Kants categorical imperative

Existence-Nonexistence Necessity-Contingency While Kant does not give a formal derivation of it, he believes that this is the complete and necessary list of the a priori contributions that the understanding brings to its judgments of the world.

Kants categorical imperative

You must read only those linked materials that are preceded by the capitalized word READ. The Categorical Imperative is supposed to provide a way for us to evaluate moral actions and to make moral judgments.

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It is not a command to perform specific actions -- it does not say, "follow the 10 commandments", or "respect your elders". It is essentially "empty" -- it is simply formal procedure by which to evaluate any action about which might be morally relevant.

Since by nature according to Kant the moral law is universal and impartial and rational, the categorical is a way of formulating the criteria by which any action can pass the test of universality, impartiality, and rationality.

That is its only function. It has several forms or expressions and you need to know the first two. Kant believes that these two forms of the CI are, ultimately, equivalent, and that what one forbids the other forbids also.

I suppose you might say that they are two ways of looking at the same "moral reality. How are they equivalent? Well, they are equivalent because that which makes human beings intrinsically valuable this is the focus of the second expression of the CI is reason and freedom, and it is precisely the demands of rationality which is the precondition of freedom that provide the criteria for evaluating moral actions in the first expression of the CI.

In other words, it is because other people have universal reason and freedom that you should never treat them as merely means to your own ends, and it is that rationality which provides the criterion for evaluation found in the first expression of the CI.

Both forms of the CI are intended to be expressions of the common, ordinary moral sense that we most of us, anyway have that there are some actions that are simply wrong. What is the relationship between the two forms of the Categorical Imperative?

An imperative is a command. These are particular goals that depend upon personal situations, particular human goals and desires and dispositions. Hypothetical imperatives are commands that apply only in particular circumstances, for particular people who happen to have these desires, these goals.

The Categorical Imperative is universal and impartial -- universal because all people, in virtue of being rational, would act in precisely the same way, and impartial because their actions are not guided by their own biases, but because they respect the dignity and autonomy of every human being and do not put their own personal ambitions above the respect that others deserve.

Notice that the above is NOT a description of how everybody does behave -- as an ethical theory, it is concerned to describe how people ought to behave.

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Kant is not condemning hypothetical imperatives. In fact, he agrees that these are the sorts of imperatives that we live by are hypothetical in nature.

But they are not moral. They are not immoral -- they are non-moral. What is the function of reason? Reason has a lot of functions.

It has a theoretical function science, for example and a practical function. We are interested in the practical function -- practical in the sense that reason determines along with emotions and desires human behavior and choice.

Kants categorical imperative

But the practical function can be understood to have two parts -- as a "means-ends" function, and as the moral function. Kant, as it should be clear to you by now, does not equate moral reason with the calculative reason of the utilitarians or the egoists. But he does not condemn this side of practical reason, either.

It has its proper place in human life, and it is an exceedingly important place. But calculation of means and ends must be supported with a different type of reasoning -- moral reasoning.The Categorical Imperative is the central concept in Kant’s ethics.

It refers to the “supreme principle of morality” (), from which all our moral duties are derived. The basic principle of morality is an imperative because it commands certain courses of action.

Kants categorical imperative

May 10,  · Immanuel Kant and the Categorical Imperative explained. The concepts of good will, moral duty, summum bonnum and the five rules of Kant's universal maxims alongside a brief discussion on how Kant's theory could be applied to the modern ethical issue of genetic benjaminpohle.coms: Kant’s theory is an example of a deontological moral theory–according to these theories, and he referred to it as The Categorical Imperative.

May 01,  · His categorical imperative is a deontological ethical theory, which means it is based on the idea that there are certain objective ethical rules in the world. “Deontology” comes from the Greek word “deon” meaning duty – in other words, deontologically minded philosophers believe we have a duty to act in certain ways, in accordance with moral laws.

Sep 01,  · The Categorical Imperative deals with universalizability and states that an act is immoral if it cannot be made into a rule for all humankind to follow. Categorical imperative, in the ethics of the 18th-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant, founder of critical philosophy, a moral law that is unconditional or absolute for all agents, the validity or claim of which does not depend on any ulterior motive or end.

Categorical imperative - New World Encyclopedia