Kant 's Ethical Theory Of Ethics

961 Words Mar 23rd, 2016 4 Pages
According to MacKinnon & Fiala (2015), Kant’s ethical theory is a deontological theory. A deontology theory is based on “duties, obligations, and rights” (p. 111). The focus of this essay is how Kant uses the ‘Categorical Imperative’ to explain the nature of ethics.
Immanuel Kant’s basic moral principle the Categorical Imperative states, “I should never act except in such a way that I can also will that my maxim should become a universal law” (Giambusso, 2016, para. 2). His theory does not focus on the consequences of actions as the consequences have no part in deontological ethics, but the imperative that a person must do what is morally right without exception. One can use the Categorical Imperative as a formula to test if an action is morally right or wrong, and if done correctly the result will be the same for everyone. So, no one has to tell you what is right or wrong because when you use the formula correctly you can see for yourself what the correct ethical action is no matter the situation. Kant’s example to explain the idea is lying to get out of a problematic situation. If one can substitute a certain situation for a rule of action (the maxim), and then can make this rule of action the universal rule, the rule for everyone to follow and the rule does not lead to a contradiction, then and only then is the action morally right. For example: The situation: If I lie, I can get out of this problematic situation. The maxim (the rule of action): It is okay to lie to get…
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