Immanuel Kant And John Stuart Mill

2050 WordsMay 5, 20179 Pages
The idea of an action to be intrinsically good is not as straight forward as proposed by Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill in The Groundswork and Utilitarianism respectively. Kant, in The Groundswork, and Mill, in Utilitarianism, come to different conclusions about what is intrinsically good, yet neither of them come to a valid explanation for the following reasons; Kant produces a narrow view focused entirely on having a good will, acting only based off of duties, and ignoring the outcomes of your actions, while Mill calculates intrinsic value based off of the greatest happiness principle which doesn’t take into account a good will. The correct and most reasonable explanation of what is intrinsically good is a combination of what both…show more content…
If somebody does something in order to bring out a particular result this would be against the definition of a good will, because there is clear motivation beyond strictly duty. The third and final rule again grows on the former two and states that duties should be completed with full respect for the law. Kant proposes these three rules to create a general guideline that everyone can follow to make intrinsically good or moral decisions. He supports these rules for making moral decisions with explanations of why each one is required and why not having these in place would be detrimental to society. The overarching argument is that life without these rules in practice would be a society where everyone is trying to progress with disregard for others. When we install these rules for moral decision making we grow together as a society by collectively making intrinsically good decisions. While his argument for these having these three rules is fairly strong and consistent it doesn’t provide enough structure when faced with moral dilemmas that are in place because of rulings from the government. Coupled with the forced compliance with the restrictions the government installs, the biggest flaw for Kant is that if you have poor duties/maxims, from what you have been taught, and then proceed to act on these flawed duties, you would still be seen as intrinsically good
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