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Arts and Humanities
Philosophy 1305 Reesor Exam 3
Kant and Mill
Terms in this set (67)
moral truths are knowable by reason alone
moral truths are knowable through sensory experiences; evidence
certain fundamental laws that define in an absolute sense what is morally right and morally wrong; "pure" function of reason
empirical function of reason; function of reason through your experiences
what enables us to pursue a course of action and influence events in the world
The capacity for logical analysis and argument; logical deliberation or argument and the notion of giving "reason" for one's beliefs
Instinctive desire; generated by the body's wants and needs
Subjective principle of volition; a subjective principle of behavior- the rule you follow when trying to decide what to do
Categorical Imperative [The Formula of Universal Law]
something whose existence has in itself an absolute worth, something which, being an end in itself, could be a source of definite laws
we must obey if we want to satisfy our desires
The representation of an objective principle insofar as it necessitates the will is called a command (of reason), and the formula of the command s called a(n) ____________.
claims that each person has but one ultimate aim: her own welfare
claims that it is necessary and sufficient for an action to be morally right that it maximize one's self-interest
The principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others
People who act to further the interests of others (or the interests of the group or groups to which they belong), ultimately serve their own self-interest
First Proposition of Morality
An action must be done from duty, or the "right thing", in order to have any moral worth.
Third Proposition of Morality
Duty, or the "right thing", is the necessity of an action done out of respect for the law.
The Categorical Imperative
Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law
The Formula of the Law of Nature
-Formula of Categorical Imperative
-Act as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will a universal law of nature
The Formula of the End in Itself
-Formula of Categorical Imperative
-Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of another, always at the same time as an end and never simply as a means
The Formula of Autonomy
-Formula of Categorical Imperative
-The idea of the will of every rational being as a will that legislates universal law
The Formula of the Kingdom of Ends
-Formula of Categorical Imperative
-Hereby arises a systematic union of rational beings through common objective laws, i.e., a kingdom that may be called a kingdom of ends (certainly only an ideal), inasmuch as these laws have in view the very relation of such beings to one another as ends and means
Step 1 of The Formula of the Law of Nature:
specify the maxim of the action
Step 2 of The Formula of the Law of Nature:
universalize the maxim
Step 3 of The Formula of the Law of Nature:
examine the universalized maxim for one of two types of contradiction:
- Logical contraction (violates a perfect duty): such a system of nature cannot be thought
Step 4 of The Formula of the Law of Nature:
evaluate the proposed action
-If no contradictions are found, then the action is morally permissible; otherwise not.
Kant's Fundamental Principle of Morality
-Called the Categorical Imperative
- We should act in such a way that we could want the maxim (the motivating principle) of our action to become a universal law
Mill's Fundamental Principle of Morality
-Called the Principle of Utility
-Pick the course of action that is most likely to produce the greatest good (satisfaction, pleasure, happiness) of the greatest number of people.
Is Kant's moral philosophy more rational or empirical?
Kant's philosophy is more rational because he bases his theories off of reason instead of experience.
Is Mill's moral philosophy more rational or empirical?
Mill's philosophy is more empirical because he believes that we can only compare their extrinsic value based on the quantity of pleasure they produce, and this must be an empirical issue.
Is Kant's moral philosophy an ethics of duty or a consequentialist ethics?
Kant's philosophy is an ethics of duty because his fundamental principle says we should want our motivating principle of our action to become universal.
Is Mill's moral philosophy an ethics of duty or a consequentialist ethics?
Mill's philosophy is a consequentialist ethics because his fundamental principle says that you choose to do an action based on the consequences.
What is the ultimate good that defines the purpose of human life according to Kant?
There is no possibility of thinking of anything at all in the world, or even out of it, which can be regarded as good without qualification, except a good will. Existence has another and much more worthy purpose, for which, and not for happiness, reason is quite properly intended.
What is the ultimate good that defines the purpose of human life according to Mill?
Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness; wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain and the absence of pleasure.
How would someone apply the formula of the end in itself to a particular moral problem?
When people commit suicide, they treat their own life as a mere means for escaping an upsetting situation. A view of humanity as an end in itself requires us to pursue the maximum fulfillment of humanity's potential. A view of humanity as an end in itself requires us to work towards maximum happiness for humanity, which means that we must take care for the welfare of others.
