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Questions tagged [categorical-imperative]

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How is Kantian's Universality Formulation identical to his Humanity Formulation (Principle of Ends)?

Kant states that the humanity formulation was substantively identical with his first formulation of the categorical imperative (universal law of nature), but I do not see how he came to that ...
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Categorical imperative defeating division of labor?

Suppose the following maxim. Goal: satisfy basic needs: food, water, sleep, etc. Method: having a specialization, getting money for work, spend money to satisfy basic needs. Conditions: capitalism, ...
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1answer
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Universalizability reductio ad absurdum

My 13-year-old son is attending philosophy camp and one of his homework assignments is to come up with some objections to Kantianism. In a previous conversations I suggested a ridiculous counter-...
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Applying the Mere Means principle

I am trying to understand Kant's Second Categorical Imperative: Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an ...
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0answers
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Can the idea of “imperfect” categorical imperatives be used without 'duty'?

Can the idea of "imperfect" categorical imperatives be used without 'duty'? So that e.g. I can say that something has an intrinsic value, and not hypothetically, but it is always valuable, even-though ...
2
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1answer
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Kant and the Categorical Imperatives

Did Immanuel Kant intend for the Categorical Imperatives to be used together, or separately, when trying to determine an actions ethicality or morality If you answer yes, individually, then how does ...
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2answers
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What are some examples of categorical imperatives/universalizable maxims relevant to modern ethics?

I know this question has been widely asked, and that the answer may not be as straightforward as the question, which is partly why I'm asking. It's been a long time since I sat in a philosophy class, ...
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2answers
410 views

A good explanation for why failing Kant's categorical imperative = morally wrong action?

More precisely, can someone provide a relatively intuitive explanation or justification for why failing the categorical imperative test should be indicative of an action which is morally wrong? I'm ...
2
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1answer
180 views

Contemporary literature on Kantian ethics?

After reading some works, mainly by Kosgaard, I was wondering if there were any other in-depth contemporary literature looking into Kantian ethics and, more precisely, into its problems (and their ...
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Is there an answer to false positives/negatives of Kant's categorical imperative?

I recently read some papers on Kant's categorical imperative (McCarty, Kosgaard, Gressis mainly) on how to properly formulate a maxim according to him, and on the multiple problems linked to those ...
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5answers
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If a moral law contains “If-then/Unless-then” clauses, is it still Kantian?

An argument against Kant's categorical imperative is the "hiding Jews from the Nazis" example: "Per the categorical imperative, you should never lie. Therefore if you are hiding Jews in the basement ...
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Why does Kant consider “rational agents,” humans, as ends in themselves and not means?

This is according to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: "Kant argues that the moral law must be aimed at an end that is not merely instrumental, but is rather an end in itself. Only rational ...
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1answer
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Categorical Imperatives and Imbalances of Power

My fundamental question here, is does Kant's categorical imperative only make sense when considering ethics among people with similar levels of power? It seems Kant's argument assumes that all people ...
2
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1answer
177 views

How specific to a set of circumstances can the categorical imperative be?

I'm having trouble understanding just how specific the circumstances can be when using the categorical imperative. My general understanding is that the categorical imperative urges you to consider ...
2
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1answer
403 views

Kant's second formulation

In Kant's Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, he gives examples of uses of the Humanity Imperative, the first being about suicide. I have a scenario in which there is a boy who has to choose ...
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2answers
354 views

For Kant, why are all preferences only conditionally valuable?

It's not clear to me why rational beings are objective ends. It certainly seems possible that every rational being could hold itself as an end, but it is by no means the case necessary that they do ...
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2answers
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Are there counter examples to Kant's perfect duties?

Are there exceptions to Kant's perfect duties - duties always or never to do X? By this I mean, does the doctrine of perfect duties generate counter-examples - situations in which if we followed the ...
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3answers
660 views

In Kant, how do Universalizability and Freedom relate to each other?

I have read the following book on Kant: Kant on the Right to Freedom This is my understanding of Kantianism and freedom: Reason must be the basis of all morality. (Moral realism fails). This ...
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1answer
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Can we be intuistionists about the CI? [closed]

Can we simply intuit the value of and how to respect someone's dignity, without allowing its equivalence to rational formulations as in the Universal Law of Nature Formula? I just think that the ...
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3answers
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Kants universalization explained, How does one universalize a thing?

