Kant 's Concept Of Categorical Impairment

1371 WordsApr 18, 20176 Pages
Immanuel Kant, a well-known eighteenth century German philosopher, offers a more convincing theory of justice than that supported by utilitarian or Lockean theory by defining what it means to act autonomously. Autonomy, meaning self-govern, regards to ones actions as being a result of their own free will. Although Kant attempted to look for another way for people to be good outside of religion, he believed that people had natural rights that were god given. Kant is best known for his idea of categorical imperative. Essentially this means do to others, as you would like others to do to you. A central theory Kant had was that it is important to treat people as an end of themselves rather than means of an end. It was Kant’s idea of treating…show more content…
The second thing to consider when becoming familiar with categorical imperative is to understand if people are ends in themselves or means to an end. According to Immanuel Kant, every person must be treated as an end rather than a means to an end. What this means is that you are never allowed to manipulate anyone no matter what. Kant’s idea of people being an end rather than means to an end was contrary to utilitarianism. Those such as Jeremy Bentham, the founder of the doctrine of utilitarianism, focuses on the greater good. Kant did not believe in this idea of the greater good, instead he thought that each person was their own rational agent and that no one person may be manipulated to achieve the goals of another. Therefore, Kant believed that lying should never be done, under no circumstance, for any reason. The main idea behind utilitarianism is the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Contrary to Kant, this allows for people to be means to an end rather than an end in themselves. One of the major down falls with utilitarianism is that it disregards individual rights. In the case of Christians who were thrown to lions during ancient Roman times for pleasure of the crowd, those who were being thrown to lions were means to an end rather than an end in themselves. The same applies for the example of the four sailors. One of the four sailors was a young man, the other three on the boat were older men, who

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