A Critique of the Categorical Imperative

1689 WordsFeb 25, 20187 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. He first introduced this idea in 1785 in a book he titled Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. The categorical imperative was a revolutionary idea that contrary to the spirit of its time focused on how the morality of an action was not dependant on its consequences or the intentions of its undertaker, rather solely on the intrinsic moral worth of the action itself. This concept has been challenged since its birth and been often regarded as a rather impractical and often contradicting facet of moral philosophy. Although the previous allegation is true, the ideas behind the categorical imperative give a significant and much needed challenge our modern day notions of morality. The Kantian term categorical imperative essentially refers to a moral command that must be followed absolutely, regardless of the situation it is being applied in, or the motivations and desires of the individual following the imperative. Like the rules that govern arithmetic according to Kant the rules regarding morality too should be free from any sort of
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