Essay Immanuel Kant And John Stuart Mill

1751 Words Dec 1st, 2016 8 Pages
Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill demonstrate two contrasting moral theories. The philosophers have very different ideas about ethics and happiness. Immanuel Kant, author of “Duty and Reason”, believed in the morality of the good will and duty. According to Kant, happiness is an emotion unable to be controlled while motive is controllable; therefore, duty is the most important aspect of leading a moral life. Conversely, John Stuart Mill, who wrote, “The Greatest Happiness Principle”, is well known as a utilitarian, who stress the greatest happiness for the greatest amount. While they may have disagreed about what makes an action ethical, Kant and Mill are both extremely significant philosophers. Further acknowledgement of the contrasting viewpoints concludes utilitarianism as an unjust society where selfishness over rules thus, deontological moral theory is a society with a more conclusive way of living.
Kant and Mill share similar, but also differing, thoughts on how the moral value of an action should be judged based on the relations between the moral and natural good, and what the duty is for both of these. In order for it to be moral, it must be done from duty and not based on consequences. He calls this the moral law where a law is a product of reason. Also known as the moral good, Kant explained that there were two forms of this feeling of obligation expressed in the categorical imperative which is an end in itself. The categorical imperative consists of acting on…

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