• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain the difference between a hypothetical and categorical imperative - Do you think that the categorical imperative, as presented by Kant, provides a sufficient guide to what is right or wrong?

Extracts from this document...


Explain the difference between a hypothetical and categorical imperative. Do you think that the categorical imperative, as presented by Kant, provides a sufficient guide to what is right or wrong? A categorical imperative is an absolute and universal moral obligation. One of the most famous is Kant's categorical imperative because it is through him that the phrase is widely known. According to Kant, "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will, that it become a universal law." Another variation, which he used, was "Act only on a principle all rational agents could act on." Most religious moral systems comprise categorical imperatives. In Kant's philosophy, it denotes an absolute, unconditional requirement that allows no exceptions, and is both required and justified as an end in itself, not as a means to some other end; the opposite of a hypothetical imperative. ...read more.


From studying the Categorical imperative presented by Kant I have been able to see that Kant's views on immorality occurs when the Categorical imperative is not followed: when a person attempts to set a different standard for themselves then for the rest of humanity. Once Kant has derived his categorical imperative he applies it to a number of examples. The second example is that of an unfaithful promise. Kant applies his imperative to a person who is short of money who intends to ask for a loan, promising to repay it, but with no intention of doing so. When Kant applies the categorical imperative to this situation he discovers that it leads to a contradiction, for if breaking promises were to become universal then no person would ever agree to a promise and promises would disappear. Kant connects rationality with morality, and sees contradictory behaviour as immoral. ...read more.


The categorical imperative sometimes seems to give false negatives in terms of what is permitted behaviour. For example, I cannot will that everyone in the world should eat in my favourite restaurant. Perhaps this sort of problem can be avoided by being careful in the use of relative terms like my. In this case, it is possible to will that everyone should eat in their favourite restaurant. This and other information has helped me to determine that Kant does not in my opinion fulfill a sufficient catagorical imperative on what's right or wrong, as I believe that Kant's views on distinguishing between right and wrong is incorect through my way of thinking, I recognise and understand Kant's idea's, but I disagree that there should be a principle of distuinguishing between right and wrong through Kant's Catagorical imperatives, as I see his catagorical imperatives as not influenceing my decision on what is right or wrong, but instead confusing me greatly and deludeing my view. Christian Theology Sam McManus ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Practical Questions section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Practical Questions essays

  1. Explain what Kant meant by the Categorical Imperative.

    like the 10 commandments for example, but instead, if a law can be universalised, then it is morally acceptable. Laws that become contradictory, when they're universalised, must be rejected as immoral. This is why we have to be selective when choosing our universal moral laws.

  2. Compare Utilitarianism With Kant's Theory of The Categorical Imperative And Explain Which You Think ...

    Unlike Utilitarianism, which relies upon teleological thinking, to correctly do ones duty, one must make decisions whilst excluding the influences of the actions' effects, and our own inclinations. Thus, one must think in a deontological thinker, to a certain extent.

  1. `Always tell the truth and Always keep your promises' Kant's Categorical Imperative.

    is conceived as good in itself and consequently as being necessarily the principle of a will which of itself conforms to reason, then it is categorical' (p.31). He refers variously to the categorical imperative as 'unconditional', 'universally valid', 'objective' and involving 'necessity'; it is a law which 'must be obeyed'; it 'must be followed'.

  2. Does everyone have a right to a child?

    Conclusion In conclusion I believe all fertility treatments are right because everyone has the right to bear life and god encourages us to mate. So partners who want children should be able to have children whether it is in a natural way i.e. intercourse or artificial treatments such as IVF.

  1. Free essay

    Explain the categorical Imperative as a tool for moral decision making

    The Categorical Imperative can be broken down into 3 maxims, the first maxim is that all our actions must have universality - in other words we should only do something if we think it will be okay if everyone else did it all time.

  2. Explain Kant's Categorical Imperative.

    Kant emphases that people make free choices. In addition to this, his theory is respect for others when he reforms the Golden Rule "Do unto others as you would have them do to you." A categorical imperative is different from a hypothetical imperative, which doest prescribe an action, for example

  1. A. Explain what Kant meant by the categorical argument. B. Asses Kant's claims critically ...

    Happiness is not intrinsically good because even being worth of happiness Kant says, requires that one possess a good will. The good will is the only unconditional good. Goodness cannot come from acting on impulse. It can only come from doing an action in a certain way.

  2. The use of the Categorical Imperative makes no room for compassionate treatment of women ...

    On the other hand, you could argue that if the mother were to have an abortion, then you would be treating the foetus as an inferior part of the human species. However, if the mother is having an abortion to prevent the baby from having a poor quality of life,

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work