Presentation on theme: "Moral law and Kant’s imperatives."— Presentation transcript:
1Moral law and Kant’s imperatives. Wednesday 25th September 2013Moral law and Kant’s imperatives.Starter: Look over and remind yourself what the difference betweenA priori and A posteriori is.AndAnalytic and Synthetic
2The moral lawUsing your keyword sheet complete the task on your A4 sheet. If you struggle also use pgConclusion:What type of statements are ethical ones?Remember as well it must be able to be universalised to be moral.What is good will to Kant?
4Duty… We each have a duty to act morally and to follow moral law. Duty is different from acting out of inclination or compassionKant’s theory of ethics is an absolute one; hebelieves we should do our duty because it is ourduty to do so.
5For Kant moral judgements are not relative or subjective. Continued…Kant believed in an objective right and wrong based on moralreason. We should do the right thing just because it is right andnot because it fulfils our desires or is based on our feelings. Weknow what is right not by relying on our intuitions or facts aboutthe world about the world, but by using our reason. To test amoral maxim, we need to ask whether we can always say thateveryone should follow it and we must reject it if we cannot.For Kant moral judgements are not relative or subjective.Although modern deontology avoids too close a link with Kant,criticising him for being too absolute, his moral theory is stillinfluential.
6CELEBRATION!! Kant’s moral theory begins with The phenomenon of Key thoughtWe know we are free because we experience moral choice. We do not experience moral choice only after coming to the conclusion that we are free.CELEBRATION!!Kant’s moral theory begins withThe phenomenon of‘GOOD WILL’, celebratingwhat can be achieved by theapplication of human reason.GOOD WILLFor Kant if I am to act morally then I must be capable ofexercising freedom or autonomy of the will.“It is impossible to conceive of anything in all the worldwhich can be taken as good without qualification, except agood will. Good will is like a jewel, it should shine by its ownlight, as a thing which has it’s own value in itself”
7The shopkeeperA shopkeeper is always kind and friendly to you when you go into his shop, he highlights special offers and is prepared to offer you cut price deals as a regular customer. All of these will be limiting his profitsWhat possible reasons are there for this kind of behaviour?What would the reason be for Kant?
8An example from KantThere are two butchers in a town one of them ( Frank) desires increased trade, a good reputation and an ever expanding turnover. In order to achieve this he sells only the best meat, gives excellent service and never cheats his customers.The other butcher (Fred) does exactly the same as Frank except that he believes, by reason, that he ought to and for no other reason than this. His motive is pure and unconditional.
9Imperatives… Imperative – Something that must be done. “All imperatives command either hypothetically orcategorically… if the action would be good simplyas a means to something else, then the imperativeis hypothetical; but if the action is represented asgood in itself… then the imperative is categorical.”
10Hypothetical Imperative A moral command that is conditional on personalmotive or desire. It informs us of a factual relationbetween a goal and how to achieve it. There is noconcept of obligation attached to it and Kant didn’t seeany moral reference in there.Hypothetical imperatives always begin with an ‘if’.If you want X then you must do Y.If I want to lose weight then I ought to go on adiet…
11Categorical Imperative Tells us what we ought to do.Kant argued that morality is prescriptive and moralstatements are categorical in that they prescribeactions irrespective of the result. They aremoral obligations.An unconditional moral law that applies to allrational beings and is independent of personalmotive or desire. For Kant the C.I. was theprinciple that one should act on a maxim only ifone can will that it becomes universal law.
12An example from Kant CATEGORICAL HYPOTHETICAL There are two butchers in a town one of them ( Frank) desires increased trade, a good reputation and an ever expanding turnover. In order to achieve this he sells only the best meat, gives excellent service and never cheats his customers.HYPOTHETICALThe other butcher (Fred) does exactly the same as Frank except that he believes, by reason, that he ought to and for no other reason than this. His motive is pure and unconditional.CATEGORICAL
13Three Principles of the C.I. Universal Law.Treat Humans as ends not as ‘means to an end’The Kingdom of Ends
14Universal Law.Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should be universal law.Kant calls this the Formulation of Nature and arguedthat the only actions that are moral are those that canbe universalised – applied in all situations and to allrational beings, without exception.
15Treat humans as ends not a ‘means to an end This means that you should act so that you treat humanity,both in your own person and in the person of every otherhuman being, never merely as a means, but always at thesame time as an end.Kant held human beings as the pinnacle of creation.Therefore, it can never be moral to exploit people, to usethem as a means to an end. Each person is unique and ofequal value so cannot be sacrificed, even if it would resultin some overall greater good.
16The Kingdom Of Ends Act on the assumption that all will act in the same way. You should act as if you werethrough your maxim a law-making member ofa kingdom of ends. (Christian saying?)Kant argued that our actions had to bebased on the assumption that others wouldalso act morally and treat everyone as ends,not means.
17Key ThoughtThe implication of Kant’s Categorical Imperative is that, as free, autonomous, rational, moral agents, we do not discover morality – we make it!
18Examples… An example of a moral rule, derived from the previous principles of the Categorical Imperative ,would be: ‘Do not lie’.Kant argues that this rule applies universally. Heapplied the following reasoning. Is it moral to lie? Hewould apply the first law and reason what would happenif it were universalised. Such action – lying – wouldclearly harm society. It would also involve treatingpeople as means to an end rather than as endsthemselves. The conclusion is the lying is immoral.
19Write the correct words in the correct diagram Not absolute * ‘ought’Unconditional * characterised by the word ifUniversally valid * extrinsicMust be obeyed * A priori lawNot unconditional * intrinsicOnly works for the heteronymous willNon moralOnly works for the autonomous willDutyFor the sake of something elseExternalUse of reason
22Hypothetical Imperative Not absolute Not unconditional Only works from theHeteronymouswillNonmoralForthe sake ofSomethingelseexternalextrinsicCharacterisedBy the wordIF
23IMPERATIVE unconditional Universally valid Must be obeyed Use of CATEGORICALIMPERATIVEunconditionalUniversallyvalidMust beobeyedUse ofreasonintrinsic‘ought’A PRIORI LAWdutyOnly worksfrom theAUTONOMOUSWILL
24AUTONOMOUS WILL Acts freely Acts rationally Without compulsion Willing DutifulNo inner desires
25HETERONOMOUS WILL Does not act freely Rationally constrained Morally fetteredInner desires
26Homework Kant week – Complete the Log. This will help you to begin to consider thestrengths and weaknesses of Kant’s ethicaltheory.You must complete this to help you with thetasks next lesson. No exceptions!!!