Kant holds that if there is a fundamental law of morality, it is a categorical imperative. Taking the fundamental principle of morality to be a categorical imperative implies that moral reasons override other sorts of reasons. You might, for instance, think you have a self interested reason to cheat on exam.
What is a Kantian moral agent?
According to Kant, the will of a moral agent is autonomous in that it both gives itself the moral law (is self-legislating) and can constrain or motivate itself to follow the law (is self-constraining or self-motivating).
What did Kant’s view about morality?
Kant’s moral philosophy is a deontological normative theory, which is to say he rejects the utilitarian idea that the rightness of an action is a function of how fruitful its outcome is. He says that the motive (or means), and not consequence (or end), of an action determines its moral value.
What is the moral function of reason in Kant’s philosophy?
Kant answers that we do our moral duty when our motive is determined by a principle recognized by reason rather than the desire for any expected consequence or emotional feeling which may cause us to act the way we do. The “will” is defined as that which provides the motives for our actions.
Why did Kant think that morality consists of categorical imperatives?
He suggests that the agent who is motivated by a categorical imperative will not struggle against her inclinations in the manner in which the merely continent agent does because the categorical imperative presents the truly virtuous agent with reasons that silence non- moral desires and concerns.
What is an example of Kantian ethics?
For example, if you hide an innocent person from violent criminals in order to protect his life, and the criminals come to your door asking if the person is with you, what should you do? Kantianism would have you tell the truth, even if it results in harm coming to the innocent person.
What is the relation of reason and good will in Kantian philosophy?
Kant’s theory is a version of rationalism—it depends on reason. Kant argues that no consequence can have fundamental moral worth; the only thing that is good in and of itself is the Good Will. The Good Will freely chooses to do its moral duty. That duty, in turn, is dictated solely by reason.
Why is categorical imperative important?
The Categorical Imperative is supposed to provide a way for us to evaluate moral actions and to make moral judgments. It is not a command to perform specific actions — it does not say, “follow the 10 commandments”, or “respect your elders”.