Online_Lecture_27

Online_Lecture_27 - PHIL 4 Introduction to Ethics Out of...

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PHIL 4: Introduction to Ethics “Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made.” —Immanuel Kant 1 Kant (VI)
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Kant On Lying Kant (in)famously argues that you may not lie to the axe- murderer at your door asking the whereabouts of his intended victim (“On a Supposed Right to Tell Lies from Benevolent Motives”) But let’s distinguish between two very different questions 1. Does Kant think that the prohibition against lying is universal and absolute? 2. Does if follow from Kant’s theory that the prohibition against lying is universal and absolute?
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Now when we consider lying in general, it looks as if it could not be the universal method of doing anything. For lies are usually efficacious in achieving their purposes because they deceive, but if they were universally practiced they would not deceive. We believe what is said to us in a given context because most of the time people in that context say what they really think or intend. ..In most cases, lying falls squarely in to the category of the sort of action Kant considers wrong: actions whose efficacy depends upon the fact that most people do not engage in them, and which therefore can only be performed by someone who makes an exception of himself. Christine Korsgaard
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A murderer who expects to conduct his business by asking questions must suppose that you do not know who he is and what he has in mind. If these are the circumstances, and we try to ascertain whether there could be a universal practice of lying in
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Online_Lecture_27 - PHIL 4 Introduction to Ethics Out of...

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