REFERING TO ABOVE EXAMPLES let’s see if the maxims we found can be universalized Example: I’m bored, so I’ll call a friend If the maxim is “phone a friend to ease my boredom,” we don’t seem to have a problem: the universal version would be “everyone may phone a friend when bored.” Example: If the maxim is “force someone to do something if it will make me feel better”, then the universalized version is “ everyone may force others to do things if it will make the actor feel better” seems to be in conflict with itself: If my friend doesn’t want to talk, then the universal rule says he can force me not to talk, and I can force him to let me. I cant want both of those things at once, so my intention- that I get my way, but he does not get his is not moral
In general, the categorical imperative seems to rule out the use of force, since force is inherently partial: ie. In most cases someone who attacks another is intending to gain an advantage for himself: an advantage this aggressor would not want to grant to others. Such attempts at selfish advantage are just the kind of thing that cannot be universalized Example: The only way to get into this party is to lie, so ill lie The universalized maxim seems in conflict with the particular one: I want to get my way by lying, ie. To convince someone of something by saying untrue words. If everyone behaved that way always, there would be no reason to believe any words spoken, and so many words would not have the effect I want. I cant want to lie successfully when convenient and for everyone to lie when convenient, so my action is not according to duty Example: I don’t want this patient to be an addict, so ill take away her cigarettes Even though my aim is to benefit the patient, according to Kant’s logic this one seems to work out just like the use of force for selfish reasons. If my aim is to achieve my goal by force, then I must intend others (including the patient) to achieve their aims as well, although those aims conflict with mine; and so the maxim cannot be consistently universalized. iv. Categorical Imperative II The above example of categorical imperative is useful in practice. I cannot want to impose my goals on others and want them to impose their goals on me so I cannot morally aim to impose my goals on others This seems to be in connection between Kant’s first version of the categorical imperative and his second… Categorical Imperative II: Never treat a person as a mere means to an end Remember there is only one categorical imperative; Kant’s claim is that it can be stated in these 2 different ways Many philosophers, are not convinced that the 2 are really equivalent This version tells us that we cannot use people : we have to let them decide for themselves what they will do I can ask someone to do something for me (or for themselves), even give reasons why they should , but it is up to each person to choose The term PERSON is important to Kant, and for ethical theory in general o For Kant, a person is
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