PHIL 1 Lecture 28: Phil 1 Notes 28

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15 Sep 2020
Department
Course
Professor
Hao Tran
htran170@ivc.edu
Intro to Philosophy
Notes: Phil 1
Second formulation: formula of humanity
Kant offers a second “test”, that is supposed to yield the same results.
“So act that you use humantiy, whether in your own person or in the person of
any other, always at the same time as an end, never merely as a means.”
Kants most influential ethical ideal: human beings have dignity and are
deserving of respect.
They are to be assumed to possess humanity and perfect morals.
Human beings as “ends in themselves”
Human beings have a distinct status (unlike all other beings): they are ends in
themselves.
This means that:
They are deserving of respect, irrespective of what they have done or are
about to do. Respect is not earned.
They place absolute limits on our ations. We are not permitted to violate
their dignity.
We should make their ends our own. We should do what we can to help
others achieve their ends.
Murderer at the door
Kant thinks we are not permitted to lie to someone, even if we predict that this
person will commit an immoral action
For kant it is a matter of respect. Lying in order to avoid a certain outcome is to
treat others as mere pieces of nature, defined by their inclinations.
Formula of humanity gives us the same results
Torture could never pass the test, and so could never be morally justified, no
matter what the good concequences of it might be.
To take out a loan without intending to repay it is to disrespect the person you are
borrowing money from
Respect also requires that ou take the end of others as your own. This is why you
have a duty to help them.
You also have to respect yourself. Suicide is a form of disrespect, as is laziness
Why respect human beings?
Because they hold the moral law within them, because they are capable of doing
good.
Note that their value does not hinge on them actually being good.
Kingdom of ends
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