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Lecture 4

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Hugh R Alcock

 Essay Writing Tips: o Avoid writing in conversational or vernacular style o Don't write as you speak o KEEP TO FORMAL LANGUAGE o Don't write in "officalese" o Write in a transparent style  Reader should focus on what you say, not how you say it o Don't use "smart words" to impress  Be natural; use common language o BE CLEAR!! BE NATURAL!! o Feel free to use first person o Use active voice (not passive) o Avoid abbreviations  Use "cannot" as opposed to "can not" o Quotes less than 40 words --> put in body of text o Introduce quotes before you actually quote them o Longer than 40 words, use block quotes  Line before and after quote; no quotation marks o Use quotes when it supports your argument  Use your own words as much as possible  Research how to structure essay and methods of argumentation  Torrent: Writing Philosophy: A Guide for Canadian Students  P 70 - 78 - a well-built essay  Kant's Deontological Ethics  Immanuel Kant (1724 - 1804) o Most people didn't have talent to govern themselves o Need to be looked after  "most people are stupid" o Average human being has power to reason, is rational, is stupid o Rule by the people for the people (democracy) o They don't need to be led by some divine monarchy  Didn't agree with Hume  Immanuel Kant o One of greatest philosophers in history o German; born in Konigsburg o Made major contributions to most branches of philosophy o Main works on ethics:  "Groundwork to the Metaphysics of Morals" (1785)  "Critique of Practical Reason" (1788)  Considering action's consequences reflects on morality of action o consequentialism  Kant rejects consequentialism o Measure of consequence != measure of morality  Kant believes that on act of good will is a good act  Generally, agreed that most animals aren't ethical  Human's power to reason distinguishes us from animals  Humans are language users and rational agents  Animals are not rational creatures  Animals lack rationality thus their actions are determined by nature o Therefore, animals lack freedom of will (they don't choose their actions)  Kant believes the power to reason gives us freedom o Therefore, being ethical requires having the power to reason  Despite being rational, we share primitive/basic desires (i.e. sex, o We are rational animals  To the extent that our actions are driven by such sensual or biological desires we are not free  One may say, freedom is the ability to act independent of such desires; power to reason allows us to do so  Kant's reasoning: o Freedom that rationality provides gives us responsibility o To have responsibilities be ethical o As rational agents, therefore, it's our duty (deontos) to use our power to reason to be ethical o Reason is independent of experience (i.e. our senses) o A priori --> before or independent of experience  It cannot rain and not rain simultaneously (clear due to observation --> SENSORY)  This feature of reason is liberating - doesn't depend on biological functioning  It's animal's actions that depend on biology which causes them to lack free will  We need maxims (that are rationally transparent) in order to guide our actions o Just by seeing them, we see that hey ought to be followed  Accordingly, Kant tells us: o "An action done fr
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