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EMP (21 pages) Kantian Ethics and the Basis of Duty (Lucas), pp. 165-169; from Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals (Kant), pp. 171- 181; A Simplified.

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Presentation on theme: "EMP (21 pages) Kantian Ethics and the Basis of Duty (Lucas), pp. 165-169; from Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals (Kant), pp. 171- 181; A Simplified."— Presentation transcript:

1 EMP (21 pages) Kantian Ethics and the Basis of Duty (Lucas), pp ; from Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals (Kant), pp ; A Simplified Account of Kantian Ethics (ONeill), pp CSME (7 pages) Aviano EA-6B Gondola Mishap (Slyman), pp , Todays Class: Kant & Moral Duty Immanuel Kant ( ) Objectives from reading: Comprehend moral basis & standard of Kantian or duty-based ethics: What are the strengths & weaknesses of Kantian ethics as a moral standard? Kantian concept of good will, reason, intent, & duty Know and apply the 3 versions of the Categorical Imperative. How does Kantian moral theory differ from utilitarianism regarding intent & consequences? How would you compare Kants concept of duty to the concept or military duty? The German Enlightenment philosopher, Immanuel Kant, is regarded as among the greatest and most influential of Western philosophers, and undeniably as one of the most difficult to read and understand. - Kantian Ethics and the Basics of Duty – page 143 The German Enlightenment philosopher, Immanuel Kant, is regarded as among the greatest and most influential of Western philosophers, and undeniably as one of the most difficult to read and understand. - Kantian Ethics and the Basics of Duty – page 143

2 1-Page Point Paper Pick 1 of the 3 Case Studies –The Christmas Party, p 177 –Flex Deck Ops, p 179 –Missiles: Ready to Fire, p 181 Use prescribed format –In Handout from 1 st Class, or –Format posted on unit Website One page ONLY Shows your ability to communicate salient points and make recommendations in a powerful, concise document 5 points toward final grade Due 1 March

3 Extreme Measures

4 …and your rebuttal? Do what is correct… Do what is right… Do what is brave…

5 Utilitarianism (review) The Principle of Utility (GHP) is a good example of most of these provisions… –Gives clear answers, helps resolve many problems, explains and justifies our intuitions –But the Extreme Measures story, or shoot the prisoners dilemma, illustrate issues (like justice, fairness, and rights) which are not sufficiently addressed

6 Chapter I…. Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals Good Will Reason Duty Rational Beings Self Discipline Acting on Universal Principle Does he ever mention God?

7 Kant for Fighter Pilots Desire What we want (or are inclined) to do Duty What we know we should do Conflict Indicates we have a choice Free Will, Autonomy What makes us human...not animals Obligation from reason Universal Principles (Categorical Imperative) How we act IAW DesiresIAW Duty (Moral Law) - 0+ Good Will Acts solely out of Reverence for Moral Law

8 Kant Brainstorm

9 Kant Definition The morally worthy individual (if such a person exists) does what he or she ought to do, whether he feels like it or not, or whether anyone else notices, rewards, praises or blames or punishes her or not. He expects everyone to act, not just Military Officers that are required to act.

10 Kants direct swipes… At Utilitarianism –A good will is not good because of what it effects or accomplishes…it is good in the willing alone… At Aristotelian Virtues –Intelligence, courage, resolution, determination…are good in many respects, but they can be bad or hurtful when the will is not good… (see Adolph Hitler)

11 Kants Contrasting Strategy Morality seems to consist in various law-like principles, obligations, that limit our freedom –I ought… (duty) versus I want… (desire) The Morally Good Will (person of good character, integrity) –recognizes the moral law as his own self-imposed limitations on individual freedom for the sake of all Human beings have moral dignity because of this power of reason to regulate their behavior –unlike mere animals, we dont just have desires or impulses and act on them, we also have AUTONOMY (the capacity for self-governance) Morality is an expression of that autonomy, it is self- governance

12 Kant: the Supreme Principle of Morality If we ask for the essential characteristic defining moral goodness or worth, we find: –An action has moral worth if it conforms to the requirements of duty, and is done for the sake of duty (…and not for some other motive); and –A person is morally good (good will) if he or she can be counted on to do his/her duty, motivated solely by a respect or reverence for the moral law (rather than consideration of some other, variable principle). Kants Morality = Duty vs Mills Morality = Happiness

