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Assess Kant's Ethics Of Duty And Freedom As A Response To All Previous Ethical Theories. - Essay Example

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Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), one of the most influential philosophers in the history of Western philosophy, has been celebrated for his great contributions to metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics. …

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Assess Kant's Ethics Of Duty And Freedom As A Response To All Previous Ethical Theories.

According to the Kantian ethics, people have the duty to act in certain ways even if it does not produce the best results. “The ethics of duty is rooted in Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative ‘Act only on that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law,’ which in turn is rooted in the belief that humans are rational beings capable of self-determination and self-governance. Every responsible person is therefore entitled to dignity and respect.” Thus, the views of Kant, who is the most important supporter in history of deontological ethics or the study of duty, insist that the single feature that gives an action moral value is the motive that is behind the action. Similarly, another central concept in Kant’s ethics is freedom which is an idea of reason that serves a crucial practical purpose. “Without the assumption of freedom, reason cannot act. If we think of ourselves as completely causally determined, and not as uncaused causes ourselves, then any attempt to conceive of a rule that prescribes the means by which some end can be achieved is pointless.” ...
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