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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 Dont be too specific! II The intuitive Idea-and Kants non-consequentialism-its 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; Im going to keep my $5,000. 1- Cant will as law of nature because if everyone did it 2- Not acting in accordance with duty (civic duty)-friend agrees youll be better off by cheating. Government wont know so you wont get caught, people wont know what youve done, so what youre doing wont serve as an example, and since portion is insignificant no one will suffer. BUT maintains what youre doing is wrong and not permissible. 1- know its wrong because youre making an exception of yourself by acting this way. You cant 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 Kants 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 whats central to Kants 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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