Immanuel Kant And John Stuart Mill

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In this paper I am going to attempt to answer a question utilizing a little help from one of two philosophers. First of all the question I will be answering is “Should the moral value of an action be determined by the intentions/character that inspire the action, or the consequences that result from the action?” Second, the philosophers I am going to discuss throughout this paper are Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill. Now before I tell you my answer to this question I am going to explain these who these two philosophers are and what their viewpoints on ethics are. Immanuel Kant was born in what is now Germany in 1724 and died in 1804 and was the type of philosopher to act out of duty. He believes that actions should be performed out of duty alone, in other words he thinks that all actions should be impartial. To act out of duty is to follow the categorical imperative. There are three forms of the categorical imperative: You should do what would be morally required of anyone in your situation, an objective and impartial duty; it is natural to do these duties; do not use others or let yourself be used. For Kant the categorical imperative is represented as “an action as objectively necessary of itself, without reference to another end.”(Kant 353). Kant’s ethical point of view is known as deontological ethics.
The term maxim as Kant uses it is defined as a personal policy that motivates one’s action. In his book called the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, he mentions
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