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PHILOS 1B03 Lecture Notes - Immanuel Kant, Deontological Ethics, Categorical Imperative

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Stefan Rodde

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Deontological ethics Immanuel Kant
“better the whole people should perish than justice be done”
conditions for moral actions
right intentions: you must intend to do the right thing
o an action is right if it is sanctioned by a genuine moral
the categorical imperative
o makes a rule genuine
o I ought never to act except in such a way that I can
also will that my act should become a universal law”
o Maxim
A general principle which specifies how I conceive
of an action and my reason for doing it
whenever I make a promise I will keep it
Every action is done in accordance with some
o Rules
Every maxim is correlated to a general rule
The maxim : whenever I make a promise I
will keep them” is correlated to the rule
“keep your promise”
Rules are supposed to be universal
every action falls under some sort of rule
the ci enables us to determine which rules are
if a rule cannot apply to everyone then it is not a
rule and should not be followed
right motive: you must do it for the right reason
o only the person who recognizes it to be wrong
o consequences should be irrelevant
o to be motivated; to be motivated by duty and law
o fro an action to have moral worth an agent must do the
right thing because it’s the right thing to do
o a person must act from the motive of duty
o a person must ne motivated by respect of the law
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