- Focuses less on the consequences, more on the actions themselves. Less focus on making
people happy than respecting people.
o Reasoning proves to be important – we act on the basis of reasoning.
- Moral foundations:
Capacity to deliberate about and act upon valid reasons for action
o Autonomy: we are not necessarily autonomous, but have the capacity for it.
Capacity to rise above compelling forces of desire, self-interest, physical
necessity to act on the basis of reasons.
o Persons have a will and so have dignity and moral worth.
A faculty of choosing – part of choosing is acting on the basis of reasons.
The difference between value and moral value – people are incomparable
and irreplaceable in their worth; unlike objects which have worth, regarded
in price, people don’t have a price.
Deontological Moral Theories
- Moral worth lies in the kind of act it is, not in the consequences it produces.
o Kant is generally viewed to be a deontological morality.
- For Kant, morality of act determined by the maxim or general principle to which it
o Maxim: underlying reason for an action.
(reason for acting + what you take yourself to be doing)
Kant also believes that everyone in a like situation should react and act in
the same way.
- The Categorical Imperative
o Represents action as necessary and good in itself without reference to another end
The necessity of an action as a means to an end – is it imperative or