Essay about Kant's Formalism Theory

716 Words Jul 16th, 2005 3 Pages
Kant's Formalism Theory The theories of Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher, have had an impact on the formulation and shaping of ethics today. Immanuel Kant graced this earth from 1724 to 1804. During his eighty year life time, he formulated many interesting ideas regarding ethical conduct and motivation. Kant is strictly a non-consequentialist philosopher, which means that he believes that a person's choices should have nothing to do with the desired outcome, but instead mankind simply goes about doing good because it is morally correct. Kant theorizes that moral reasoning is not based on factual knowledge and that reason by itself can reveal the basic principles of morality. Ideas contemplated and developed and theorized by …show more content…
If you want to reach a specific goal, then you will accomplish these tasks. On the other hand, categorical laws apply to everyone. Regardless of goals or desired outcome, the categorical imperative commands unconditionally. (Shaw, 67) Kant developed another idea which exemplifies that of the categorical imperative. The principle of universal acceptability states that as rational, moral beings, individuals are bound by logic and its demands. Because logic is consistent, individuals all live by the same moral law. in order to determine whether a rule is a " moral law, we can thus ask if the rule commands would be acceptable to all rational beings acting rationally." (Shaw, 67) Kant's view of universal acceptability appears to be intertwined with echoes of the "golden rule." Another famous theory developed by Kant further explaining the categorical imperative is the idea of humanity as an end and never merely as a means. Individuals should never treat someone a special way in an effort to get gain. In other words, Kant developed the theory we hear in nursery school of, "treat others as you would like to be treated." Logically, this theory states that rational beings recognize their worth and the worth of others. As a rational thinker, one would not want to be used as a means to an end. Immanuel Kant's formalism theory poses many compelling and interesting points of view. On the surface, the categorical imperative seems to be a great measuring device
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