Categorical Imperative

Topics: Philosophy, Categorical imperative, Immanuel Kant Pages: 1 (508 words) Published: April 23, 2015
Immanuel Kant, along with some other great philosophers, was a central figure in modern philosophy. His ethical theory provides an account of general duties and a justification of moral motivation. During Kant’s life span from 1724-1804 he studied many different topics in philosophy but his main study was on the Categorical Imperative. Along with the Categorical Imperative he also studied maxims and the principle of universalizability. Kant’s theory is very hard to interpret and can be complex and difficult at times. The Supreme Principle of Morality also known as the Categorical Imperative is Kant’s main focus in his philosophic theory. The Categorical Imperative can also be described as an unconditional command. There is only one Categorical Imperative but there are three different formulations that Kant has created. The first formulation of the Categorical Imperative as quoted by Kant is, “Act only according to the maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.” In other words, this formulation of the Categorical Imperative can be explained as when each individual determines that everyone, including themself, will always act the same way to the same general rule. In order for a person to be morally good person, they will have to follow this formulation of the Categorical Imperative. In the first formulation Kant states: “Act only according to that maxim…” Defined by Kant a maxim is, “a subjective principle of violation.” In other words a maxim can be defined as a policy statement or a personal rule that contains a condition and an action. There are many different types of maxims that can be created, but according to Kant, some of them can be determined as a type of duty - either a perfect duty or an imperfect duty. A perfect duty is a maxim that has absolute prohibitions. An imperfect duty is a relative. According to Kant, a person should only operate on those maxims that function like that of the law of nature. In order...
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