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
○ 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
■ 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
○ Note that their value does not hinge on them actually being good.
● Kingdom of ends