Lecture 21_Deontology and Utilitarianism

Lecture 21_Deontology and Utilitarianism - Kants Ethics:...

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Kant’s Ethics: The Basics Morality must be based solely on reason. Its central concept is the concept of duty, and so morality is a matter of “ deontology Duty is a “far nobler end” and “supreme good” Morality must be autonomous , a function of individual reason, such that every rational person is capable of finding out what is right and what is wrong for himself or herself All personal feelings, desires, impulses, and emotions are “inclinations.” For Kant, morality is independent of inclination!
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The Good Will Kant begins by saying that what is ultimately (i.e., “intrinsically”) good is a “ good will .” And a good will, in turn, is the will that exercises practical reason What we will, that is, what we try to do, is wholly within our control. And reason serves the purpose of instructing our will in our duty. “The notion of duty includes that of a good will” A good will subjects itself to rational principles . Those rational principles are moral laws, and it is action in accordance with such laws that alone makes a person good. “Duty is the necessity of acting from respect for the
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The Categorical Imperative(s) The general formulation of Kant’s notion of duty is the categorical imperative Categorical imperatives demand that one simply “do this” or “don’t do this,” whatever the circumstances e.g., “Don’t lie” ( no matter what ) The word that distinguishes moral commands in general is the word ought , and categorical imperatives tell us what we ought to do, independent of circumstances or goals
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Most general formulation : “There is therefore but one categorical imperative, namely, this: Act only on that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law”
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Lecture 21_Deontology and Utilitarianism - Kants Ethics:...

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