In His Practical Imperative, Immaneul Kant Puts Forward

1898 WordsApr 7, 20178 Pages
In his practical imperative, Immaneul Kant puts forward the concept that you must “act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end.” This imperative is premised on Kant’s idea that the existence of every rational being has value in and of itself. By way of contrast, Kant juxtaposes this intrinsic value of rational beings with the instrumental value of objects that can solely be treated “simply as means.” When Kantian deontology is compared to utilitarianism, it becomes evident that the two moral theories differ significantly in what they are able to ascribe intrinsic value to—as a theory based upon hedonism,…show more content…
What this translates to is the reality that all morally acceptable interactions between human beings must be mutually beneficial. Though it could be argued by some that “mutually beneficial” may be too high a standard for determining if an interaction is morally permissible, any interaction that really takes into account the actors’ statuses as ends in and of themselves has to be “mutually beneficial.” If an interaction does not serve to advance the personal interests and goals of both parties, then one of the parties is inevitably being treated as a mere means. This can be derived from how Kant contrasts rational beings, that must be treated as ends, with objects, that can be treated as mere means as if one party is not benefiting from an interaction that they are being treated as no better than an object. In addition, because Kant’s formulation of humanity ascribes significance to not only treating other individuals as ends but also treating oneself as an end, one’s own actions must serve to advance one’s own interests, whatever they may be, as well. Though depending on an individual’s predispositions it might not always be clear from the outside what is in an individual’s best interest, the formulation of humanity allows us to assume that rational beings should, if they are behaving properly, act in such a way that reflects their and others’ statuses as ends. Of course, there are scenarios, depending on the aspirations of the parties involved, in which it

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