Kant vs Mills in Animal Rights
In this essay I will cover the philosophy of Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill. I will begin by covering Kant perspective of rational beings and his idea of a priori learning. I will then move on to his idea of categorical imparaitive. After Kant I will discuss Mill’s utilitarian theory regarding pleasure and pain. With a better understanding of those I will move to Mill’s idea of a posteriori and hypothetical imperative. Following the ideas of these philosophers I will attempt to depict their viewpoints of the issue of animal cruelty through experimentation. To conclude the essay I will state my stance and who’s side, if either, I take in the animal cruelty controversy. First, I will talk about the theories and views held by philosopher Immanuel Kant. Kant argues that only rational beings can count as moral agents and the perspective of moral concern extends only to rational beings. This perspective is the nucleus of Kant philosophy. A large aspect of the possession of reason, in Kant’s view, is the ability to gain knowledge that cannot be shown as false through experience and, just by thought, can be learned. A good example of this a priori knowledge is, “the sum of the angles of a square is 360 degrees.” Anyone who has studied geometry knows once it has been proved we can say that we beings can possess this type of knowledge, and having this knowledge can allow a being to make a judgment about their action. The ability to possess this knowledge to determine an action leads me to Kant’s next claim. Kant claims that there is a right way to determine how to treat other rational beings, as well as themselves. Kant describes this as being the categorical imperative. The categorical imperative states that an individual ought not make an exception for one’s self to act in a way they themselves would not want by other individuals. Kant requires that a person’s maxim should only be acted upon if the action and...
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