Analysis Of Immanuel Kant's Contribution To Business Ethics

1152 Words 5 Pages
Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher, held a deontological approach that many use today as the basis of their ethical theory. His philosophy is similar to the Ten Commandments where it is your duty to do what is morally right regardless of the consequences. “Others cannot impose morality and moral obligations on us; we are the only ones who impose such obligations on ourselves. If we are moral, we impose a certain way of acting upon ourselves because we understand what it means to be a moral being” (DeGeorge 63). In order to appreciate his contribution to business ethics, we should first look at Kant’s life and his moral vision.

Born in Prussia in 1724, Kant grew up with modest means because “his father was a harness maker. Both of his
…show more content…
He believed there were no consequences or gray areas, so you can see why he did not agree with the utilitarian approach. Therefore, his beliefs aligned with a deontological view. “He is probably the most important proponent of deontological, or duty based, ethics. According to Kant, the sole feature that gives an action moral worth is not the outcome achieved by the action, but the motive that is behind the action. Therefore, he believed the only motive that can endow an action with moral value is one that arises from universal principles discovered by reason” (McCormick). One must make the right decision for the right reason, or it is not a moral action. Simply doing the right thing is not enough according to Kant’s belief, therefore doing it for the wrong reason is …show more content…
It is a moral law, and you are bound to it no matter what else happens. There is no room to manipulate the laws depending on a situation. “The moral law binds unconditionally. Kant called the statement of the moral law or of the supreme principle of morality, the Categorical Imperative” (DeGeorge 64). The rule of “Do Not Lie” means you cannot lie even if an evil person asks you for information about yourself or a family member. Are you morally obligated to tell the truth to this criminal person? If using Kant’s theory, the answer is yes, you are obligated to tell the truth. His theory did not allow for any exceptions or changes to the theory. This is consistent with a deontological approach where it is your duty to do what is morally right regardless of the

Related Documents

Related Topics