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Flashcards in Kantian Ethics Deck (13)
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Explain intrinsic goods

something worthwhile not because it leads to something else, but for its own sake alone


Explain Extrinsic goods

It tends to stress the external observance of laws and precepts, with lesser concern for the ultimate principles underlying moral conduct


Define good will

The only thing that is good without qualification is the good will

Courage, health, and wealth can all be used for ill purposes and therefore cannot be intrinsically good.

Good will is an intrinsic good


Define The Categorical Imperative

The supreme principle of morality that can be universally applied and helps everyone fulfill their duty

A deontological rule or guideline


Explain The Hypothetical Imperative

State that “you ought to do something if… you want to be happy/ avoid pain/ e.t.c

certain rules we follow if we want to achieve particular results


Universal Law of Nature

- our moral rules must be capable of being universal
- Rules should apply to everyone


The end itself

- people should not used others as a means to an end


The Kingdom of Ends

- people should act as if their behaviour is setting the laws in an ideal kingdom


Kant's understanding of moral knowledge

Knowledge we have at first hand (a priori)
- We do not need experience to know what is right and wrong
- Moral knowledge comes from within
- Synthetic


Kant's examples of duties

- not making false promises
- avoiding drunkenness
- pursuing the greater good


Kant's 3 postulates

- we are all free to make moral decisions

- good people should be rewarded with ultimate happiness
- This is the highest good (summum bonum)

- Kant assumes there must be a God to bring about the afterlife and to ensure that justice is done



- Idea of moral absolutes might be appealing
- categorical imperative dose not leave people wasting time wondering. Rule are rules
- Recognises dignity and worth of other human beings



- seen as cold and lacking in compassion
- kant fails to reognise importance of human emotion
- kant doesnt tell us what to when duties conflict
- religious believers might think that Kant seems to give human reson a more important place in morality than God