Kant And Utilitarianism Analysis

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Kant’s Groundworks of the Metaphysics of Morals, and Mill’s Utilitarianism, each offer different arguments about what is morality. They both give us fundamental and universal theories about morality. Before we compare the two, let’s first start with a summary of the main arguments of each philosopher. Mill begins chapter one by setting the stage for what he is going to discuss. Philosophers have discussed the foundation of morality for more than two thousand years. (Mill 95). He mentions how it is common to have some confusion and uncertainty in areas like the sciences. He also mentions how in the sciences there are the first principles that are the basic start for all learning in the sciences. These principles are always held true in the …show more content…
Kant starts right off by talking about the only thing that can be considered good without limitations is that of a good will. He describes how the things that bring forth happiness can also cause arrogance unless a good will is present (4:393). He talks about how moderation in affects and passions, as well as self-control and calm reflection are not only good for all purposes, but they even effect the inner worth of a person. Kant believes without the basic principles of good will they can become evil (4:394). He tells us how a good will is good do only its volition, meaning it itself is good. Next, he brings in the concept of the will, a will that is good is not a means to other purposes, but good in itself. A good will must be the sole and complete good and the highest good we seek in happiness. Kant tells us that a good will should be sound in understanding that it does not need to be taught but rather only clarified (4:397). Kant has three major propositions about duty. He explains duty as well as something done from an inclination. He explains how to tell if something is done from duty or from a self-seeking purpose. Actions can be seen as good when they are done for duty only not inclination. The second proposition, he brings up how actions are not to just be attained, but in the maxim that is the reason for the action. The third proposition which Kant mentions is a consequence of the other two. This …show more content…
Mill used utilitarianism as a basis for ethics and he argued that we already do use utilitarianism as a moral standard. To Mill an action is right if it promotes happiness and it is wrong if it reverse happiness. Kant on the other hand bases his view of ethics on good will rather than the outcomes of happiness. As we read, utilitarianism focuses on outcomes of happiness, here we can concluded that it is based on ends, not on means or intentions. I do not totally agree with this however, a person could intend something bad and wrong but in the end, end up causing great happiness. Kant is practically the opposite on this point. Kant like mentioned above believes that an action is only good if it in itself is good. He believes in order to be good it cannot be based on the consequences of its actions. Kant takes into account what happens before an action to determine if it is good, where Mill focuses on the ends. I side here with Kant for he is able to better defend his theory and keeps it related to what we humans are able to do in regard to our duties not

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