The Unforgiven

Topics: Ethics, Law, Clint Eastwood Pages: 5 (1993 words) Published: January 13, 2013
Philosophy Final
For the final essay, the movie I will be writing about is based on the Clint Eastwood’s movie “Unforgiven.” Clint Eastwood portrays a story of William Munny, a killer and aging outlaw who has taken up one more job after years of external and internal peace. In the movie, the plot begins as to why William does decide to come back for one last rendez-vous with death. Taking place in Big Whiskey, Wyoming, a group of prostitutes, led by Strawberry Alice, offer a $1,000 reward to whoever can kill “Davey-Boy” Bunting and Quick Mike. The reason that these bounties were places is because these two individuals disfigured Delilah Fitgerald, a prostitute who is one of their own. An important factor to keep in mind in this situation is that the prostitutes greatly exaggerated the factual events that transpired, and the story that was sent out to the public “bounty hunters” was based on a major over exaggeration and so much to that point that it was not factually based. However, the idea of these bounty that was sent out by the prostitutes upsets Little Bill Daggett, the local sheriff, who himself was a former gunfighter but is not a converted keepers of peace who has taken the law upon himself and has dis-allowed guns and criminals in his town. What Little Bill does in this town is take the law into his own hands. While there is some sort of legal system in place in this town, the prostitutes have no rights under the system and according to Little Bill, it is up to him to decide what should be done in this situation. He is always taking the laws in his own hands. In this specific case, Little Bill gives these two men leniency despite the crime that they have committed. Will, hearing the over exaggerated version of the factual events, decides to come to this town and hunt and kill these two men not only for retribution for the prostitutes but to also collect the reward money. Using the reasoning of Kant, Mill, and Aristotle, I will analyze this entire current situation in the movie and using these different thinkers then compare and contrast who would agree with each other and who would disagree with each other.

The first thinker I will bring up is Kant. The first issue that comes up in the state situation is justice which then leads into the rest of the problems presented in the beginning of the story. What the prostitutes did to Will is actually manipulate him because what the factual events was greatly differed that the story that was presented to him. As a result, Mill was manipulated into making his decision to help solve the prostitute’s problem, and by him being manipulated into making this decision the prostitutes took away his free choice. Immanuel Kant is against taking away people’s free choice. There are three imperatives that are used by Kant to determine if a certain deed should be done. The three imperatives include the universal law based on principle, the means end formula (never treat anyone as a means but always as an end), autonomy formula (act in accordance to the maxim of a member that legislates the law)or the people who make the law are moral and thus the laws must be followed. When taking in consideration the universal law, what Kant is saying is that the acts act according only to maxim and thus must be applied to everybody. In this situation, the following maxim could be read as “if a prostitute is attacked, then it is ok to pay for someone to come in and seek vengeance.” The maxim for the prostitutes is to pay for justice and if applied to everyone this maxim would definitely not work and the world would become more chaotic and dangerous if this were a true maxim. The second part of the imperative deals with the means end formula. This states that one should never treat anyone as a mean but always as an end. In other words, do not use someone just for your benefit at the expense of another person’s but at the same time the other person should be getting something back in...
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