3 Answers

  1. The basic concepts of Kantian ethics are the concepts of “categorical imperative” and “hypothetical imperative”. Kant develops these concepts in his book Fundamentals of the Metaphysics of Morality.

    An imperative is a rule that underlies actions. A hypothetical imperative is a rule that is based on expediency. For example, you need to eat right to be healthy. According to Kant, such rules of conduct have nothing to do with the sphere of morality.

    A moral act is an act based on a categorical imperative. A categorical imperative is a rule that tells us to do something because it is the right thing to do. The categorical imperative is fundamentally separate from considerations of personal gain: a moral act can be unprofitable, and that's the whole point. Simple example: You found a wallet on the road. Returning it to its owner without any reward may be unprofitable, even on the contrary, it will require additional effort, but this is the right thing to do. This is roughly the direction in which Kant argues.

    What is the main universal rule of morality? In the Fundamentals, Kant gives two formulations. The first is that you need to act in such a way that your act can become a universal rule. For example, lying is immoral, because if everyone lied all the time, then communication between people would become impossible, and society would break up.

    The second formulation is that a moral act is one that does not use other people as a means to achieve its goals. This indirectly follows at least from the separation of hypothetical and categorical imperatives: using others as a means, you, at least, make your action goal-oriented, and not value-oriented.

    Finally, one last thing. The categorical imperative is not the golden rule of morality. In the Fundamentals, Kant specifically objects to the well-known formula “do not do to another what you would not wish for yourself”, noting that such a principle cannot be a universal moral law. Otherwise, Kant notes, a criminal might say that the judge is committing an immoral act by passing a sentence, but this is not the case. It's funny that Kant dismisses this principle in a footnote – presumably, in Kant's opinion, it is so absurd that it deserves no more attention.

  2. The categorical imperative is formulated as follows:”Always act according to such a maxim (maxim is the highest principle, the highest rule), the universality of which, as a law, you can at the same time desire.”

    The categorical imperative of Immanuel Kant asserts a person's personal responsibility for the actions he has committed, teaches not to do to another what you do not want to do to yourself. Consequently, these propositions, as well as morality in general, are inherently humanistic, because the other acts as a Friend.

  3. Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative sounds like “do to others as you would like to be done to you”, and if more literally, then ” everyone's actions should be the standard of human behavior.

Leave a Reply