Kant, Fundamental Principles

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Read pages 45-56 from the Primis Packet. This reading presents the second moral theory of the semester, Kant's Deontology (i.e., Kant's analysis of our moral duties), which is arguably the most influential if not most successful moral theory in the history of philosophy…

Introduction


Because if the will behind these things are bad, so will the actions be bad. Intelligence can be used to create things which help the world or which harm it. Courage can be good in the fact of danger or it can exercised without moderation and result in more danger.
A person acts out of moral duty if the only reason he commits is the act is out of recognition that he has a moral duty. Moral duty requires understanding the value of the morality of an act. It is good will that that is the motivation for duty and nothing else.
3. A maxim is a subjective principle, e.g., I keep promises, and Kant claims that actions derive their moral worth from the maxims behind the actions. Another way to put this might be that the goodness of an action is based on the why the action was performed. Give an example of the same action being performed by two different people, e.g., giving money to charity, and explain how the second person's action can be morally superior to the first person's action.
Example 2: A person is being held hostage in a house by an escaped convict when the police knock on the door. Because they believe the convict's story that he was unfairly convicted and therefore innocent, the person refuses to answer the door.
Even if one is under the most difficult of circumstances, Kant disallows the notion of universalizing such a concept. ...
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