Analysis Of Immanuel Kant's Moral Philosophy

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Immanuel Kant is considered one of the most influential thinkers of modern Europe, the last period of the Enlightenment and universal philosophy. Currently Kant continue to have effect in various disciplines such as philosophy, ethics and politics, among others. Immanuel Kant thought that the only thing that have intrinsic value is good will. Kant believed that an action is correct only if is out of the parameters of our moral duties and such actions have to be right. Kant offers the categorical imperative theory which basically tell us how to know which actions are right. Therefore, we may be able to know what our moral duties are. Immanuel Kant introduces two key elements of his moral philosophy. The first one, good will as the only thing …show more content…
As we have seen Kant call maxims to actions product of reason. Maxims are thoughts that can motivate individuals on how to act. Since for Kant, moral rules are absolute he sets two test for morally acceptable actions. The first test is known as Principle of Universalizability. This test states that an act is morally acceptable if and only if its maxim is universal. In other words we must follow three steps in order to pass such test: (1) Formulate a maxim. (2) Imagine a world in which everyone followed that maxim. (3) Then ask if that action could be achieved in this imagined world. (Class notes p.55) The second test is call Principle of Humanity. Kant believed that the world is divided into two categories agents (a person with capacity of autonomy) and things (without capacity of autonomy). Principle of Humanity states that we must always treat a human being as an end, and never as a mere means. (Class notes p.56) First of all, we need to understand the terms “human”, “end”, and “mean”. Human being refers to all biological creature. Kant define the term “end” as treating someone as intrinsic value. Means, refers as treating someone as an instrumental value. In other words, you treat humans as “means” to achieve something, you use them as tools. Notably, being autonomous, agents give them moral status in the moral sphere since their actions can be guided by rational requirements. Kant claimed that bout principles are identical and we must able to use either principle to test specific maxims. Kant do not provide a list of what our moral duties are. Most of all he give us this two test for us to evaluate each action separately and arrive to the conclusion of what our moral duties

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