Utilitarianism vs. Kantianism Essay

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Utilitarianism vs. Kantianism

Ethics can be defined as "the conscious reflection on our moral beliefs with the aim of improving, extending or refining those beliefs in some way." (Dodds, Lecture 2) Kantian moral theory and Utilitarianism are two theories that attempt to answer the ethical nature of human beings. This paper will attempt to explain how and why Kantian moral theory and Utilitarianism differ as well as discuss why I believe Kant's theory provides a more plausible account of ethics.

Immanuel Kant's deonotological ethical theory assesses if actions are moral based on the person's will or intention of acting. Kant's theory can be categorized as a deonotological because "actions are not assessed to be morally
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The maxim has to be consistent and able to be applied to every situation, for every person. The other main point of Kantian moral theories are the differences between imperfect and perfect duties. Perfect duties are those duties that one must always perform in a particular situation, whereas imperfect duties are those that one must perform only when the situation arises.

Utilitarianism is another theory in which its main objective is to explain the nature of ethics and morality. Utilitarianism is an ethical theory which is based upon utility, or doing that which produces the greatest happiness. According to a utilitarian the morality of act is found just if the consequence produces the greatest overall utility for everyone. However, if the greatest possible utility is not produced, the action is then morally wrong. This view says that a person should act as to produce the greatest overall happiness and pleasure for everyone who may be directly or indirectly affected by the action. Therefore, a utilitarian would require that for every action the corresponding consequences for every action should be thoroughly weighed and alternatives proposed before deciding whether or not to perform such an action.

Kantian moral theory and Utilitarianism are similar in the respect that they both attempt to explain how one can go

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