Lecture 21_Deontology and Utilitarianism

Lecture 21_Deontology and Utilitarianism - Deontology(Kant...

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Deontology (Kant) and Utilitarianism (Bentham, Mill) Morality and Practical Reason: Kant i. Kant argued that morality must be based solely on reason. Its central concept is the concept of duty , and so morality is a matter of deontology . Kant insisted on the independence of morality from society. For Kant, 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. Because morality is based on reason, it does not depend on particular societies or particular circumstances; it does not depend on individual feelings or desires. Kant summarizes all such personal feelings, impulses, and emotions as inclinations . ii. Kant begins by saying that what is ultimately good is a good will . And a good will, in turn, is the will that exercises pure practical reason . The good will is the ground of morality for Kant because 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,” Kant tells us, “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. iii.
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2012 for the course PHI 2010 taught by Professor Tacks during the Spring '12 term at Florida State College.

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Lecture 21_Deontology and Utilitarianism - Deontology(Kant...

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