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Immanuel Kant - discussing Critique Of Pure Reason.

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Introduction

Immanuel Kant was born in 1724 in Konigsberg East Prussia he became a lecturer in philosophy and became concerned with metaphysics (the study of what lies beyond nature). Most importantly he became interested in ethics and one of his most important works is The Critique Of Pure Reason this addresses three important questions 'what can I know?' 'What ought I do?' And 'what may I hope for?' The dictionary definition of ethics is '1.ethic set of principles concerning right and wrong and how people should behave. 2.Ethics the branch of philosophy concerned with moral principles.' To believe in a certain ethical system you have to have certain morals or standards. The dictionary Definition of Moral is '1. Concerned with the principles of right and wrong behaviour. 2. Conforming to accept standards of behaviour. A lesson about right or wrong that you learn from a story or experience. Kant's theory is deontological 'concerned with actions and motives.' There are several confusing key terms that Kant uses to describe his ethical theory for which the meanings are: A Priori - Knowable without prior reference to experiences. A Posteriori - Knowable through experience. ...read more.

Middle

There are three principles to The Categorical Imperative. 1. Universalisation, If its good for one person its good for everyone else. It is applied to people in the same situation, what they do should be applied to everyone and if it is morally good then it would be a universal law. 2. Treat humans as ends In themselves. You must treat everyone as equals. You have not got the right to exploit or enslave any other human. You may seek the happiness of others as long as its within the law and allows freedom of others.3. Act as if you live in a kingdom of ends. You should act as a rule maker of society, you must not follow bad examples of others just to impress them. You must assume everyone is doing the morally right thing. If everyone followed these rules then hypothetically we would live in a wonderful society where no selfish actions would take place and no bad crimes would ever be committed. We all know that this would never be the case as people do not stop to think about their actions. People wouldn't always follow The Categorical Imperative even though they should so Kant devised a term called the hypothetical imperative which is not a moral decision it is to do with wants and desires. ...read more.

Conclusion

There are also many weaknesses to Kant's ethical theory, the theory refuses to allow exceptions to different situations. It says all people should be treated equally and sometimes this is not possible depending on the situation. It is impossible to always do a duty without having some sort of selfish motive no mater how small. It is also never possible to sit and think about the categorical imperative before you decide on an action to take. Kant's theory is to general no two situations are ever the same therefore you cant apply the same theory every time. If I had to chose an ethical theory it would have to be Kant's even though I do not totally agree with it, I agree that it seems to be a fair theory but I like to take situations into account and consider actions, motives and consequences, Kant completely contradicts his deontological view when universalising situations as he considers consequences which in one way is good but then it makes me think if Kant's theory is that reliable and it may possibly be to confusing to use. Kant's ethical theory is not practical and I would suggest that people use a mixture of different theories to make decisions. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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