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categorical imperative

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Presentation on theme: "categorical imperative"— Presentation transcript:


2 categorical imperative
Immanuel Kant categorical imperative

3 how do we determine morality?
morality is derived from duty moral principles are intrinsically valid moral principles must be obeyed in all circumstances all moral obligations must be tested through the categorical imperative

4 how do we determine morality?
moral law applies to any and all rational agents means of an action matter more than the ends moral actions must have a moral intent moral law is a principle of reason not of fact

5 what’s wrong with immorality?

6 what is the categorical imperative?
a three tiered “test” to determine whether a maxim is moral maxim: principle or an action

7 how does the categorical imperative work?
the three tiers act as three tests they must be worked through in consecutive order if you “pass” test one you move on to test two then test three

8 how does the categorical imperative work?
morality is determined by the successful completion of all levels of the imperative but you can’t take two or three without passing test one if you don’t pass any of the tests the maxim is immoral

9 tier one: universal law
“act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law.” ex: lying about harboring jewish people in your attic

10 tier two: humanity formula
“we should never act in such a way that we treat Humanity, whether in ourselves or in others, as a means only but always as an end in itself.” ex: kidnapping to get ransom money

11 tier three: kingdom of ends
“act in accordance with the maxims of a member giving universal laws for a merely possible kingdom of ends" 1. it requires that we conform our actions to the maxims of a legislator of laws 2. that this lawgiver lays down universal laws, binding all rational wills including our own 3. that those laws are of ‘a merely possible kingdom’ each of whose members equally possesses this status as legislator of universal laws, and hence must be treated always as an end in itself.

12 tier three: kingdom of ends
simply put: our fundamental moral obligation is to act only on principles which could earn acceptance by a community of fully rational agents each of whom have an equal share in legislating these principles for their community. liken unto the golden rule: do unto others as you would have done unto yourself

13 tier three: kingdom of ends
within the kingdom of ends there is a realm of ends within the realm of ends the end of a maxim is eternal

14 criticisms of kant universal moral law is not binding
laws only applies to rational agents people are inherently immoral, kant assumes that people are inherently moral kant also assumes that people automatically desire to be moral

15 any questions?


17 Fin

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