Kant Theory and Justice

1851 Words Jun 6th, 2011 8 Pages
Immanuel Kant concerns himself with deontology, and as a deontologist, he believes that the rightness of an action depends in part on things other than the goodness of its consequences, and so, actions should be judged based on an intrinsic moral law that says whether the action is right or wrong – period. Kant introduced the Categorical Imperative which is the central philosophy of his theory of morality, and an understandable approach to this moral law. It is divided into three formulations. The first formulation of Kant’s Categorical Imperative states that one should “always act in such a way that the maxim of your action can be willed as a universal law of humanity”; an act is either right or wrong based on its ability to be …show more content…
The action so far seems good, but we must test its universality. Can we imagine ourselves living in a world in which all societies seek to aid the underprivileged and the disadvantaged at the slight expense of others? Absolutely yes. It is important for one to bear in mind, however, that it is the very action of helping that is being judged as inherently good or bad, and not the action’s admirable or overbearing surrounding consequences. Secondly, we must test that the action is regarding everyone involved as ends and not as means to any particular purpose. Since the aim of affirmative action is to help the current predicaments of those people who were victimized in the past, focus is placed on respecting every individual’s autonomy. In this way, we can see that affirmative action is not a devious plan that seeks to manipulate, but one that seeks to compensate by adjusting the means (circumstances) and not the ends (individuals). Lastly, we must see if the action is establishing a universal law governing others in similar situations; one should behave as if one is the absolute moral authority of the universe. Is completing this action consistent with the application of moral law? If so, the affirmative action passes these three tests and the action is good.
In his “Objections to Affirmative Action”, James Sterba talks about why he believes that Affirmative Action is morally wrong. He argues that a person’s race shouldn’t control his or her point of interest. Sterba

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