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Immanuel Kant’s Ethics – Philosophy Essay


The philosophical works of Immanuel Kant indicate that deceptive promising for self-interest is not acceptable from an ethical viewpoint. To a great extent, this argument includes several premises and concepts. For example, one can speak about the notion of universal law. It implies that a person should act only according to those principles which can be adopted by everyone. Additionally, one should speak about the assumption that a person should not treat other people as a means for achieving a certain goal.

This is one of the categorical imperative that an individual should not violate. In turn, false promising can certainly be viewed as the attempt to use other people only as tools, rather than ends in themselves.

Additionally, Kant’s approach to ethics implies that a person should imagine a world in which everyone acts on a certain maxim like deceptive promising. It seems that every form of cooperation can become impossible in this world. Furthermore, deceptive promising will become useless and impossible if every individual chooses to adopt this behavior. This is why such an action is not permissible.

This approach differs from the explanation provided by John Stuart Mill who believes that deceptive promise is very likely to produce negative impacts on the society, in general. So, as a rule, it is not permissible.

Yet, one should bear in mind that Mill may justify this behavior if a person can clearly show that it can improve the general welfare. In turn, such actions can never be permissible from the perspective of Immanuel Kant. In this case, a person should act only out of duty, rather than the estimation of potential consequences. These are some of the differences that can be distinguished.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Immanuel Kant’s Ethics - Philosophy'. 10 April.

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