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Kant Essay

  • Submitted by: Zoradee
  • on September 20, 2012
  • Category: Miscellaneous
  • Length: 402 words

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Below is an essay on "Kant" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

 
In Immanuel Kant’s “Fundamental Principals of the Metaphysics of Morals” he
 
distinguishes between empirical or posteriori concepts, which are reached through experiences in
 
the world, and non-empirical or a priori concepts, which are reached through reasoning and are
 
known as true without any actual experience.  It is his belief that individuals cannot decide
 
whether an action is “right,” or moral, by empirical means.   He believed that in order to reach a
 
judgment of right, or moral action, the judgment would need to be reached a priori, using pure
 
practical reason.  While Kant believed that individuals were rational and quite capable of making
 
free choices using autonomous thinking he also realized that autonomous thinking could be
 
detrimental to his ideal of each individual working for the common good of all.  Autonomous
 
thinking would have individuals acting independently with no regard for anyone else.  He
 
realized that there were major flaws with this and in order to address this he wrote the three
 
maxims (maxim being a basic principle that a person applies to their actions which
 
must be followed) and these became known as the categorical imperatives.  The maxims were
 
written taking into consideration the universal laws of nature, don’t use our humanity, or that of
 
others, as a means to an end and to always act as part of the collective.
 
The categorical imperative is basically Kant’s foundation of his theory of ethics.  The
 
first of the three maxims states that we should do our duty because it is our duty, even if by
 
doing said duty, we may cause harm either to ourselves or others.   It was his belief that
 
consequences were irrelevant to ethical morality and that intentions were the important thing.   In
 
the second maxim Kant says that a person has a perfect duty not to use the humanity of
 
themselves and others as a means to an end.   The third maxim states that our actions...

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