An analysis of the categorical imperative by immanuel kant

So, whatever else may be said of basic moral requirements, their content is universal. Courage may be laid aside if it requires injustice, and it is better not to be witty if it requires cruelty.

That most will not view them as good people if the result for society is not good. Korsgaard offers self-preservation as an example of an end in a negative sense: And once we add this to the assumptions that we must will our own happiness as an end, and that developed talents are necessary means to achieving that end, it follows that we cannot rationally will that a world come about in which it is a law that no one ever develops any of their natural talents.

In a similar fashion, we may think of a person as free when bound only by her own will and not by the will of another. But our analysis of theoretical reason has made it clear that we can never have knowledge of the totality of things because we cannot have the requisite sensations of the totality, hence one of the necessary conditions of knowledge is not met.

And just as the discovery of universal laws is absolutely central to natural science, so is the search for universal laws central to human morality.

Categorical imperative

This certainly would not comport well with the virtue ethics form of teleology. Then, there seems to be no need to go further in the CI procedure to show that refusing to develop talents is immoral.

Kant is claiming that regardless of intended or actual consequences, moral worth is properly assessed by looking at the motivation of the action, which may be selfish even if the intended consequences are good.

Often, however, we fail to effectively so govern ourselves because we are imperfect rational beings who are caused to act by our non—rational desires and inclinations. It can be thought through concepts, but without the commensurate spatial and temporal intuitions, it cannot be known.

In the first Antinomy, the world as it appears to us is neither finite since we can always inquire about its beginning or end, nor is it infinite because finite beings like ourselves cannot cognize an infinite whole.

So it is the recognition and appreciation of duty itself that must drive our actions. First, he makes a plethora of statements about outcomes and character traits that appear to imply an outright rejection of both forms of teleology.

Only a universal law could be the content of a requirement that has the reason-giving force of morality. It is fine if they enjoy doing it, but it must be the case that they would do it even if they did not enjoy it. All intended effects "could be brought about through other causes and would not require the will of a rational being, while the highest and unconditional good can be found only in such a will.

Kant’s Categorical Imperative: Summary & Analysis

This sort of disposition or character is something we all highly value, Kant thought. In one sense, it might seem obvious why Kant insists on an a priori method. It allows us to move from the particular and contingent to the global and universal.

Kant uses four examples in the Groundwork, one of each kind of duty, to demonstrate that every kind of duty can be derived from the CI, and hence to bolster his case that the CI is indeed the fundamental principle of morality. Roughly speaking, we can divide the world into beings with reason and will like ourselves and things that lack those faculties.

It has a theoretical function science, for example and a practical function. Kant says that you can analyse a scenario and decide your behaviour. No outcome, should we achieve it, can be unconditionally good. According to Kant, man has the imperfect duty to strengthen the feeling of compassion, since this feeling promotes morality in relation to other human beings.

Why is this so. The Categorical Imperative is devised by Kant to provide a formulation by which we can apply our human reason to determine the right, the rational thing to do -- that is our duty. George has no surviving friends or relatives, and no one else knows about the money.The Categorical Imperative.

Immanuel Kant. The Categorical Imperative: An Ethics of Duty the moral law is universal and impartial and rational, the categorical is a way of formulating the criteria by which any action can pass the test of universality, impartiality, and rationality.

The Categorical Imperative is NOT the Golden Rule. May 10,  · Immanuel Kant and the Categorical Imperative explained. The concepts of good will, moral duty, summum bonnum and the five rules of Kant's universal maxims alongside a brief discussion on how Kant's theory could be applied to the modern ethical issue of genetic killarney10mile.coms: The categorical imperative (German: kategorischer Imperativ) is the central philosophical concept in the deontological moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant.

Introduced in Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, it may be defined as a way of evaluating motivations for action. Kant believed that there was a supreme principle of morality, and he referred to it as The Categorical Imperative.

The CI determines what our moral duties are. the following is an exerpt from the notes of Professor Eric Barnes. Kant’s Categorical Imperative: Summary & Kantian philosophy outlines the Universal Law Formation of the Categorical Imperative as a method for determining morality of actions.

This formula is a two part test. The Categorical Imperative which was initially described by Immanuel Kant is the theory that a person is to "act only on the maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law" (O'Neill,p).

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An analysis of the categorical imperative by immanuel kant
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