Presentation on theme: "What is deontology?. Deontology is a normative theory that states consequences are irrelevant; it is the motive behind an act that counts."— Presentation transcript:
What is deontology?
Deontology is a normative theory that states consequences are irrelevant; it is the motive behind an act that counts.
Why do consequences not matter to Kantians?
Consequences cannot easily be predicted and are not under our control. The moral worth of an act must come from something intrinsic to the act itself.
What is the Sovereignty of Reason?
Reason is much better than experience because we should all be able to think, and agree, but what is right and wrong. As soon as we introduce experience to morality it becomes confused because we all have different experiences or have different cultures and customs.
What is the Good Will?
Other things can be corrupted to serve evil ends (brave thief) but good cannot without changing its definition. Good intentions are all that matter even if the results are bad. Consequences do not matter only good intentions.
Explain duty vs. inclination.
Duty – we do something because it is the right thing to do – nothing else. Inclination – acting from inclination means you are behaving according to your personality – you are not choosing this behaviour – Kant says that the only moral praise comes from freely choosing to do a thing.
What are maxims?
Maxims are rules of general behaviour we apply to particular situations. They are intellectual exercises and not moral laws.
Explain Categorical Imperative.
Moral rules are examples of categorical imperatives. C.I.’s apply to everyone in a similar situation and is a command (do not lie). C.I.’s are tests that we apply to all maxims to test whether the maxims are moral or not.
Explain Hypothetical Imperative.
Hypothetical Imperatives are pieces of advise, conditional statements, i.e. if you want A then do B.
What are the three formulations of the C.I. we have covered?
Universal Law Formulation End in Itself Formulation Kingdom of Ends Formulation
Explain the Universal Law Formulation.
All moral maxims must be universalisable – they must be capable of being applied to every person in a similar situation – treat others in the same way you want to be treated!
Explain Contradiction in Conception.
We cannot act on maxims that are logically impossible, as they simply cannot work. This is being treated in a way you would not like to be treated yourself i.e. always take what you want from who you want.
Explain Contradiction in the Will.
We cannot act on maxims that rationally inconsistent i.e. never help those in need. One day we might need help so it is rationally inconsistent to universalise this maxim – even though it is possible to do so.
Explain the End in Itself Formulation.
We should never use others as a means to an end without their knowledge. We should not do this because a human being deserves to be treated as a rational, thinking, feeling thing. Treating them as a means devalues them.
Explain the Kingdom of Ends Formulation.
Maxims and C.I.’s should benefit everyone within society. This comes from Kant’s belief that we are all ends – all rational people who deserve to be treated with respect.
Explain the Problem with Motives.
How can we tell what someone’s motive really is? We cannot see motives! We cannot always dismiss consequences – they are important – people would never follow maxims unless they produced good consequences.
Explain the Problem with Maxims.
Which categorical imperatives should we follow when they conflict? Always tell the truth and always protect the innocent – which one of these should we follow?
Explain the Problem with Duties.
Which duty do you follow when duties conflict? You might have a duty to tell the truth and a duty to keep promises – which one do you follow when they conflict. Sometimes we are morally obliged to not follow a certain duty.
Explain the Problem of Ignoring Other Good Motives.
Emotions are very important to us. Why should we not act out of love, anger or compassion? Acting always from duty can mean we are lacking in humanity.
Explain the Problem of Misguided Perceptions of Duty.
Do we obey bad laws or corrupt governments simply because it is our duty? Jim Crow laws? Living in a dictatorship?