Three theories for a better life - Essay Example

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Three theories for a better life

To effectively explain Kant’s second version of categorical imperative, it would be necessary to understand what Kant meant by categorical imperative. According to Kant, imperatives imply what they meant which are command such as “wake up early”. Often they are hypothetical imperative because they only serve a specific objective or purpose such as “wake up early so you will not be later for work. This imperative or command becomes categorical when it is applied universally and that the actions and decisions of individuals are to be judged solely by their motivations and that the consequences do not matter morally (as in the case of hypothetical imperative) neither the intended consequences nor the actual consequences matter morally; only the principle or rule we follow if we do the action matters morally. Thus actions themselves become an end and this action should be a rational result in the exercise of freewill. Consistent to this, Kant’s second imperative states that every person has the duty to use and exercise his goodness/humanity as a means to an end. The application of this second formulation of Kant’s categorical imperative is best illustrated in slave ownership. A slave owner may assert his right to own a property which in this case is a slave. While ownership by itself is not immoral, slave ownership becomes unethical or immoral according to Kant’s second imperative because it deprives a person of his free rational action and that persons can never be a mere means to an end. ...Show more

Summary

According to Aristotle, the acquisition of virtue is a result of the right habit which was nurtured by education and choice. This virtue which has been nurtured by early training and conscientious choice can be destroyed either by excesses or deficiency and it is important that the individual should hit the mean condition of virtue to remain virtuous. …
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