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Critical Analysis Paper - Essay Example

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Moreover, Chaffee’s The Philosopher’s Way discusses the various philosophers’ view of the world, the nature of reality, and the truth (2012, 51). By using Kants Categorical Imperative and utilitarian views, morality is relative to humans’ rationale of right and wrong. Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Imperative Kant is the main proponent of a critical type of philosophy known as the categorical imperative. Human beings have the tendency to evaluate their actions based on their emotions towards the acts they committed. This means that it is hard to assess the goodness or badness and rightfulness and wrongness of an action because of the difficulty to find a basis for logically and objectively judging this particular action. Kant helped us in understanding and explaining our actions and decisions based on a given principle known as a priori judgment, in which all knowledge presupposes an experience. It is in this line of thought that Kant differentiated moral judgments from empirical ones. Empirical judgments refer to judging facts of which experience teaches us, while moral judgment tells us what we ought and not ought to do. Empirical judgment does not relate to the understanding of moral action. What Kant meant by a priori judgment also entails a judgment of necessity which judges an act based on universal standards of right and wrong, such as stealing is wrong in any circumstances. Categorical Imperative is considered by Kant as the universal principle of justice that right is superior to good applicable to the whole universe. He postulates that humans must act based on universally accepted maxims which also apply as laws for all of the humanity. Kant believes that moral rules are universal. Therefore, what is allowed for a single person is also allowed for everybody, and what is prohibited for one is also prohibited for the rest. Moreover, what is obligatory for one is also obligatory for the rest. He also acknowledges freedom or autonomy along all individuals, but this autonomy must rest on positive values and will serve as a guiding law for all our actions. The word imperative in his philosophy provides us with some sort of restriction which limits our actions that are grounded on personal interests and selfishness which moral rules considered universally wrong. Simply saying, actions that are morally wrong universally regardless of the means or ends are considered to be morally wrong and nothing else, while morally right actions that are universally accepted are also morally right. In other words, Kant suggests that life is composed only of two colors, black and white, and that there is no extent to which an action can be considered better or worse because it only falls into two categories. White lies are wrong under any circumstances because they are still considered as lies, and lying is universally wrong in any event. Principle of Utilitarianism Jeremy Bentham, in his Principles of Morals and Legislation, conveys rationality in his analysis of ‘the greatest happiness system’ or the so-called ‘means-end’. Other philosophers describe happiness as a goal, a result while Bentham describes happiness as simply a pleasure without the pain. In other words, people can quantify the value of pleasure or pain depending on the magnitude and for how long. According to Bentham, the overall good of the society is dependent ...Show more


Understanding human choices entails a thorough understanding of the circumstances that are present and are considered during the process of choosing a particular course of action. Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors features interesting and highly philosophical situations in which the characters are able to represent ordinary humans’ susceptibility to make realistic choices that are either inherently good or bad…
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Critical Analysis Paper essay example
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