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Immanuel Kants Universalizability Test - Essay Example

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The article takes a deeper look at Immanuel Kant’s Universalizability Test which is used to make a judgment of the moral character of a given maxim such that if an individual cannot imagine the possibility of a particular thing by all humans then to them it is an impossibility…
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Immanuel Kants Universalizability Test

According to the research findings, it can, therefore, be said that the Universalizability test checks for the contradiction of the maxim in either concept or in will. Contradiction in concept involves the fact that the maxim is unable to meet the threshold of being regarded as a universal law without it presenting a contradiction while contradiction in will involves a situation where the maximum cannot be termed as universal law because its will contradicts itself. Perfect duty is the resultant from maxims that fails the test through the contradiction in concept whiles those that fail through the contradiction in will results to an imperfect duty. The universalizability test provides a ground for determining the moral acceptance of actions. It provides that an act that contradicts itself is not morally acceptable and maxims that can be universalized are morally good. The provisions of the test are based on the generality that individuals have the same moral obligations under the same moral situations. The universalizability test involves three basic steps. Firstly, a maxim has to be formulated in order for it to be tested, is then universalized and finally checked for consistency. The failure of universalizability of a maxim is demonstrated by lack of consistency and vice versa. Kant mentions that a maxim that cannot be universalized consistently is ‘practically irrational’. Therefore, the maxim that embarrassment can emanate from the incidence cannot be generalized whatsoever. It is apparent that actions are motivated by either morality or the person’s inclination; the issue of embarrassment does not fall in either of these. The ultimate result of such a situation is embarrassment since the individual will not be able to fulfill what they had promised; it will be unfair and irrational to universalize such an act. Another failure by the act is that it does not have a moral worth in the maxim it is based on, but instead its morality is based on its purpose (avoiding embarrassment). This means that the act of giving false promise is not morally acceptable because of its consequences; therefore the act cannot be translated to all individuals in the name of avoiding embarrassment. It is common sense that the action of giving false information is contrary to the expectations because it is contrary to duty. In addition, their actions are not motivated by duty but instead an opportunity to avoid duty. This is why the person goes ahead to give false promise, a strategy that according to them will help in avoiding the responsibility that comes with the task ahead of them. Kant’s argument demonstrate that the act cannot be whatsoever universalized, its motivations are misplaced hence cannot be done by people under similar conditions all over the world. The motivation behind giving false promise is the fact that a person is able to avoid embarrassment for the time being. In order to demonstrate the universalizability of an act, the maxim thereof is universalized. It must be something that is sustainable and consistent, giving false promise in itself is inconsistent, and it is a matter of time before the truth is known. ... Read More
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