Kant’s Moral Philosophy
Faafetai Ieremia Jr
Kant’s Moral Philosophy
Kant’s moral philosophy is also known as Kantian ethics. It is a type of a deontological theory, which is based on ethics. Immanuel Kant founded this deontological theory. Kant’s theory developed as a culmination to the enlightenment rationalism. The basic central idea of this theory is that the good will is the intrinsic quality of nature. Hence, if the action is morally good, maxim, it acts as the theory behind the duty to the moral law. Kant’s moral law gave birth to the idea of categorical imperative. According to the theory of Kant, it is an idea, which acts as a moral law applicable to all people, irrespective of what their wishes, and interests are. “Act only to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2008).
Kant’s theory has the unique quality of Kant’s formulation of moral law in the categorical imperative. The basic universal idea of Kant’s ethics reveal that in order to have permission to any action, the action needs to be applicable to all mankind without any disagreement. Moreover, this ethical theory states that human beings are not defined as beings who talks of an end but rather are an autonomous end in themselves. The theory formulation also deals with the autonomy which results in saying that rational agents are willfully restricted to the moral law. Kant says that the idea of the Kingdom of Ends is about the establishment of the idea based on hypothetical kingdom, which is assumed by the people to be created by their actions (Pomerleau, 2013).
In addition, Kant’s theory also portrays the idea of imperfect and perfect duties. In light of this view, the idea that human beings should not lie, is the perfect duty and it hold the truth in its centre. While charity, is an imperfect duty, which is applicable in specific moments and times. Many philosophers, such as Louis Pojman and Jean-Jacques Rousseau cited the Kant’s ethical theory for their debate for rationalism and empiricism. These debates state about Kant’s ethical theoretical development lead to the development of the natural law. Philosopher also believes that Kant’s teacher Martin Knutzen gave him the inspiration for his ethical theory.
Other philosophers like Jacques Lacan, John Rawls and Jurgen Schopenhauer were also influenced by the ethical theory of Kant. However, philosophers like G. W. F Hegel criticized Kant’s ethical theory as being short of providing enough prove for the decision making and the denial of human nature. Another philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer also criticized Kant’s ethical theory as being perspective by saying that it does not only define the human behavior and characteristic but define a specific perspective. In addition, Michael Stocker argued that Kant’s moral theory says people committing the perfect and imperfect duties will eventually end up neglecting the other ethical motivations such as love and friendship.
The basic concept of Kant’s moral philosophy is the ground work which is based on the concept to seek out. Kant formulated these ideas by linking the common sense concept with the general morality ethics and duties of human beings. This Groundwork is based on the concept of seeking ou, from the basis of moral of metaphysics. His initial idea was to assign a statement to the principles of morality and judgment. These judgments would concern a normal/sane human being. The judgments should also be based on something which a human mind can possibly accept. In this sense, Kant did not give the judgment that would please the other philosophers for being directly linked with either the religion or science.
Rather, Kant gave a proposition which was based on the general perception of the human mind and society. The basic flaw which could be analyzed in his Groundwork, is that it falls short of proof....
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