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Kantian Ethics Definition and Description Coursework

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Kantian Ethics

Immanuel Kant is a high-ranking philosopher whose ideologies and concepts continue to influence various movements in the world today. He remains famous because of his deontological ethical theory that was informed by the idea of rationalism. His model has become a powerful framework for guiding and dictating most of the moral decisions many people make today. This exegetical paper gives a detailed analysis of the core features of Kantian ethics and why it remains a powerful theory today. The discussion will also present some objections to this theory and its legitimacies.

Kantian Ethics and Core Features

The conceptions Immanuel Kant presented in his model resulted in a rule-based approach to issues of human morality. This means that his theory is deontological and non-consequentialist in nature. According to Kantian ethics, the expected consequences or outcomes of a given action will not determine its morality but the existing maxims or principles that guide it. Using this kind of knowledge, Kant goes further to indicate that goodwill is what dictates a good deed or thing. The outstanding message is that any decision or action will be desirable if its only maxim or guiding principle is the intrinsic duty that is in accordance with the moral law.

The concept of the categorical imperative is the outstanding idea behind Kant’s theory. The first universality principle requires that all permissible actions are applied to all human beings without any form of contradiction. The idea of humanity forms the second approach to the categorical imperative and it indicates that people should treat each other as ends and not as means to an end. The third aspect of the categorical imperative is that of autonomy. According to it, humans believe that they are rational agents that should allow the will to guide them. The fourth way of explaining Kantian categorical imperative is that of Kingdom of Ends. Using this hypothesis, the philosopher indicates that humans should always behave in such a way that their actions are informed by principles that support the establishment of a hypothetical and desirable territory on earth.

Kant’s first formulation of the categorical imperative has become a powerful law that all people should learn to consider or follow. This principle states that people should act only in accordance with maxims that they will always be willing to make universal decrees. This knowledge can empower and guide individuals to act in an ethical manner and pursue decisions that will make it easier for them to achieve their objectives much faster. This formulation becomes a powerful universality test or a procedure for determining the validity or ethicality of a given maxim. Kant uses this formulation to explain why principles that pass such a test are the ones that should become obligatory. From the same formulation, it is agreeable that the philosopher managed to derive these duties: avoiding suicide, cultivating one’s abilities, helping those in need, and keeping promises. These elements of Kantian ethics explain why it remains a powerful theory for guiding and encouraging people to always do what is right. Using these ideologies, it is notable that Kant supports the notion that morality is something founded on the above four unconditional categorical imperatives. The meaning is that such principles should be universal binding and not aimed at promoting self-interests or desires.

From this discussion, it is evident that Kant presents the concept of unconditional goodwill. According to it, any action whose maxim has been made a universal law will never be wrong. This understanding encourages people to pursue righteous deeds that are founded on the idea of a rational nature. These insights explain why I support Kant’s philosophy. Each element of his ethics forms the basis for formulating ethical decisions and ensuring that every human action is informed by a particular adage. Those who focus on the core attributes of Kantian ethics will, therefore, be in a position to make evidence-based personal choices. Consequently, they will pursue specific actions that can eventually become universal laws.

Kant remains a different or seasoned thinker since he managed to offer superior ideas and concepts that many researchers and ethicists follow to this day. His interpretations of the categorical imperative are meaningful and relevant in the world of ethics. The duties derived from the first formulation have become applicable models for pursuing moral living and honesty. The theory empowers human beings to act maturely and support each other’s rights and liberties. It goes further to encourage human beings to avoid maxims that will eventually degrade others or themselves, such as drunkenness, sexual degradation, immorality, and suicide. These attributes and elements of Kantian ethics, therefore, explain why it remains a powerful model for guiding and encouraging people to do what is right and eventually achieve their ends.


Some objections to Kantian ethics have emerged that seek to present superior ideas for pursuing morality and making meaningful decisions. Firstly, modern philosophers have indicated that Kant’s theory is only applicable in a hypothetical world because it is idealistic in nature. The validity of such an argument is that the world is complex and comprised of people with diverse backgrounds. Such individuals will offer their unique views regarding the question of morality. Consequently, such thinkers explain why there is a need for a superior ethical principle that is realistic and capable of providing evidence-based solutions to most of the challenges many people face today.

The second objection to Kantianism is presented by John Stuart Mill who is renowned for developing the famous utilitarian theory. According to this intellectual, there is a need for decision-makers to consult the greatest number of individuals when formulating moral codes. This is something valid since the intended actions will impact them the most. Mill asserts that Kant’s model assumes that moral principles are founded on reason alone. Because of this weakness, Mill believes that Kantian ethics might not be a good tool for explaining why people usually reject specific actions or choices.

These objections are legitimate since they try to identify specific aspects that the philosopher might have ignored at the time when he was formulating his theory. This means that the inclusion of concepts of realism and utilitarianism in Kant’s framework could have made it a powerful theory for guiding human beings and ensuring that they act in an acceptable manner. Consequently, such individuals will be in a position to resolve most of the challenges they encounter in their lives. Despite the identified weaknesses and gaps, Kantian ethics remains a powerful hypothesis for guiding individuals when they encounter ethical dilemmas or complex situations in their lives. In conclusion, individuals who embrace each of the core elements of Kantian ethics will remain principled and eventually achieve their maximum potential.

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