The Philosophical View Of Morality Essay

1369 Words Aug 15th, 2015 6 Pages
Many philosophers hold the belief that morality is ultimately rooted in our sentiments. They believe that reason has little, if anything, to do with right and wrong. In contrast, the Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant says that how we feel is morally irrelevant - what matters is that we do our moral duty, which reason alone can establish. According to Kant, what matters about an action, as far as its moral worth is concerned, is the intention with which it is performed. The outcome is irrelevant, contrasting with utilitarianism’s consequentialist values. To show the plausibility of this statement, one might give an example of someone who believes it is right to help those less fortunate than themselves. Suppose they buy food and distribute it to poor. Unfortunately, through no fault of their own, the food is contaminated and many people die. Surely this person is not morally to blame. The person’s intention was good. Therefore, according to Kantian ethics, this person is not blameworthy. Kant insists that what really matters, morally speaking, is the intention with which an action is performed. The consequences are completely irrelevant. Kant said that right intention is our moral duty, which we can find out through reason.

Kant set out his theory through different imperatives. The first is the hypothetical imperative. A hypothetical imperative tells you what to do if you want to achieve a certain goal. For example, you might act on the maxim ‘if you want to avoid going to…

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