kant categorical imperative 1 and 2.docx

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHL100Y1
Professor
Peter King
Semester
Winter

Description
The Lying Promise INTRODUCTION -The Lying Promise. The maxim: “Whenever I believe myself short of money, I will borrow money and promise to pay it back, though I know that this will never be done.” The problem: Promises would be made impossible. -Arguments showing that a violation of each of the four (sorts of) duties will also violate the Categorical Imperative. "In order to illustrate his philosophy, Kant uses four examples of what he considers immoral conduct throughout the categorical imperative" CATEGORICAL IMPERATIVE 1 AND 2 (C1) Universal Law. Act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law. (C2) Law of Nature. Act as if the maxim of your action were to become by your will a universal law of nature. (C1) and (C2) give us a practical test: only a universalizable maxim can be a moral law—that is, a maxim (intention or policy) has to be such that (a) everyone could adopt it; (b) we could wish everyone to act upon it; (c) no contradiction results from universal adoption and action Procedure for determining whether a proposed action violates CI1: (1) Formulate the maxim: I am to do x in circumstances y in order to bring about z. Example: I am to lie on a loan application when I am in severe financial difficulty and there is no other way to obtain funds, in order to ease the strain on my finances. (2) Generalize the maxim into a law of nature: Everyone always does x in circumstances y in order to bring about z. Everyone always lies on a loan application when he is in severe financial difficulty and there is no other way to obtain funds, in order to ease the strain on his finances. (3) Figure out the perturbed social world (PSW), that is, what the world would be like if this law of nature were added to existing laws of nature and things had a chance to reach equilibrium. Note: assume that after the adjustment to equilibrium the new law is common knowledge -- everyone knows that it is true, everyone knows that everyone knows, etc. Two questions: Q1: Could I rationally act on my maxim in the PSW? This is the “Contradiction in Conception Test” Q2: Could I rationally choose the PSW as one in which I would be a member? This is the “Contradiction in the Will Test” The Kantian evaluation rule is this: we must be able to answer yes to both questions for the maxim to be acceptable. If we get a no answer to either, we must reject the
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