What of Utilitarianism? The GHP/Principle of Utility and the Categorical Imperatives are somewhat similar in terms of creating a rational method for testing individual actions. How do the GHP and the Kant’s categorical imperatives differ? Wouldn’t Kant simply refer to the Utilitarian measurements of pleasure and pain as being mere hypothetical imperative regulators, and therefore as having absolutely nothing to do with issues of ethics? Would this be right? Aren’t consequences as important as intentions ? What role does duty play, and how do issues of obligation, reason, rationality, and the idea of autonomy relate to one another in Kant’s system? How does Kant’s ethics relate to the enlightenment and broader social-phenomenon of his age? Notice also that Kant is providing a foundation for ethics – which is why one of his works on ethics is entitled the “Groundwork” (its an anti-skeptical, anti-instrumental project, it is about grounding ethics in a firm set of axioms). We can ask ourselves, in the vein of Aristotle, whether such is indeed possible, and if not, is Kant’s whole project doomed, or can parts be salvaged, or even augmented to save the theory? Is Kant overly ambitious in thinking there can be such a universal rational agreement bout imperative X across all the different people who undertake categorical consideration? Is there more to morality than what merely what my duty tells me what I ought to do - as we will see the Existentialists critique such views later. Is there a dangerous fascist-totalitarian tendency in Kant where the third imperative wants us to act harmoniously and “in-line” with reason, else we rock the boat of harmonious reason? What does it mean to say that ethics is a priori – what is a “metaphysics of morals”? 40
Can an ethics be built totally around the idea of respect for lawfulness and rationality? Is Kant’s System Intuitive – Most importantly, what do you like or dislike about Kant’s ethical system, and more importantly, why? Take a few moments and think these different questions through, as such interrogative questions help build our strength and familiarity with ethics and the different ethical systems we have been studying. P.S. They are also similar to test questions! But that aside thinking such for just two seconds will deepen your grasp on these topics and give your mind a new set of tools to use. Chapter VI. Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, & Marxism “In the social production of their life, men enter into definite relations that are indispensable and independent of their will; these relations of production correspond to a definite stage of development of their material forces of production. The sum total of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society — the real foundation, on which rises a legal and political superstructure and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness. The mode of production of material life determines the social, political and intellectual life process in general. It is not the consciousness of men
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 108 pages?