Categorical Imperatives

Categorical Imperatives - Categorical Imperatives What is...

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Categorical Imperatives What is the idea of a categorical imperative? o An inescapable requirement How do we escape ordinary requirements? o Challenge authority by asking “why?” Example: Pay Taxes! Leave a burning building! What can’t we escape by asking “why?” o “Act for Reasons!” When you say why you’re looking for a reason (To ask “why?” is to seek a reason) Only way to escape is to give up agency You can give up deliberation Reasons Reasons are universal o They apply to all similar cases Kant’s ethics forbids us from acting on certain proposed reasons (or maxims) o You aren’t allowed to act on certain reasons because they aren’t genuine reasons because it isn’t an idea that can be sufficiently universal Kant’s formula of Universal Law (FUL) o “Act as if the maxim of our action were to become by your will a universal law” (296a) Using FUL Example A: Ordinary Thief o Sees backpack and wants to own it
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This note was uploaded on 09/11/2011 for the course PHIL 1304 taught by Professor Wjfitzpatrick during the Spring '05 term at Virginia Tech.

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Categorical Imperatives - Categorical Imperatives What is...

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