Kant's Moral Theory

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 329
  • Published : August 10, 2005
Open Document
Text Preview
Kant¡¯s Moral Theory

I think Kant¡¯s Moral theory is one complement to the Utilitarianism because one deficit of Utilitarianism is it is sometimes impossible to foresee the consequences, and Kant brought up that ¡°the consequences of our acts are not always in our control and things do not always turn out as we want¡±. However, he believed that we can control our motives, and the ¡°motive to do what is right¡± gives an act its moral worth.

The second belief Kant holds is ¡°people ought not to be used, but ought to be regarded as having the highest intrinsic value¡±. My understanding here is Kant believe that the intrinsic value of an act determines what is morally right or morally wrong. The intrinsic value always accompanies the act, for example, if A is intrinsic to B, then it is no accident that B exhibits A.

For actions to have moral worth, ¡°good will¡± and good act (in accordance with duty) are required. Kant believed that the ¡°good will¡± is the right motive. Good will is to will your maxim to be a universal law or universally valid and accepted. ¡°Having a right intention is to do what is right (or what one believes to be right) just because it is right¡±. Kant believed that acts done from the motive of duty are the only ones with moral worth. For example, you borrow money from a friend, and your options, or maxims, are to either return the money, or not to return the money. To return money is of good will, and if you choose this to be your maxim, you are in accordance with duty. Not to return money, if put into a universal law, nobody ever returned the money, and everybody broke their promises, there would be no promises, and the act is not in accordance with duty. So the act of not returning the money has no moral worth and is morally wrong.

There are two different types of imperatives, according to Kant, hypothetical imperative and categorical imperative. ¡°an imperative is simply a form of statement that tells us to do something¡±....
tracking img