NOTES - Wednesday March 19 – Transition to the...

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Unformatted text preview: Wednesday March 19 – Transition to the Categorical Imperative I Transition to the Categorical Imperative Overall principle on which a good will acts, non consequeitalist view Categorical imperative yields some weird counterintuitive results Perfectly moral maxims fail categorical imperative test, some clearly immoral examples pass Moral principles are grounded in reason alone and are categorical imperatives Don’t be too specific! II The intuitive Idea-and Kant’s non-consequentialism-it’s true a lot of times when we act and when we deliberate about how we should act we appeal to utilitarianism principle of greatest happiness. We choose option that promotes happiness.-there are and should be times where we reject greatest happiness when we determine what we aught to do. Tax cheat case-not paying tax and spending it on self will make me extremely happy maximize my utility and not cause significant unhappiness to anyone else. My share is negligible and hardly matters, no one will suffer because of it. No one will be worse off by my cheating, it will maximize my utility and promote my happiness; I’m going to keep my $5,000. 1- Can’t will as law of nature because if everyone did it 2- Not acting in accordance with duty (civic duty)-friend agrees you’ll be better off by cheating. Government won’t know so you won’t get caught, people won’t know what you’ve done, so what you’re doing won’t serve as an example, and since portion is insignificant no one will suffer. BUT maintains what you’re doing is wrong and not permissible. 1- know it’s wrong because you’re making an exception of yourself by acting this way. You can’t universalize as a maxim. What you propose to do is wrong-refined and complicated version of intuitive utilitarianism is categorical imperative. Kant presents 3 formulations we will focus on first 2 1 Formula of Universal Law 421 text Act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law 2 Formula of Humanity Humans aught to treat humanity as an end in its self, and not as an instrumental mean to some other end. III Kantian Maxims Friday March 23 – The Formula of Universal Law I The Formula of Universal Law II Kantian Maxims III Kant’s Examples IV Your Examples Act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will it become a universal law Categorical imperative is a test for the moral promiscuity of maxims Maxim-subjective policy of intent Maxim of action when in S-type situations, perform A-type actions of purpose P Basic idea has to be possible to be willed universal law, a law in which all agents act, and has to be no inconsistency in your will Four examples to illustrate what’s central to Kant’s view how common notions of duty conform to the categorical imperative-First, Suicide- people have a duty not to commit suicide, because it clearly cannot be a willed as a universal law of nature for all people to kill themselves; if everyone died,...
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This note was uploaded on 05/02/2008 for the course HIST 212 taught by Professor Tester during the Spring '08 term at A.T. Still University.

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NOTES - Wednesday March 19 – Transition to the...

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