What is Mill's criticism of Kant's moral theory?
Mill says that the examination of motives is appropriate for agent evaluation and points out that a morally good person could, with the best of motives, perform an impermissible action. Whereas Kant says that consequences should not be used in evaluating actions because we have inadequate control over consequences and our moral obligations extend only so far as our abilities.
What is Mill's "greatest happiness principle"?
-holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happines
How does Mill define "higher pleasures?"
generally more intellectual pleasures
How does Mill define "lower pleasures?"
more sensual pleasures
What criterion does Mill use to distinguish higher from lower pleasures?
would not categorize an intellectual pleasure, such as reading poetry, to be similar in pleasure to a sensory pleasure, like eating a really
good cupcake. By creating the divide between higher and lower pleasures, Mill assures us that the intellectual pursuit gives to a subject, not a higher quantity of pleasure, but a higher quality.
What is the moral relevance of the intention of the person performing an action?
The morality of the action depends entirely upon the intention—that is, upon what the person is willing to do. The motive, if it makes no difference in the act, makes no difference in the morality.
What is the moral relevance of the character of the person performing an action?
The motive has nothing to do with the morality of the action, though it has much to do with the character of the person performing the action
Why does Mill believe utilitarianism is particularly useful for resolving conflicts of duty?
If utility is the ultimate source of moral obligations, utility may be invoked to decide between them when their demands are incompatible. Though the application of the standard may be difficult, it is better than none at all;other systems' moral laws claim independent authority, there is no common umpire entitled to interfere between them; their claims to precedence one over another rest on little better than sophistry, and, unless determined by the unacknowledged influence of consideration of utility, afford a free scope for the action of personal desires and partialities.
A Perfect Duty to Oneself
the duty to preserve one's life
The Maxim of a Perfect Duty to Oneself
from self-love I make as my principle to shorten my life when its continued duration threatens more from evil than it promises satisfaction
The Universalization of a Perfect Duty to Oneself
Every person for whom continued existence threatens more evil than it promises good will, from self-love, always shorten her or his life
The Evaluation of a Perfect Duty to Oneself
Since the will cannot affirm the existence of a universal, necessary system of human behavior which involves a contradiction of practical reason, the proposed action is not morally permissible
A Perfect Duty to Others
the duty to tell the truth
The Maxim of a Perfect Duty to Others
When I believe myself to be in need of money, I will borrow money and promise to pay it back, although we know that I can never do so
The Universalization of a Perfect Duty to Others
Every person who believes herself to be in need of money while knowing herself incapable of ever repaying a loan, will always borrow money and promise to pay it back.
The Evaluation of a Perfect Duty to Others
Since the will cannot affirm the existence of a universal, necessary system of human behavior which involves a contradiction of practical reason, the proposed action is not morally permissible.
Relative Moral Theory
A theory that does not effect everybody
Ethics of Duty
Principles that say we should act from respect for the moral law
Principles that say a good action is judged on the basis of its consequences alone.
A reason behind an action
An aim or a plan to do something
The way that something turns out
Pleasure itself, and the absence of pain
the interests of a few people important to them, whose interests they want to protect
the interests of a large group of people important to them, whose interests they want to protect
pleasure is the only intrinsic good; strives to maximize pleasure
Scale of Pleasures
-some kinds of pleasure are more desirable and more valuable than others," thereby making differences in the qualities of pleasures as well as in the quantities of pleasure relevant to moral deliberations.
-One pleasure is of higher quality than another if and only if most people who have experienced both pleasures always prefer the first to the second regardless of their respective quantities.
Competent Judges (of Pleasures)
-People who have experienced both the higher and lower pleasures of life.
-Their role is to help to define the higher and lower pleasures as they have that experience and knowledge and are therefore wiser in regards to defining the amount of pain/pleasure the action causes.
What is the moral relevance of the happiness of the person performing an action according to both Kant and Mill?
What is the moral relevance of the purpose, end, results, outcome, or consequences according to both Kant and Mill?
What is the moral relevance of the motive of the person performing an action according to both Kant and Mill?
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