Immanuel Kant Individualism

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During the Age of Enlightenment, writers and philosophers in Western Europe published works focusing on individualism and its relation to moral philosophy. Immanuel Kant investigated principles of deontological ethics, which relate to duty and moral obligation. In Kant’s work Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals he focuses specifically on the concept of the good will. In his work the reader finds that is a multi-faceted moral concept, that lays the foundation for all of Kant’s arguments. For Kant, a good will is define as being motivated by self-actualized morals with an ensuing action in accordance with moral law. Humans have the ability to reason, so they are able to come to moral conclusions just as easily as mathematical conclusions. …show more content…
Kant developed what is called the categorical imperative to test if one’s action is in accordance with moral law. To use the categorical imperative, one must propose an action, for example, being honest. Next, the proposed action is put into a statement or maxim. The proposed action then develops into “I will always be honest”. From this, one imagines a world where this maxim is followed by everyone. If it is found that this maxim cannot be applied without making exceptions for a few, the maxim is not necessary in and of itself, and therefore immoral. To Kant, a world where everyone was always honest would not create a moral contradiction because it can be followed universally, or is free of …show more content…
When it comes to personal character, I feel every person has the ability to follow the moral law because it is embedded in human nature. Moral laws are unique in their characteristics in that they do not need to be taught, but only realized. For instance, as a human community it is universally agreed that murder is wrong. There was never a social movement that had to convince people that murder in its simplest terms is immoral—it is just understood because all humans possess the sentiment in their basic understanding of compassion. Many claim that some people are more inclined to using their good will because they possess qualities like altruism or empathy. The part of Kant’s argument that resonates the most with me is that all principles of moral law and the good will are universal, and make no exceptions for the individual. I feel the biggest issue with people acting indecently towards each other is that they only focus on themselves, and what they personally need and want, and not how their actions affect the well-being of others. Overall, my opinions of moral philosophy are aligned with the principles Kant outlines in his

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