13 What is Duty? –Main Entry: 1du·ty –Pronunciation: \ ˈ dü-tē also ˈ dyü-\ –Function: noun –Inflected Form(s): plural duties –Etymology: Middle English duete, from Anglo-French deueté, dueté, from deu due –Date: 13th century –1: conduct due to parents and superiors : respect2 a: obligatory tasks, conduct, service, or functions that arise from one's position (as in life or in a group) b (1): assigned service or business (2): active military service (3): a period of being on duty3 a: a moral or legal obligation b: the force of moral obligation 4: tax ; especially : a tax on imports5 a: workrespecttaxwork

14 You Make the Call… A woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging ten times what the drug cost him to make. He paid $200 for the radium and charged $2,000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman's husband went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could only get together about $ 1,000. He told the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said: "No, I discovered the drug and I'm going to make money from it." So the husband got desperate and broke into the man's store to steal the drug-for his wife. Should the husband have done that? Should the husband have done that? (Kohlberg, 1963, p. 19)

15 Level I: Pre-Conventional 2. Individualism and exchange 1. Obedience and punishment oreintation Level I: Pre-Conventional 2. Individualism and exchange 1. Obedience and punishment oreintation Kohlbergs Stages of Moral Development A SUMMARY OF LAWRENCE KOHLBERG'S STAGES OF MORAL DEVELOPMENT Copyright 2000 by Robert N. Barger, Ph.D. University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN If I dont do it I might get in trouble! 2. If I do it, I get something in return… 3. Good people would do it… 4. What would happen if we all did this? 5. Does this instance merit transcendence of what society would normally do? 6. Does this meet universal principles of justice Where would your motives be ranked?... Level II: Conventional 4. Maintaining the social order 3. Good interpersonal relationships Level II: Conventional 4. Maintaining the social order 3. Good interpersonal relationships Level III: Post-Conventional 6. Universal Principles 5. Social contract and individual rights Level III: Post-Conventional 6. Universal Principles 5. Social contract and individual rights

16 Some Notes on this Conclusion This does NOT mean that someone who does the right thing for the wrong reasons is acting wrongly, only that their action is not praiseworthy. …It merely means they get no extra credit. Kant allows that this confluence of actions and personal motivations is unusual. He wonders whether, on these criteria, there has ever been a truly morally good will in the world! Our duty presents itself to us in the form of imperatives (commands) that are absolute and binding. …i.e., categorical (no exceptions or excuses)

17 Terms to Know Categorical Imperative (CI) –Unconditional Obligation –No alibi, must comply Maxim –Fundamental principle you act upon –Rule of conduct Deontological Ethics –Based on Moral Obligation

18 Observations about Categorical Imperatives (CIs) CIs derive their authority from within – from the rational impulse to obey the dictates of Reason itself (as an expression of my autonomy) CIs command absolutely, unconditionally, no ifs, ands or buts (no strings attached) CIs are universal, unconditional, NOT subject to variation or change Duty and the institution of morality are like this (Must comply- no alibi) Do this, whether you want to or not, whether you can be made to or not, whether anyone will notice, reward, praise, or blame you (or not).

19 Categorical Imperative (CI 1 ): Formula of Universal Law CI 1 – Formula of Universal Law: Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law Translation: my act 1. Can I universalize my act without contradiction? Kants 4 illustrations: Do not harm the self (suicide) Do not harm or deceive others (lying) Do what is good for the self (develop your talents) Do what is good for others (beneficence)

20 Categorical Imperative (CI 2 ) Formula of the End in Itself CI 2 – Formula of the End in Itself Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end. Consider Kants 4 illustrations, from the perspective of the agent (i.e., the person undertaking the action) rather than action: –Do not harm the self (suicide) –Do not harm or deceive others (lying) –Do what is good for the self (develop your talents) –Do what is good for others (beneficence) AL ANBAR PROVINCE, Iraq – A member of the 5th Civil Affairs Group, 2nd Marine Division gives a soccer ball to an Iraqi child

21 The Categorical Imperative Procedure (CI 3 ) CI 3 - The Kingdom of Ends – Reason is both the source of moral law (legislator) and subject of the law (citizen). Accordingly: Act always as if you were, through your maxims, a lawmaking member of the moral community, bound to obey the laws you impose upon yourself and others Translation: Can this act become a binding moral law for all of us (…including you)?

22 No Form a Maxim Could it become Universal Law? Does it treat people as an End not merely as a Means? Could the maxim be willed by you and agreed upon by everyone to as moral law for the community? CI#1 CI#2 CI#3 Fails the Categorical Imperative: IT IS NOT MORALLY RIGHT! PASSESPASSES Categorical Imperatives

23 False Promise: Using Test One Maxim: I may make a false promise in order to reap financial gain. Generalized: Anyone may make a false promise to get something they want.

