kant categorical imperative

Topics: Immanuel Kant, Philosophy, Morality Pages: 1 (549 words) Published: June 2, 2015
7. What in your opinion is Kant’s greatest contribution to moral philosophy? In my opinion, Kant’s greatest contribution to moral philosophy is his idea of ‘The Categorical Imperative’. It is the overriding and supreme concept of Kant’s moral philosophy. Essentially, it combines the other concepts –composite of law of reason- and results in one principle. This one principle must not be hypothetical in nature. For example, it cannot be “If you want too… you must…” Rather, The Categorical Imperative (Universal Law of Formula of Kingdom Ends) requires one to act by moral laws such as “Don’t do this” or “Do that”. Moreover, the Categorical Imperative stresses that we can assess what is morally right by imagining everyone in the world acting with the same motive. Therefore, it has to be universally applicable. When people are morally right, they are using their reason to figure out what is their duty. This duty is the one principle that excludes any qualifications and is unconditional. In addition, it means that the principle would have to be suited so that everyone in the world can act upon that law without undermining it. For example, a person who knows that it would be good to volunteer at a charity and give up a little of his time to help a good cause. However, he decides that he won’t because he does not feel bothered. The maxim here is that it is acceptable if you do not give up some of your spare time for your community or charity if you don’t feel like it. Consequently, if this was applied universally and everyone acted on this universal law, society would eventually collapse. There would be no volunteers to give up their time to ensure the wellbeing of society. "Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end" (Kant, Critique of Practical Reason).This demonstrates how one has to use their reason to recognise their duty- this duty...
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