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Give an Account of Kant's Ethical Theory

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Kantian Ethics

Give an account of Kant’s ethical theory [25]

Immanuel Kant was a philosopher who was born in the 16th century. The essence of his ethics is that all human beings are striving for goodness and that the use of power of reason solves any moral dilemma. This is known as the ‘summon bonum’. He developed his own ethical theory based around the idea of moral law. He was looking for some sort of objective basis for morality as a hole, a clear and scientific way. Kant believed that we could use reason to work out a consistent, non-overridable set of moral principles. Immanuel’s ethical theory is deontological, so it is based on the idea that an act’s claim to being right or wrong is independent of the consequences of that action. His theory uses practical reason to look at the argument before deciding what to do about the situation. His ethical statements are described as a priori synthetic, this means that a statement is knowable before sense experience, but requires sense experience for final verification but it may be true or false.

His theory basically explains that all humans must do their duty, without the need for experience. Kant believed in right or wrong based on reason, he relies on intuitions or facts. For Kant, practical reason looks at the evidence and the argument, he says it cannot depend on external factors. For his own ethical theory, only good will counts. Good will is at the very centre of ethics, the person is a free moral agent and not one that had to be told what to do.

Kant’s ethical theory consists of 2 categories, hypothetical and categorical imperatives. The hypothetical ones involve reaching specific targets or goals. Such as you have a choice of one thing or another. Kant says you cannot link morality to hypothetical imperatives just categorical ones. A categorical imperative is one without the use of conditions, e.g.…...

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