Paradoxes Of Immanuel Kant And John Stuart Mill

Good Essays
PHL 301: Midterm Exam
Jessica Korpinen

1. Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill serve as paradoxes of one another. Kant believed that our moral worth was dependent on whether we did the right action for the right reason. His ethics revolve around the concept of a “categorical imperative”. This implies that an action should only be performed after deciding whether or not it is moral that everyone else follows through with the same action in the future. To him, our morality is based upon rationality. The only supererogatory actions done, are those that are done out of selflessness. “Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same
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Mill was more “easy going” per say, and he emphasized that humans were capable of gradually improving themselves, rather than being merely egotistical. Mill’s theory connected morality and happiness together, while Kant disagreed and stated that happiness should not be the moral “end” humanity hopes to reach. Mill described happiness as something that produced overall pleasure, and diminished the idea of pain. Some pros to Kant’s theory are that he viewed human beings as important and unique in their own way. He believed every human had a sense of worth, and therefore had a privilege to equal rights. Through Kant’s theory, humans have the ability to choose what makes them happy, as long as it is chosen with reason. Some cons of Kant’s theory are that he believes human’s “good will” is always intrinsically good. This is not realistic since all people have different views and opinions. This being said, we may perform different actions based upon what we believe is our “good will”. Another con to Kant’s theory is that his categorical imperative cannot be very reliable. This is a downside to his theory because of the circumstances to which an action must need to be performed. An example we discussed …show more content…
In Robert Reich’s, Saving Capitalism, the critical point he discusses is the overwhelming disparity between income and wealth within the American economic system. “The invisible hand of the marketplace is connected to a wealthy and muscular arm.” (pg.11) Reich believes that those who hold power and influence in our economic system created this inequality between income and wealth. This is an incredibly valid point. We are watching the gap become wider and wider between the classes of American society, and that should not be the case. Guaranteed there will always be some type of gap between income and wealth, since that is the reality of corporate America, but the gap we currently have is incredibly vast. Wealth has become the overall focus ahead of income, which is somewhat hard to understand. Shouldn’t the two be hand in hand? It seems as though America’s goal overall is to become, and remain, the wealthiest nation to ever exist. The problem with addressing the problem we have is that every one who can make an immediate drastic change is someone sitting in a higher chair holding all of the money. As a nation that has an intention to emphasize equality for all, this gap we now have is putting opportunities for some Americans to a complete halt. Reich wants to empower his audience to become educated and act upon their knowledge after reading his book. Reich goes on to explain the reasons as to why America’s once so strong economic system, is now gradually failing

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