I am having some doubts in understanding universalisation of maxims in Kants Categorical Imperative. For instance, one can determine whether a maxim of lying to secure a loan is moral by ...
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2answers
288 views

Mutually exclusive obligations under the categorical imperative

How, according to Kant, ought we respond when the categorical imperative obliges us to take two mutually-exclusive courses of action? For instance if two people are being lowered into a pit of lava. ...
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3answers
352 views

“Repugnant conclusions” following from Kant's imperative to never use humans only as means to an end?

Many formulations of utilitarian consequentialism famously lead to a range of "repugnant conclusions", such as: it would be moral to execute an innocent person if this act could deter at least two ...
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2answers
394 views

According to Kant Is it immoral to do what I cannot conceive of everyone doing succesfully?

I just want to check that I understand perfect duties. First, formulate a maxim that enshrines your reason for acting as you propose. Second, recast that maxim as a universal law of nature ...
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Can trivial and ridiculous perfect duties be constructed?

First, formulate a maxim that enshrines your reason for acting as you propose. Second, recast that maxim as a universal law of nature governing all rational agents, and so as holding that all must,...
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How is Kant's 'Kingdom of Ends' anything more than just a combination of the first 2 maxims?

In Kant's categorical imperative, he outlines 3 maxims: Universal moral law: ‘Only act on a maxim that you could will should become a universal law.’ Treat people as ends: ‘Act so as to treat others ...
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1answer
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Is being a philosopher immoral according to Kant?

More specifically, is taking up any job immoral according to Kant? Because by the Categorical Imperative, since we don't wish that everyone in the world became a philosopher/scientist/engineer etc.? ...
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561 views

Is Kant's first axiom precise?

The Categorical Imperative is generally stated with two axioms: Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law Any person who is a ...
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1answer
149 views

What does it mean for Kant for someone to lie?

Would Kant identify the act of lying with the intention to delude or with the act of speaking untruth, when their conjunction is not given? It is possible to try to deceive someone but nonetheless ...
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1answer
103 views

Is there a categorical impertaive against humour?

I understand it in the formulation: will only whatever you can will for everyone without [logical] contradiction. If everyone kept telling jokes after a bit nothing would be funny. So do we have an ...
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2answers
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Are Categorical Imperatives neccessarily deontological?

That if something is categorically imperative, that you have a duty to act from it regardless of convenience?
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5answers
856 views

Has Kant's application of the Categorical Imperative failed?

To what extent does Kant successfully apply his four illustrations to his categorical imperative test? (Do not make false promises etc) The question can be split into two questions: What makes Kant'...
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1answer
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Was Kant successful in establishing the autonomy of the will?

Was Kant successful in establishing the autonomy of the will, and hence the authority of moral demands over us? Kant appeared not to recognize the gap existing between the law of an autonomous ...
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1answer
701 views

Does human existence have absolute worth?

Kant says that only something “whose existence in itself had an absolute worth” could be the ground of a categorically binding law. He then boldly proclaims that Humanity is this absolutely valuable ...
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1answer
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Kant on Euthanasia

I know there are many permutations of questions pertaining to euthanasia, but in the interest of specificity, let's keep it to these two cases. How might Kant respond to: A) The claim that ...
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1answer
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Kant on Positive Obligations (to children)

With respect to the Formula of Humanity, if we accept that: A) We are each capable of acting 'on the basis of reason' (in accordance with the requirement of universal law); and B) Rationality is ...
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Law and The Formula of Humanity

There seems to be a clear notion of "taking into consideration" the humanity of others in the Formula of Humanity. "Every rational being exists as an end in himself, not merely as a means for ...
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1answer
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How does Kant link the three subordinate formulations of the categorical imperative to the universal law?

How does Kant derive The Formula of an End in Itself, The Formula of Autonomy, and The Formula of the Kingdom of Ends from the The Formula of the Universal Law? So far, this is my understanding of it....
5
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1answer
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Kant's categorical imperative: What precisely is the nature of the maxim that is universalised?

Using Kant’s categorical imperative, I understand that in order to ‘test’ the morality of an intended action, one has to take the maxim of their action and universalise it. If it is self contradictory ...
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How does Kant tie the categorical imperative to its noumenal manifestation

Locke rejected what is essentially Kant's categorical imperative: “that one should do only as he would be done unto” (Essay 1, Kindle Locations 650-652). The rejection was based on the fact that the ...
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Deontology: Perfect vs. Imperfect Duties

I have a question regarding Kant's deontological Maxim of both Perfect and Imperfect duties. What I know about them is that Perfect duties require a person to perform a certain "action" all the time, ...
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2answers
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Kant and categorical imperative dilemma? [duplicate]

I was wondering, what would Kant and the categorical imperative say about the following situation? Person A has made a promise to person B that Person A would not tell of a crime of stealing in a ...