This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Categorical Imperative Essay

1466 words - 6 pages

Kant thinks that the basic moral principles of our society come from people’s rationality, and people must follow these principles unconditionally. These moral principles are the Categorical Imperative. Meanwhile, its common rules have different directions in society. To conclude these directions, it can be reflected from three different formulations. Among the three formulations, the first formulation of universal law has standout features in the maxim and the constraints about people’s behaviors. With combined analysis of examples, the drawbacks of universal law also appear out.
For evaluating and explaining to prove the flaws of the universal law, the specific understanding about the meaning of maxim is essential because it is the core for the universal law. Maxim is the subjective principle and rule of people. People’s actions rely on these principles. In addition, the maxim usually refers to individual behaviors criterion for rational beings. If the principle or maxim which determines people’s will cannot be widely effective for the rational beings, this maxim of will only is applicable for a specific individual. In this way, this subjective principle is not moral rules, and it comes from personal preferences. Meanwhile, although maxim is the subjective principle, it should become objective and universal principle according to Categorical Imperative. Universal law prescribes the maxim is an objective and universal principle. If the maxim is regard as the subjective principle, it will be not applicable for moral life. It will violate the meaning of moral worth because not all of the subjective maxims derive from sense of duty. Maxim should be matched with universal principle. Only in this way, the maxim could become the universal law and the standard of people’s action simultaneously.
Universal law is the first formulation of Categorical Imperative. It states that “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time [rationally] will that it become a universal law” (Bergeron and Tramel 239). In this definition, the maxim is the objective principle. People need to act in accordance to the objective maxim, and the maxim has become the universal law through the judgments of will. The key point of this formulation is whether the maxim is universalizable or not. If the maxim is universalizable, it is the objective principle. People need to act and obey this objective maxim in moral life. Otherwise, the maxim is only the subjective principle, and people should not apply their subjective maxims into the moral life. People will betray the universal law only by means of their subjective maxims, and this behavior is not allowed in Categorical Imperative. The formulation of universal law is the basis of Categorical Imperative.
However, everything has advantages and disadvantages, even the formulation of universal law. The outstanding point of universal law stresses that people’s moral behaviors should have objectivity. Whether the...

Find Another Essay On Categorical Imperative

Categorical Imperative vs. Utilitarianism Essay

1410 words - 6 pages Kant: the Universal Law Formation of the Categorical ImperativeKantian philosophy outlines the Universal Law Formation of theCategorical Imperative as a method for determining morality of actions.This formula is a two part test. First, one creates a maxim andconsiders whether the maxim could be a universal law for all rationalbeings. Second, one determines whether rational beings would will it tobe a universal law. Once it is clear that the

analysis of Kant's Categorical Imperative

2079 words - 8 pages Analysis of Kant’s Categorical Imperative in Metaphysics Grounding for the metaphysics of morals is a foundation of Kant’s philosophy, in this book, Kant wants to build up a moral kingdom of metaphysical. At first, Kant extracted categorical imperative from the concepts of goodness, will and obligation and enacted some rational principles, then, he plans to map out moral metaphysic through categorical imperative. However, he failed to do so

Kant and the Categorical Imperative

1082 words - 4 pages Kant and the Categorical Imperative Kant tried to develop a theory of ethics which relied on reason rather than emotion. While he was not anti-religious, he wanted an ethical system which was not clouded by religion, emotion or personal interpretation. He placed emphasis on motives behind an action rather than, like the Utilitarians, the consequences of an action. He believed that consequences were no guide to whether an

Kant and the Categorical Imperative

1651 words - 7 pages great deal of stress placed on the intention behind the act, consider giving money to charity for the sake of helping out, without any need for any ego gratification or such self-serving purposes, this is an instance of "good will".Kant's most well known contribution to ethical discussion is the categorical imperative. There are three key propositions that form the basis of Kant's ethics. They are: act only on that maxim (principle) through which you

A Critique of the Categorical imperative

1890 words - 8 pages A Critique of the Categorical imperative Immanuel Kant was without doubt one of the most influential Philosophers of his time. He was born in Koinsberg, Prussia on the 22nd of April 1724, and died on the 12th of February 1804 at the age of 79. Throughout his life Kant contributed his ideas to many major fields of Philosophy; however his biggest contribution was to the realm of ethics, when he developed the concept of the categorical imperative

