An Introduction to Kant's Ethics - download pdf or read online

By Roger J. Sullivan

This is often the main updated, short and available creation to Kant's ethics on hand. It ways the ethical idea through the political philosophy, hence permitting the reader to understand why Kant argued that the felony constitution for any civil society should have an ethical foundation. This technique additionally explains why Kant suggestion that our uncomplicated ethical norms should still function legislation of behavior for everybody. the quantity additionally features a special statement on Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant's most generally studied paintings of ethical philosophy.

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Download e-book for kindle: An Introduction to Kant's Ethics by Roger J. Sullivan

This is often the main updated, short and obtainable advent to Kant's ethics on hand. It methods the ethical conception through the political philosophy, therefore permitting the reader to understand why Kant argued that the felony constitution for any civil society should have an ethical foundation. This technique additionally explains why Kant proposal that our simple ethical norms should still function legislation of behavior for everybody.

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45 THE FORMULA OF AUTONOMY OR OF UNIVERSAL LAW A our ultimate norm of practical consistency, the Categorical Imperative obligates us to adopt and act only on policies that can also serve as objective laws because they are self-consistent as well as consistent with other such policies: "Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law" (421). " Like the Universal Principle of Justice, this formula is a negative test of possible or actual maxims of happiness.

In his political theory, as we saw, Kant regarded the main task of the state as constraining our tendency to pursue our own interests without regard for the cost to others. Similarly, in his moral theory he held that maxims of self-interest are just what need to be checked for their moral acceptability. We typically question the moral acceptability of a maxim only when we already want something the maxim will help us get. Even though "the moral worth of an action does not lie in the effect which is expected from it" (401), the Categorical Imperative will reject the maxim of a proposed policy if it is teleologically selfcontradictory, that is, if the point of the maxim is incompatible with that maxim stated as a universal policy or if it is incompatible with other policies we already know we are morally obligated to follow.

For such claims the principle of noncontradiction determines both what cannot be true and what must be true. Consequently, when we test maxims by the practical version of that principle, we need to state them as analytic sentences and simply ignore the fact, as irrelevant to this task, that the Categorical Imperative and all substantive moral principles must appear to us as synthetic a priori propositions. 6. When constructing his cases, Kant usually presented a conflict between morality and happiness in the most dramatically vivid way possible; choosing one meant renouncing the other.

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