PHIL 1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 26: Dornier Do X

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15 Sep 2020
Hao Tran
Intro to Philosophy
Notes: Phil 1
Two kinds of imperatives
Hypothetical Imperatives
Do something as a means to something else
Do X if you want Y
Only conditional, and not morally universally valid
Categorical Imperative
Do something because it is morally good
Do X to do X
Morally, univerally valid
The categorical imperative binds all humans; it is like a law, we should follow it no
matter what
Moral Duties are Categorical Imperatives
They command with absolute necessity and universality - they are unconditional
First formulation: Principle of universality
“Act only according to that maxim whereby you can will at the same time that it
should be a universal law”
Act as if your actions are universalible
The principle you act on should not contradict itself
If made a universal law, it would be self defeating
The principle you act one should not contradict your will in general
The maxim might not contradict itself, but if universalized i would go
against your will generally
Thee principle you act on should no contradict itself
Would such a principle, if universalized, make the principle itself impossible to
Example” man considering making a false promise
In a world where everyone made false promises, it would be
morally horrible
Another example: stealing
The principle you act on should not contradict your will in general
Would such a principle, if universalized, contradict your will in general?
The example of the man not wanting to help others
Kant’s argument
The moral law is supposed to be unconditional (because it commands
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