First Expression of the Categorical Imperative The first version or expression of the categorical imperative: Act in a way that the rule for your action could be universalized. 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Wright Mills' The Power Elite, Quiz & Worksheet - Characteristics of Byzantine Art, Quiz & Worksheet - Explorers of Spain and Portugal, What is an Isosceles Triangle? Mill wrote of Kant: But when he begins to deduce from this precept any of the actual duties of morality, he fails, almost grotesquely, to show that there would be any contradiction, any logical (not to say physical) impossibility in the adoption by all rational beings of the most outrageously immoral rules of conduct. She has a dog and does lots of things for the community ( they would never suspect she would have done the following). Home So with that in mind, if you do something based on a feeling of sympathy it isn’t necessarily moral because you did it. The categorical imperative (German: kategorischer Imperativ) is the central philosophical concept in the deontological moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant. If we apply Kant's categorical imperative, would it be wrong for the manager to lie and say that the wife is somewhere else? The general point, however, is that rather than applying a litmus test we are challenging the agent, putting the onus on them to give a reason for the proposed action that is defensible as such. I don’t recall any place where Kant explicitly discusses abortion but I believe it is quite likely that Kant would have viewed it in the same way as he views telling a lie: it is unjustified in any circumstances whatsoever. You’re right that the categorical imperative is intended to supply the complete justification, with no further justificatory reason needed. Applying the Categorical Imperative. They will always complete your orders in the shortest time possible and still offer high-quality content. Hare the British moral philosopher who developed a theory of ethics based on the Universalizability Principle argues that the only ‘non-fanatical’ way to apply the Universalizability Principle is via preference utilitarianism. Briefly describe how cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT) are similar. Anyone can earn Choose one of these test cases (it can be from either formula), and explain in your own words the reasoning that leads to the conclusion Kant defends. Imagine an angry, abusive husband comes to a woman's shelter waving a gun in the air, demanding to know whether his wife is there. You should first explain the Categorical Imperative itself, focusing on the particular formula you are considering, and then carefully show how that principle leads to a particular conclusion. To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member. Philosophia (October 1975) 5(4): 395-416. If so, explain why. A second formulation of the categorical imperative states: “Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always at the same time as an end and never merely as a means. Benjamin has a Bachelors in philosophy and a Master's in humanities. One could argue that there are some people that think it is okay to molest children that’s why there’s people doing it. I’m confused about how or why an agent’s reasons for action could be decisive in Kantian ethics, since such reasons, insofar as they delineate what’s more important and what’s less important, pre-suppose ethical judgments that (I assume, perhaps mistakenly) are the subject of ethics. Without this further element, the Categorical Imperative is toothless on the abortion question. Discussion: Applying the Categorical Imperative. The categorical imperative assumes people have a duty not to act in a manner that creates a contradiction between positive and negative outcomes when applied to all people universally. A hypothetical categorical imperative provides a rule you need to follow to achieve a particular end.