24 Bad Samaritan: Using Tests One and Two Maxim: I may refuse to help another person in distress who cannot pay me, even though I could do so at little cost to myself. Generalized: Anyone may refuse to help another person in distress who cannot pay her even though it would cost her little to help.

25 Can I, or Kant I? Some potential maxims: I will always tell the truth. I will always throw my paper wrappers out my car window. I will cure cancer forever by experimenting with one homeless persons life. I will shoot the POW to get the information to possibly save my troops. I will provide for my family. I will steal food for my family if they are starving.

26 Weighing Intent & Consequence: A Legal Example First Degree Murder –Intent and consequence Attempted Murder –Intent, no consequence Negligent Homicide –Consequence, no intent

27 Would you do it? LIE? If Grandma asked if you liked her terrible cookies? Protect a classmate from PRB? Protect a room- mates honor offense? To the Admiral? KEEP IF FOUND Dollar bill? Navy gym shorts? CD Player ($100) $1000 cash? Aban- doned car? STEAL? Govt. ballpoint pen? Room- mates Socks? Pirate song off internet? Shirt at mall? Kidnap person? CHEAT? Copy someones homework? Copy someones lab report? On term paper? On final exam? THE GRAY AREA CONSEQUENCES LOW CONSEQUENCES HIGH

28 What would Kant do?

29 Universal Principle Suppose… –IED Victim Horrific Burns Brain damage Coma Life support –$1,000,000 life insurance policy

30 Observations about Categorical Imperatives (CIs) CIs derive their authority from within – from the rational impulse to obey the dictates of Reason itself (as an expression of my autonomy) CIs command absolutely, unconditionally, no ifs, ands or buts (no strings attached) CIs are universal, unconditional, NOT subject to variation or change Duty and the institution of morality are like this (Must comply- no alibi) Do this, whether you want to or not, whether you can be made to or not, whether anyone will notice, reward, praise, or blame you (or not). See any issues here?

31 Goods and Others… Kantian Ethics Strengths Realm of duty, free from utility (Woo-hoo! no math involved!) Respect for persons Golden rule – do unto others, expressed in rational terms Reason based Weaknesses Hyper-rationality and lack of emotion The irrelevance of inclination Overly formal and universal – i.e., most of our duties are in social roles Inflexibility Supererogation

32 Aviano EA-6B Gondola Mishap Crash site near Cavalese, Italy Four Marines were flying in an EA-6B Prowler when it severed a cable supporting a ski gondola near Cavalese, Italy, on February 3,1998.Cavalese, Italy The gondola operator and 19 skiers were killed. The cables were from 364 to 370 feet (109 to 111 meters) off the ground in a valley. (CNN.com)

33 The Case Aircrew Flight Immediate Aftermath Aviano 4-8 Feb Cherry Point 4-8 Feb The Tape The Sequel

34 Lead in to Virtue Ethics How does Kant account for heroism? –Is it our duty to go beyond the call of duty? Wouldnt celibacy be immoral –Couldnt will it to be a universal law (…not for long, anyway) Which person is more moral? a)A pirate who returns a wallet b)A priest who returns a wallet

35 A Few Good Men One of those cases where law and morality coincide…

36 Recap CI-procedure CI 1 = formula of universal law Make it law… without any loopholes CI 2 = respect for persons principle People as ends not means CI 3 = Kingdom of Ends You are bound to obey the laws you make… for the Good of the Community Kant portrays the first two as derivations from the third, which attempts to portray the moral situation of a free, rational individual within a democratic society. The essence of morality is the motive (good will) behind the act to produce a …Systematic union of rational beings under common objective law.

37 Reading for Next Class Aristotle : Character & Virtue Ethics EMP (27 pages) –Aristotle and the Ethics of Virtue and Character (Lucas), ; The Moral Virtues (Aristotle), ; Habit and Virtue (Aristotle), ; Courage (Aristotle), ; Friendship, (Aristotle), ; Warriors: Reflections on Men in Battle (Gray), CSME (5 pages) –CWO Hugh W. Thompson at My Lai (Lucas), pp ; Hugh Thompson; The Sequel (Lucas), pp Objectives from reading: Comprehend key concepts of Aristotelian Virtue or Character ethics What is Aristotles basis for human flourishing? What is the concept of the golden mean? Relative importance of mentorship and habituation What exactly is character? 4 cardinal virtues How does Aristotles view of the virtues of courage and friendship fit w/in the context of our roles as military officers?


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