Kant Watch

Will Triffitt
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Hi guys,
I'm coming up to mock exam times and I'm really struggling with Kant (in both ethics and philosophy). Does anyone have a good way of explaining it - both his theory of duty and the moral argument - especially the categorical imperative. I'm very stuck and would love help!! Thanks!!!!
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thefatone
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(Original post by Will Triffitt)
Hi guys,
I'm coming up to mock exam times and I'm really struggling with Kant (in both ethics and philosophy). Does anyone have a good way of explaining it - both his theory of duty and the moral argument - especially the categorical imperative. I'm very stuck and would love help!! Thanks!!!!
Kant believes the only thing which is intrinsically good is the will. Other candidates for intrinsically good things such as wealth power courage can all be used for bad things.

His theory is deontological meaning duty based. He basically says you do your duty for the sake of doing it. For example if you mom asks you to wash the car you do not wash the car because you like washing cars, you wash the car because you have to do it. It's part of your duty to do so.

His theory btw was based upon pure reason so people like Fletcher who used Situation Ethics and said the moral thing to do was the MOST LOVING THING was wrong according to Kant because using your emotions isn't using pure reason. Not using emotions links into the Categorical Imperative.

The Categorical Imperative has 3 rules which tell you whether the decision you make is moral or not.
1. Can you universalise it? Would everyone do the same thing in the same situation.
2. You cannot use another person as a means to an end. In other words you cannot kill one person to achieve the end of saving more people.(Numbers didn't matter to Kant, what matters is what is moral)
3. You can't be unbiased. In other words you can't use emotions to sway your decision.

Also 1 more thing he also said someone must be free to act morally. He calls this autonomy of the will. If someone is strapped to a table and there's a person above him who's going to cut off that persons head and there's a person next door tied up in rope unable to move, that person who's tied up isn't free to act thus if the person strapped to the table dies it isn't that persons fault(person tied up in rope) however if there are people sitting around spectating and watching this all happen and are free to choose what they want and the person strapped to the table dies then all those people watching are responsible for that persons death because they were free to act and didn't do anything to help.

If there's anything else you want to know please tell me
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Will Triffitt
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(Original post by thefatone)
Kant believes the only thing which is intrinsically good is the will. Other candidates for intrinsically good things such as wealth power courage can all be used for bad things.

His theory is deontological meaning duty based. He basically says you do your duty for the sake of doing it. For example if you mom asks you to wash the car you do not wash the car because you like washing cars, you wash the car because you have to do it. It's part of your duty to do so.

His theory btw was based upon pure reason so people like Fletcher who used Situation Ethics and said the moral thing to do was the MOST LOVING THING was wrong according to Kant because using your emotions isn't using pure reason. Not using emotions links into the Categorical Imperative.

The Categorical Imperative has 3 rules which tell you whether the decision you make is moral or not.
1. Can you universalise it? Would everyone do the same thing in the same situation.
2. You cannot use another person as a means to an end. In other words you cannot kill one person to achieve the end of saving more people.(Numbers didn't matter to Kant, what matters is what is moral)
3. You can't be unbiased. In other words you can't use emotions to sway your decision.

Also 1 more thing he also said someone must be free to act morally. He calls this autonomy of the will. If someone is strapped to a table and there's a person above him who's going to cut off that persons head and there's a person next door tied up in rope unable to move, that person who's tied up isn't free to act thus if the person strapped to the table dies it isn't that persons fault(person tied up in rope) however if there are people sitting around spectating and watching this all happen and are free to choose what they want and the person strapped to the table dies then all those people watching are responsible for that persons death because they were free to act and didn't do anything to help.

If there's anything else you want to know please tell me
Thanks a lot. That really helps!!!
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bethanylunn1999
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I've noticed that the moral argument hasn't really been picked up upon so basically as we have the duty to do right and wrong. kant believes we should be rewarded with the greatest possible good ( the summon bonnum) however this is unachievable in our life hence there must be an after life and to judge good we must have a god... basically FREEDOM, IMMORTALITY, GOD
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