Ethical Dilemmas Based On Four Philosophers And Their Theories From The Textbook, By Immanuel Kant

2275 Words Apr 3rd, 2016 null Page
This paper will discuss morality and how it applies to solving ethical dilemmas based on four philosophers and their theories from the textbook, “Exploring Ethics”. Philosophers Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, Aristotle, and Virginia Held each have a different approach which I will outline in the next few paragraphs and then provide my opinion on which I find most effective. According to Immanuel Kant’s “Categorical Imperative”, is the moral worth of our actions. It is Kant’s belief that we should act without expecting recognition. “… the moral worth of an action is to be judged not by its consequences, but by the nature of the maxim or principle that motivated the action” (98). Correct maxims, are those that can be made universal law, or applied to everyone, objectively and rationally at any given time, without contradiction. Kant states that there is only one categorical imperative and it is to “act only on the maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become universal law” (104). The example that Kant uses to illustrate his point is that of a man taking a loan from a friend with expressed intent to pay it back, fully knowing that he will not be able to do so. Consequently, the friend becomes a means to an end. By Kant’s definition the man’s actions suggest that it is permissible to make empty promises and deceive people, therefore the action is immoral. There is, however one end that Kant says that “we may presuppose is actual in all rational beings……

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