Lecture 4 Outline

Lecture 4 Outline - Basic Insights of Deontology...

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Kantian Ethics Lectures 4 Summer School PHIL 102 1 Basic Insights of Deontology Consequences are not all that matter Duties , rules or principles determine rightness of acts Some: positive duties (what ought to do) Kant: Constraints on action (what ought not to do) 2 Two Conceptions of Duty. .. 1. Duty as following orders Duty is external Duty is imposed by others Adolph Eichmann model “only following orders” 3 Two Conceptions of Duty. .. “I had known the Categorical Imperative , but it was in a nutshell, in a summarised form. I suppose it could be summarised as, ‘Be loyal to the laws, be a disciplined person, live an orderly life, do not come into conFict with the laws’ - that more or less was the whole essence of that law for the use of the little man.” (Adolph Eichmann in Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: a report on the banality of evil ) 4 Immanuel Kant (1742-1804) Duty as freely imposing an obligation on oneself Two Conceptions of Duty. .. 5 Background to Kantian Ethics The ‘Enlightenment’ (18th C.) 1. Copernican revolution (beginning 16th.C) The geocentric model of the universe was replaced by the heliocentric model Challenge: Earth no longer the unique and focal centre of God’s creation. What is the status of religion; morality; humanity? 6
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Background to Kantian Ethics 2. Scientifc Revolution (beginning mid 15th C) - Newtonian Physics (mechanistic world view) - Development oF empirical thought Challenge: How can people be held morally responsible For their actions iF they act in a mechanistically determined world? 7 Background to Kantian Ethics 3. Moral Sentiment Theory (beginning 16thC) ±rancis Hutcheson (1694-1746) David Hume (1711-1776) “...the basis oF obligation must not be sought in the nature of man , or in the circumstances of the world in which he is placed, but a priori simply in the conception oF pure reason ...” (Kant in CB, p27) Kant Objection: Morality in these theories is naturalistic, contingent and hypothetical (instrumental) 8 Background to Kantian Ethics The German Enlightenment (‘Age oF Reason’; Aufklarüng ) “Enlightenment is man’s emergence From his selF-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s own understanding without the guidance oF another. This immaturity is selF-incurred iF its cause is not lack oF understanding, but the lack oF resolution and courage to use it without guidance oF another. Sapere aude ! Have courage to use your own understanding!” (Kant, ‘An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment’)
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This note was uploaded on 02/16/2009 for the course PHIL PHIL 102 taught by Professor -- during the Spring '09 term at Auckland.

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Lecture 4 Outline - Basic Insights of Deontology...

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