Immanuel Kant's Ethics of Pure Duty

Better Essays
Immanuel Kant 's Ethics Of Pure Duty
In Comparison To
John Stuart Mill 's Utilitarian Ethics Of Justice

Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill are philosophers who addressed the issues of morality in terms of how moral traditions are formed. Immanuel Kant has presented one viewpoint in The Grounding For The Metaphysics of Morals that is founded on his belief that the worth of man is inherent in his ability to reason. John Stuart Mill holds another opinion as presented in the book, Utilitarianism that is seemingly in contention with the thoughts of Kant. What is most distinctive about the ethics of morality is the idea of responsibilities to particular individuals. According to Kant and Mill, moral obligations are not fundamentally particularistic in this way because they are rooted in universal moral principles. Mill and Kant are both philosophers whom have made great impact on their particular fields of philosophy and a critique of their theories in relation to each other may help develop a better understanding to them and their theories individually.
Mill 's utilitarianism theory is a version of the ideal judgment theory. So is Kant 's, but there are differences. Mill holds an empiricist theory while Kant holds a rationalist theory. Kant grounds morality in forms that he believes, are necessary to free and rational practical judgment, namely his deontological ethics. Mill 's utilitarian theory is a form of consequentialism because the rightness or wrongness of an act is determined by the consequences. Thus, deontologicalism and consequentialism are the main criticisms for both these theories. Kant 's ethics of pure duty is the basis for his categorical imperative, which provides the basis for his universalist duty based theory. Mill 's theory of utilitarianism is a primary form of consequentialism. Both deontologicalism and consequentialism are valid points of argument to the ethics of an action but they are also argumentative towards each other.

Bibliography: Mill, John Stuart, Utilitarianism, Hackett Publishing Company Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1979, Original Publication, 1861 Kant Immanuel, Grounding For The Metaphysics Of Morals, Third Edition, Hackett Publishing Company Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1993, Original Publication, 1785

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