Kant's Categorical Imperative.

Essay by jeanius120University, Bachelor'sA, May 2003

download word file, 7 pages 4.8 1 reviews

Downloaded 464 times

Kant's Categorical Imperative

Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals and his other works promoting Kantian Ethics strongly focus on human rights and just treatment in society's standards. Throughout his arguments, his main contention for this is his categorical imperative, which instructs society to act in ways that could be applied as a Universal Law. Kant's categorical imperative, through his use of universal law, restricts using people as a means to an end. This idea is focused on promoting society to consider all people as equals in every sense. Throughout his works, Kant focuses on the effect of good will, imperatives, the formula for universal law, and moral judgment on categorical imperative and human rights. The idea of good will serves to explain Kant's view on what is necessary for us to do to affect our duty in society. The two imperatives that Kant discusses are hypothetical imperatives and categorical imperatives.

The distinction between these two ideas lies in the reference, or lack thereof, to desires and hopes. While a hypothetical imperative takes into account an individual's wants, the categorical imperative is blind to all goals, and simply states what you must do in order to accomplish a task. This leads to Kant's focus on the Universal Law, which encompasses the categorical imperative in its definition. While embellishing it at the same time, the Universal Law takes the categorical imperative to a new level, by stating that society's standards should be set in accordance to how each individual would want to be treated. The Universal Law and categorical imperative, although they are different theories in practice, work from this same fundamental principle that the way to treat people is simply the same way in which one would hope to be treated by his peers. Through this theory, Kant presents the...