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Kants theory is often called cold and unemotional Discuss

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Introduction

?Kant?s theory is often called cold and unemotional? Discuss [25 marks] ?Two things, above all others, fill the mind with ever increasing awe and wonder: the starry heavens about and the moral law within? - Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant?s theory of ethics is deontological. Kant relies heavily on duty and principles. Kant ignores consequences and decides if an action is good or bad by it?s intention. For example, if a person sets out to do something good; but fails and it turns into be something bad, they are not to blame. Their intention is all that matters. Kant focuses on what should be done, rather than doing things for their outcome. This means that even if something terrible happens as the result of a morally good action, it is still morally right. Kant had an absolute view that the right moral action must always be done. Kant tried to make moral ethics scientific through universalisation. Just as the law of gravity is universal, Kant believed so should the ?law? of ethics. ...read more.

Middle

It is only categorical imperatives which are moral, as hypothetical imperatives aren?t universal and are of an impure motive. For this reason, hypothetical imperatives are linked with our heteronomous will, and categorical with our autonomous will. The categorical imperatives are always moral, because they a based on an a priori, objective law of reason. A priori means we can know it without any source of experience. Reason is an innate sense in which most humans seem to have. To make sure our categorical imperative is truly moral, they must also fit the 3 formulations. The imperative must be universal. This means that it would be okay if everyone acted in the same way when in the same situation. Everybody should act on the same maxim. Kant used the example of never breaking a promise, which he described as universal. He also described a man who borrowed money with no intention of repayment. This would make promises impossible, and so is it always wrong to break a promise and lie. ...read more.

Conclusion

WD Ross made exceptions to Kant?s theories, and that duties should have exceptions. He called these prima facie duties, which are conditional. Duties can be outweighed by more riveting duties, such as ?never kill? could be outweighed by ?never kill except in self defence?. Ross adapted Kant?s theory to take the situation, consequences and relationships into account. Many prefer this adaptation, as it is much more emotional and practical. Kant?s theory is much easier to practice inside the mind that in the real world. It seems a good idea until it is applied to sensitive situations which require delicacy. If an outcome between the categorical imperative and hypothetical imperative is the same, is it important which will is followed? Kant said, ?Morality is not the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness?. This suggests that it is important to follow the categorical imperative, not because of the outcome, but more because it?s out duty to do so. Many would, however, disagree and argue that all actions revolve around their consequences. As seen in nature, everything has a purpose, and so should our actions. ...read more.

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