Contrasting the Ethical Theories of Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill

1950 Words8 Pages
The purpose of this essay is to contrast the ethical theories of Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill, I will look at some possible criticisms that both Kant and Mill could take on each other’s theory and how each one would respond to the criticisms. In the end I will make a personal assessment of the theories in line with the criticisms and responses from both Kant and Mill. The foundation of Kant’s ethical theory is what he calls the categorical imperative and this is one of the important aspects of the principle of deontology. There are two fundamentally critical components to Kant’s categorical imperative. The first one is Perfect Duty of Universalizability. 
Kant believes that a perfect duty is one that must be met. If a person fails to meet a perfect duty Kant argues she has done something wrong. He maintains that all people have a perfect duty to act in such a way that their actions could be universalized and no logical contradiction would occur. Assuming someone who needs to borrow money and is considering making a false promise to pay it back. The maxim that could be invoked is, when I need money, I will borrow it and promise to pay back even though I do not intend to. This principle of “self love” according to (Scalet &Arthur, 2012) might produce some happiness for the person but how right is this. When the principle of universality is applied to this test, the maxim becomes clear that if everyone were to act in this manner, the institution of promising itself would
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