, health, love, marriage, family & relations. However, apart from these, there are spiritual and existential needs that give meaning to life. The desire to attain this meaning is not fulfilled or overcome by relative meanings, but this comes by ultimate gift. The former is limited to specific realm of meaning, while later is permanent, whatever we attain meaninglessness continues.

Happiness can only result from performing morally good actions. Morally “good” is to do something good to others. Happiness is an emotion and feeling of contentment, gladness and pleasure. In some instances it may be in our power or in some other cases it may not be.

Feeling of happiness is a transitory stage; however, it can turn into a long-term state when we and our surroundings constantly adopt those practices that cause happiness and pleasure. Kant talked about long-term happiness. It can be subjective happiness or objective happiness. Kant belief was on objective happiness.

In the state of happiness our own self-deception plays a vital role. One can think of being happy when he’s not or one can be happy and content but not aware of this state.Some philosophers view that the state of being happy is completely under our control. We can choose to be happy or not.

The power of being happy or unhappy is a state of mind. Because some people are happy over one thing, while others feel just the opposite of the same thing. It depends on our daily habits and practices. But Aristotle believed that happiness is to have a good pleasurable life that one can achieve with his full potential.

He thinks one can be happy when one is living a high-quality good life.Evaluation:Every nation’s rise and fall is due to their inner strengths and weaknesses. Every nation, society and culture should conserve their tradition as their valuable identity for next generations and must avoid frequent changes and influences from other societies.People of all ideology, ethnic and culture are some how interconnected with each other.

As a human we are social individuals and interconnected with all sorts of people live in our society. As contradicting to the liberal view that ‘individual freedom of choice to opt for anything’ will deny rights of other social individuals and we will not be able to maintain balance in social conditions.Happiness exists in our feelings when our behavior inspires courteousness, love of neighborhood, sympathy, charity, if combined, defeat poverty, discrimination, abuse and other hatred attitudes. Trust in religion can overcome hatred & disgust, while it ends discrimination and does not foster inequity but love.

Hurting, destroying and harming others spread pain. However, love halts this devastation and ends pain. The demands of nurturing and sustaining such love are very high.Our moral responsibility is the necessity and our actions take root from our determination and our own choice.

For this we are going to answer in the hereafter about our deeds. If our deeds are according to God’s law and His doctrine then we may be rewarded by Him but if our deeds are in rejection to what God created as ‘norms’ of life then we can be punished by Him.ReferencesKant, “Good Will,” ed. Serafini, p.

31. Guthrie, Shandon L. Immanuel kant and the categorical imperative. TheExamined Life On-Line Philosophy Journal, Volume II Issue 7Kant, Immanuel; translated by James W.

Ellington [1785] (1993). Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals 3rd ed.. Hackett, p30.

ISBN 0-87220- 166-x.Korsgaard, Christine (1996). Creating the Kingdom of Ends. Cambridge University Press.

ISBN 0-521-49962-3.O’Neill, Onora (1993). ‘Kantian Ethics’ in ‘A Companion to Ethics,’ ed. Peter Singer.

Oxford: Blackwell Reference. ISBN 0-631-18785-5.

Cite this Kant and the Categorical Imperative

Kant and the Categorical Imperative. (2017, Mar 14). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/kant-and-the-categorical-imperative/

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