Three Formulations of the Categorical Imperative

2379 words - 10 pages In Kant’s book, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant talks about the three formulations of the categorical imperative. By these formulations, he describes his idea of organizing the moral principle for all rational beings. Kant also talks about the principles of humanity, rational ends, and the “realm of ends” which are constituted by the autonomous freedom of rational beings. The first formulation of the categorical imperative is

Categorical Imperative

768 words - 4 pages John Stuart Mill labels his theory of happiness as, “Utility,” (Mill 252). When discussing Mill’s point of view the importance is that of acquiring happiness not only for one’s self, but for others as well. He believes in satisfying the most amounts of people possible, and only participating in actions which result in happiness and for that of the greatest good. In addition to that, Mill suggests that people participate in actions with sheer

Kant’s View on Abortion Explained by Categorical Imperative

708 words - 3 pages the decision solely rests with the mother. Lastly, the moderate view believes that the act of aborting is justified to a wavering point. After review of the different positions on abortion and Kant’s ideals on morals, specifically categorical imperative, Kant’s view point on this controversial issue would be conservative or against abortion. In the second section of Kant’s writing, he begins discussing imperatives. Kant defines imperatives as

Kant's Categorical Imperative in Grounding for the Metephysics of Morals

1436 words - 6 pages In Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, Immanuel Kant first introduces his concept of the categorical imperative (CI) as an unconditional moral law. In this paper I will argue that Kant’s categorical imperative succeeds in proving that lying and murder are immoral. First, I will explain moral law and the categorical imperative, and then I will outline Kant’s Formula of Universal Law. Finally, I will evaluate two maxims to determine if the

Kant´s Theory: Categorical Imperative and its Rules

1071 words - 5 pages consequences of our actions. Another imperative is categorical, categorical is universal. When having to do decision making if the person does not generalize their behavior without conflict then the decision should not be made. Kant’s morality is never relative but it is absolute. Kant said that it’s either right all the time or it’s not right at all. When it comes to lying Kant says lying is wrong even when it be used to save someone’s life or to do

Kant's Critique of Utilitarianism and a Maxim put through the categorical Imperative

544 words - 3 pages Kant's critique of Utilitarianism is that it treats people as a means not as an ends in themselves. Since he is a deontologist he presumes that there is a universal moral imperative, certain ways in which we must act, no matter what our individual desires or needs or utility might be. The Categorical Imperative is an idea of reason. This knowledge is not derived from experience but rather, it is a priori. It also binds us and we all act in a

Similar Essays

Kant's Categorical Imperative Essay

1531 words - 6 pages Kant's Categorical Imperative Deontology is the ethical view that some actions are morally forbidden or permitted regardless of consequences. One of the most influential deontological philosophers in history is Immanuel Kant who developed the idea of the Categorical Imperative. Kant believed that the only thing of intrinsic moral worth is a good will. Kant says in his work Morality and Rationality “The good will is not good because of what

Kant's Categorical Imperative Essay

1304 words - 5 pages The constant dilemma that Kant is dealing with in Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals is attempting to find a rational foundation or connection between all moral conduct. Kant believed that there was an absolute moral law that carried with it a universal validity. It is through his categorical imperative that he attempts to discover and understand this a priori law. Kant effectively shows us where and when his categorical imperative can be

Kant's Categorical Imperative Essay

851 words - 3 pages Immanuel Kant claims that moral judgments must be based on the categorical imperative. He argues for this claim by first exploring the characteristics of human decisions and actions that would make them distinctly moral. He then argues that the only principle of action that adequately accounts for these characteristics is the categorical imperative. I shall discuss Kant's argument by first explaining the characteristics that he thinks make

Kant's Categorical Imperative Essay

1218 words - 5 pages Kant?s Categorical Imperatives of the Fundamental Principle of Morality In section one of Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morality, Kant gives us five propositions that he holds to be our common understanding of morality. In the second section he outlines the Categorical Imperative of the fundamental principle of morality to show that it has a particular form and end to it. Kant uses this Categorical Imperative to show that the five examples of