Introduction to Ethics, Week 3 Notes
Introduction to Ethics, Week 3 Notes PHIL21001
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jessica Bobik on Monday February 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL21001 at Kent State University taught by Matthew A. Veneklase in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 40 views. For similar materials see Intro to Ethics in PHIL-Philosophy at Kent State University.
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Date Created: 02/15/16
Week three Day one ▯ Kant’s Ethical Theory- form of deontology>> that which is binding, needful. That which is right, proper<< Thus in some cases, deon might be translated as “duty” Deontology: systematic study of duty, i.e.: an ethical theory which focuses on duty. ▯ The Categorical Imperative- Kant’s Universal rule for determining which actions are morally right and wrong. Imperatice: a command or order This universal rule takes the form of a command ▯ ▯ Kant contrasts categorical imperatives with what he calls “hypothetical” imperatives. Hypothetical Imperative: a command that is preceded by an “if….. then.” o For example: “If you intend to become a concert violinist, then you should practice for several hours every day.” Categorical Imperative: a command that is not preceded by an “if….. then.” This simply says, “you should….” or, “you ought to….” o For example: “you should go to the park” The universal “you should….” or “you ought to….” Which is the Categorical Imperative, is the duty that all rational beings have in common. ** The C and the I are capitalized and bold because this form is a duty which all should follow** ▯ This Categorical Imperative can be expressed in four different ways We call these ways: The Formulations of the Categorical Imperative o An End- something of a purpose, or a goal. It is what you seek to achieve, or to obtain, by engaging in some action or activity. o A Means- something you make use of, in order to achieve some sort of End. Example: a vehicle is a means to getting to class<<[the End] ** Person A is just using person B, in order to get what person A wants.** Kant does not say: Never treat humanity (persons) as a means. o i.e. He does not say “don’t use people” Kant does say: Never treat humanity (persons) as a means only. o i.e. He does say “never JUST use people” ▯ Lets go through some examples A man is so unhappy with his life, he decides to end his life. Is it morally acceptable? His is still rational. o Kant: No, you’re treating a person (yourself) as an Ends only. Your existence is an end, if you treat yourself as an end you have to try for your existence. o The very notion of what it means for a person to be an end, i.e.: an end-in-the myself / itself. o The mere continued existence of a person, counts for more than the quality of that persons continued existence. ▯ A man needs to borrow money from another man, but he knows he will not be able to pay the other man back o Treat yourself as an End, put your self-preservation over self- happiness o A person as an end-in-themselves is something that has its own ends (goals). A person being lazy or not living up to his / hers full potential o Nature has a purpose for every person which includes the fullest possible development of each persons “capacity for greater perfection”, such as useful talents. ▯ ▯ What does it mean, according to Kant, to treat a person as an end-in- themselves / itself / yourself? Cannot be overruled o Treat the mere continuing of your existence as more important than the quality of that existence A disputed claim o Treat them (any person) in a way that they would (and could) assent to (i.e. agree to) Can be overruled o Treat yourself so as to cultivate your “capacities” for greater perfection o Treat them so as to further their own purposes including their own achievements of happiness
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