Kant lecture

Kant lecture - Kant Plan 1. Introduce some background about...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–9. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: Kant Plan 1. Introduce some background about Kant’s project and state his supreme moral principle, the Categorical Imperative 2. Discuss Kant’s 4 cases and how they guide our search for Kant’s supreme moral principle 3. Kant’s Impossibility Test, his original understanding of the Categorical imperative and some objections 4. A different understanding of the Categorical Imperative In the Groundwork Kant’s goal is to: (a) to determine whether there’s a supreme principle of morality, and (b) if there is such a principle, to identify it, and (c) at least begin to explain or justify why the principle identified is indeed the supreme principle of morality. We’ll mainly be concerned with (b). A supreme principle of morality is a unique and ultimate principle that would tell us two things (i) which actions are morally impermissible , that is, morally wrong, and (ii) which actions are morally permissible , that is, either morally “okay” or morally right. Some candidate moral principles, one of which may be the supreme principle: Golden Rule : Morally, you should do to others as you would want them to do to you.- Objections: masochists, nonhuman animals, the needy, multiple persons, etc. Tit-for-tat : Morally, you should do to others what they in fact do to you.- Objections: ditto Utilitarianism : Morally, you should do whatever will maximize “utility” (where we spell out what maximizing utility means, precisely). A supreme principle of morality is a unique and ultimate principle about right and wrong. What does this mean? Uniqueness : rules out the possibility of moral relativism, which is the view that morality is relative to groups (cultures, societies, religious codes, etc.) in such a way that, for instance, what is morally wrong for one group might not be morally wrong for another. Ultimate : although there may be several principles which specify what’s right or wrong, these principles all derive from and are justified by this supreme principle. e.g. Golden Rule example: “it’s wrong to steal” may be a principle that derives from and is justified by the Golden Rule. Kant offers his own candidate moral principle. It’s called the Categorical Imperative . It’s categorical in the sense that it is meant to apply absolutely and without conditions to all beings of a certain sort (specifically, to all rational beings). It’s imperative because it expresses obligations, that is, things that we must do. The “must” here is moral, since the kinds of obligations Kant is discussing are moral obligations . There are other kinds of obligations which he’s not discussing (for instance, legal obligations). We can understand the categorical imperative (which is supposed to apply to all rational creatures no matter what), from a hypothetical imperative. Hypothetical imperatives apply to rational creatures when those creatures antecedently have some goal or aim, e.g. drink when you’re thirsty. Kant believes there are several ways of expressing the...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 10/19/2011 for the course PHIL 104 taught by Professor Bunzl during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.

Page1 / 56

Kant lecture - Kant Plan 1. Introduce some background about...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 9. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online