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Comparing Philosophical Positions of Kant and of John Stuart Mill - Essay Example

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In the modern global context it is very important to be aware of philosophical ideas of the leading philosophers. Many ideas of famous philosophers are the basic for many modern scholars’ theories…
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Comparing Philosophical Positions of Kant and of John Stuart Mill
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Comparing Philosophical Positions of Kant and of John Stuart Mill

This research paper considers ideas of Kant and Mill and applies them for the issues of war in the modern global world. Utilitarianism of John Stuart Mill and Deontology of Kant can be compared and contrasted. In the modern context the main ideas of these great philosophers can be implemented in the context of modern political events. Whether there is a need for utilitarian morals and laws or whether it is much important to focus on individual values–these considerations are provided by Kant and Mill. Mill’s Utilitarianism. Mill developed the Greatest Happiness Principle, which he explains in the following way: “… the ultimate end … is an existence exempt as far as possible from pain, and as rich as possible in enjoyments, both in point of quantity and quality; … to the greatest extent possible, secured to all mankind; and not to them only, but, so far as the nature of things admits, to the whole sentient creation” (Lectures on Mill). These considerations are appropriate for the modern global society. Mill mentions “all mankind”, “the whole sentient creation” . He applies global concepts for his considerations and these are relevant to the modern global society. The main operating category of Mill is consequentialism. He thinks that all rational beings should be subjected to equal moral laws and principles, but in case the nation was be oppressed by those principles, it would not accept them. Current political situation in the world can be analyzed with respect to Mill’s consequentialism. He said that all nations are striving for freedom. A nation is turned into a group of dummies in case they are not looking forward to liberty. A behavior of Americans in the Iraqi war can be analyzed with respect to Mill’s claims. Mill underlined that it is necessary to discard “despotism of custom” (Moseley, 2002). Every individual should have his own system of benefits, but it is more important for the society to have a group of sound members or individuals with clearly set goals. From this perspective Americans are positioned as great freedom setters in an oppressed nation (Moseley, 2002). It is inhumane to prevent people from freedom of thinking and the suppressors, in such a way, hide truth from their nations. Freedom is very important for people in the modern world. It is impossible to develop without it. Categorical Imperative of Kant This categorical imperative of Kant outlines similar positions for every individual. He claims that: The universal laws of nature should be met by individuals, who should act on maxims to meet requirements of the nature. Every individual is a sound human being and he should be treated with respect. An individual in every society should act as if he was “a member of an ideal kingdom of ends in which you were both subject and sovereign at the same time” (Williams, 1983). Thus, Kant underlines that independent actions of every individual are very important for the whole society. At the same time, individuals should refer to social, historical and many other external factors in their nations and to respect them. Furthermore, reflections of Kant can be illustrated by Four Quadrant Module: Picture 1. Four Quadrant Module. In such a way, the philosopher underlines the importance of social independence. In Quadrant One an individual is positioned as a potential benefits’ gainer. In Quadrant Two an individual should work in the name of social benefits or for “a common good”. Quadrant three makes an emphasis on the importance of independence. Quadrant four is focused on autonomy and interdependence between the individuals (Moseley, 2002). Therefore, oppressed nations, like in the case of Iraq, should be relieved otherwise the individuals of the nation will be unable to ... Read More
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