The Ethical Philosophy Of Immanuel Kant

Decent Essays

In this essay I shall be considering the ethical philosophy of Immanuel Kant with regards to what actions are as right or wrong, regardless of context or circumstance. This approach to ethics is known as deontological as it considers the actions themselves as opposed to the consequences; what one should do in practice should be thought of as substantive concepts. Along with our fundamental ability to recognise this, Kant strongly believed that it is our duty as individuals to utilise our ability to wield reason and rationality as morally autonomous beings. These obligations manifest to Kant in the distinctive forms of the Categorical Imperative.

The Categorical Imperative is an unconditional demand of an action regardless of context or circumstance. For Kant, this was an absolute moral law that stands as do X objectively as you are obligated to. The Categorical Imperative must be known a priori, meaning knowledge that is independent of experience or justification. However, judgement itself cannot be analytic, as the concept of a rational agent is not itself comprised in the content. A proposition must be synthetic a priori in order to be the supreme principle of morality, this, claimed Kant was the Categorical Imperative. Comprising of 3 maxims, Kant defined them as: "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law… Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any

Get Access