Kantian Ethics

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  1. Did Kant believe that there should be different rules for different people depending on their circumstances or one fixed set of rules for everyone?
    • One set of fixed rules that applt to everyone in any situation
    • (a universal absolute moral law)
  2. What human ability did Kant think was universal?
    The power to reason, which may be clouded by emotion
  3. Was Kant concerned about a person's intention or not?
    Yes, Kant was concerned about a person's intention
  4. What is the 'moral law within'?
    The ability that everyone has to use reason to determine how they ought to behave in a situation
  5. What did Kant believe was the only pure motive?
    Good will
  6. What did Kant believe was the only acceptable reason for putting good will into action?
    A sense of duty
  7. GOOD WILL + DUTY = ?
  8. What are the three main ideas about morality, as put forward by Kant
    • 1. Human reason determines moral truths 
    • 2. Individual freedom and autonomy are good 
    • 3. Everyone has a sense of duty or obligation to act morally
  9. What is transcendental idealism?
    Kant's theory that humans construct knowledge by imposing universal concepts onto sensory experiences
  10. What is a priori?
    Something that can be known, without having experienced it
  11. Was Kant a relativist?
  12. Why is happiness as a basis of morality subjective?
    Because what makes you happy one day might not make you happy the next day or might not make another person happy
  13. Did Kant believe the essence of moral truth was objective or subjective?
  14. Define: Moral laws
    Rules that determine how you should act based on a maxim
  15. What is an autonomous individual?
    A person who is free to choose
  16. How did Kant believe humans could receive God's laws?
    Through reason rather than direct revelation
  17. Define: Maxim
    A moral principle, subjective in origin, which demands practical application that can be deduced by all rational human beings
  18. Define: categorical imperative
    Something human beings are duty bound to do, whatever the circumstances
  19. What is the 'Kingdom of Ends'?
    • an idea derived from Kant's categorical imperative
    • an ideal community in which all citizens are at once the authors and subjects of all laws.
    • In this community, the only possible laws are laws that could apply to all rational beings.

    For example if one person lies it is okay for everyone to lie
  20. What are the three moral bases for Categorical imperative?
    1. 'Act only on that maxim whereby which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law'

    2. 'So act to treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of any other, in every case at the same time as an end, never as a means only'

    3. 'Act according to the maxims of a member of a merely possible Kingdom of Ends legislating in it universally
  21. What is the universal law principle?
    The idea that laws ought to develop from the application of maxims in life
  22. What is universalizability?
    • If something is right in all situations at all times then it is universalizable
    • This is how maxims can be tested to see if they should become an ethical rule
  23. What is the principle of humanity as an end not a means?
    all human beings are equal regardless of their power. It is wrong to use someone as a means to an end, even when that end is moral
  24. What is the hypothetical imperative?
    The actions that a person takes in order to achieve a purpose. These actions are not universally applicable (due to personal circumstances). The person may realise that they cannot achieve the puropse, for practical reasons
  25. What is the difference between categorical and hypothetical imperative?
    • Something can only be a categorical imperative if it is universalisable and based on morality 
    • hypothetical imperative relates to what actions a person can make due to personal circumstances (not universalizable)
  26. Link up the terms:

    categorical imperative 
    hypothetical imperative 
    categorical imperative = deontological 

    hypothetical imperative = teleological
  27. What is another word for duty based philosophy?
  28. What are the strengths of a deontological approach?
    - Takes account of the responsibility that we have to others 

    - recognises the universability of morality
  29. What are the weaknesses of a deontological approach?
    • - Duties conflict and it may not be possible to satisfy all the duties you have 
    • - We may feel like we have the duty to do things that we don't necessarily need to do
  30. What is an 'extreme duty'?
    To perform an action/duty at the cost to oneself. Rejecting happiness as a basis for moral decision making
  31. List the duties that Kant believed we had to oneself as a moral being (3)
    • - against avarice (greed for wealth)
    • - against lying
    • - against servility (acting in a manner that undermines oneself)
  32. List the duties that Kant believed we had to oneself as an animal being (4)
    • - against suicide 
    • - against drunkenness 
    • - against lust 
    • - against gluttony
  33. List the duties that Kant believed we had to others (2)
    • to respect individuals as equals 
    • to love by beneficence (generosity)
  34. Define: summum bonum
    The highest good, which is only achieveable in the moral community
  35. How did Kant believe conflicts could be resolved?
    by implementing ethical principles in the moral system
  36. What does the summum bonum consist of?
    The resolution of two different ends, which are moral goodness and righteousness.
  37. When did Kant say most people will achieve summum bonum?
    After death, as people struggle to resolve these ends in life
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Kantian Ethics
2014-12-18 14:49:23
kant ethics
Kantian ethics flashcards
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