Immanuel Kant's Analysis

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The moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant is unique; not only for the time it was written, but to this day as well. Unique to modern interpretations of ethics, Kant believed in an objective morality. However, this wasn’t an uncommon belief for the time. What set Kant’s philosophy apart from his predecessors was his belief that morality came from logic and reason as opposed to God’s will. While Kant disagrees with his fellow moral objectivists on where morals come from, it is important to understand what they agreed on: they all reject utilitarianism and the belief that morality is derived from actions that produce maximum happiness. Their reasoning against this philosophy helps to illustrate the main point of objectivism. The first problem with …show more content…
The issue then becomes, where can we find this constant moral philosophy? Most philosophers of the time found it in God. Despite his Christian faith, Kant found it in human ability of rationality. In his book, Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, Kant outlines his moral philosophy. It is a dense and difficult read, and Kant himself has critiqued the inscrutable nature of his work. However, there are three main ideas behind his philosophy: his view of freedom, moral actions, and the nature of …show more content…
He believes freedom is found in autonomous action, making decisions free of outside influence. In contrast, heteronomous actions, decisions informed by outside influence, are not free. This is not a unique belief itself, but what actions Kant believes to be autonomous and heteronomous is the defining aspect of his views. To a utilitarian, freedom is the ability to pursue pleasure without hindrance. Kant disagrees. He believes the pursuit of pleasure, and other biological imperatives such as eating, sleeping, and reproducing, are heteronomous decisions. Satisfying these desires are actions taken to achieve goals we did not set for ourselves, but goals set for us by outside forces. Even choosing what to eat, where to sleep, who you reproduce with, are heteronomous decisions. Whether these decisions are based on socially conditioned or biologically determined preferences, they are still based on outside

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