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Kant: Moral Theories Essay

1276 words - 5 pages

Kant's moral theory
According to Timmons, the field of philosophy is not complete without the mention of Kant whose contributions were major (205). This, he adds, was influenced by his originality, subtle approach and the difficulty of his works. Timmons cites that moral requirements are a requirement of reason, which is the ideology of Kant’s Moral theory; hence, immoral act is an act against reason. Consequently, speaking on the terminologies of Kant we visualize moral requirements as Categorical Imperatives (CI) grounded on reason and can, therefore, get derived from a supreme moral principle. The imperative in this case refers to a command.
Principally, Kant argued that immorality involved the violation of the Categorical Imperative, hence it was deemed irrational. By analyzing Johnson’s article Kant’s Moral Philosophy, one can deduce that Kant was in agreement with his predecessors on the fact that practical reason analysis only reveals the prerequisite that rational agents must conform to instrumental principles. Nevertheless he argues that the rational agency should be shaped in accordance with the CI and hence would achieve the moral requirements themselves. Kant argued that the rational will is always autonomous; hence, he states that the morality principle is a law of autonomous will. That is, Kant’s moral philosophy is centralized on a conception of reason that goes beyond being a slave to passion. Behind this self-governing reason, Kant thought that there existed decisive grounds that made everyone possess equal right and respect.
In summary, Kant believed that the even if our actions are wrong or right the consequences do not matter provided the actions fulfill our duties and the CI is a determinant of our social duties. Anscombe argues in Kantian Ethics that morality should not be based on the hypothetical imperative, which you can easily opt out of. Such a command may include being told to eat when you are not hungry, and in that case you can easily avoid the command. Yet she states that morality should be fully in line with categorical imperative that dictates your action. In such a case you can never avoid doing it, provided it serves the right purpose.
Mill's moral theory
By examining the article by Brink, Mill’s Moral and Political Philosophy, he describes Mill as a systematic philosopher who made significant additions to logic and metaphysics together with epistemology, ethics and political philosophy, not to forget social theory, which is also in the list of his contributions. Above all, he was felt greatly in his approach on the moral and political philosophy. This was crystallized by his objective to justify the principle of utility being the foundation of morals.
Lyons, (47) argues on the concept of Utilitarianism, which he claims most of the people think of as the maximization of utility. Yet, as Schefczyk put it in John Stuart Mill: Ethics, utilitarianism is a theory based on a principle that states that “only actions...

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