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April 8 Lecture Notes.docx

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PHI 192
Ben Bradley

April 8 Lecture Notes PSC 124 Kant “Free-riding” and deception • The utilitarian tax cheat (putting yourself above anyone else) • Watering the lawn in a drought • The “lying” promise • “what if everyone did that?” this question makes the most trouble for utilitarianism Immanuel Kant 1724-1804 • Happiness is not valuable without a good will o Good will is essential to understanding morality o Good will is the condition from which happiness is judged • Only acts done from a “motive of duty” have moral worth o Does not care about the effects of actors o Why the person did what they did matters most • The moral worth of an action is determined by the reason it was performed The Categorical Imperative • A rule that you have to follow no matter what (categorical imperative) • A hypothetical imperative is only something to follow to achieve something • “Act only according to that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law” The Formula of Universal Law (FUL) • An act is morally permissible if and only if the agent can consistently will that everyone follow her maxim • What is it to will inconsistently? o Willing something impossible: p and ~p o Willing a maxim that defeats one’s
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