Ethics- Essay 2

Ethics- Essay 2 - Thomas Arnost Intro to Ethics Professor...

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Thomas Arnost Intro to Ethics Professor Delaney April 11, 2008 Kant’s Categorical Imperative Immanuel Kant is one of the most prominent philosophers in the history of Western philosophy. His contributions have had a profound impact on almost every philosophical movement that followed him. It is uncommon for a philosopher in any time period to make a significant impact on any single topic in philosophy; for a philosopher to impact as many different areas as Kant did is remarkable. His ethical theory has been as, if not more, influential than his work in epistemology and metaphysics. Kant is the primary proponent in history of what is called deontological ethics. Deontology is the study of duty. On Kant's view, the sole feature that gives an action moral worth is not the outcome that is achieved by the action, but the motive that is behind the action. The categorical imperative is Kant's famous statement of this duty. Kant’s Categorical Imperative can be explained using two principle formulations, the Formula of Universal Law and the Formula of the End in Itself. The Formula of Universal Law is the flagship of Kant’s ethical theory. Kantian philosophy outlines the Universal Law Formation of the Categorical Imperative as a method for determining morality of actions. This formula is a two-part assessment. First, one creates a maxim and considers whether the maxim could be a universal law for all rational beings. Second, one determines whether rational beings would will it to be a universal law. Once it is clear that the maxim passes both prongs of the test, there are no exceptions. He states that you
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course PHIL 101 taught by Professor Delaney during the Spring '08 term at Georgetown.

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Ethics- Essay 2 - Thomas Arnost Intro to Ethics Professor...

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