Intro to Ethics
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Chapter 11: A Simplified Account ofKAnt
- Focusing on the second (end-in-itself) version of the categorical
- imperative, O"Neill attempts to show that Kant"s moral theory is neither
- impossibly difficult to understand nor excessively demanding to apply
- in real life. To determine whether what we propose to do is right or
- wrong, we should look not to the anticipated consequences but to our
- "intention," a term O"Neill uses as roughly equivalent to Kant"s
- "maxim." If our intention is to involve someone in a scheme to which he
- or she could not in principle consent, then we are violating the
- categorical imperative (treating someone merely as a means) and
- thus acting immorally. To act on an intention that requires deceit or
- coercion, for example, is to treat someone merely as a means and thereby
- involve ourselves in immorality and injustice.
Principle according to which one sees oneself as acting.
- Conscious motivation of an action; used by O'Neill
- as equivalent to Kant's 'maxim,' because given any intention, a
- corresponding maxim can be formulated by omitting reference to the
- particular situation.
The Formula of the End in Itself
- O'Neill's term for Kant's second formulation of the
- categorical imperative, which O'Neill interprets as a command never to
- involve someone in a scheme to which he or she could not in principle
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