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How are the categorical imperative (Kant) and/or the greatest happiness principle (Mill) applied in law? - Essay Example
Pages 4 (1004 words)
Applications of Categorical Imperative and the Greatest Happiness Principle in Law The concept of law in every society is substantially impressionable and must be debated upon and well thought of, taking all aspects of morals and ethics into consideration…
Two particular theories or principles that have been applied in law are Categorical Imperative (CI) by Immanuel Kant and the Greatest Happiness Principle (GHP) by Stuart Mill. Kant’s categorical imperative theory provides a way of evaluating the motives behind an action. According to Kant1 (27), an imperative refers to any proposition that declares a particular action or inaction as necessary. Obligations and duties are therefore derived from these imperatives. On the other hand, a categorical imperative refers to a requirement that is absolute and unconditional, and asserts its authority in all conditions. A violation of the categorical imperatives constitutes immorality. CI sets duty as an act done out of respect for the moral law (Kant2 54). In relation to this, the moral worth of an action cannot be derived from its consequences. This means that the source of moral worth of an action is the ground principle or reason under which an act is performed irrespective of the desired outcomes or all other aspects. From these explanations, an action can only be said to have moral content if it was done with an absolute regard of a sense of moral duty. Kant applies a deontological approach in his ideas. For example, an action is only termed as being moral if it possesses a certain universal value. A maxim refers to a ground principle of action or a ground rule. ...