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Immanuel Kant Essay Topics & Paper Examples

European History

When questioned in regards to the Enlightenment, an individual may give the general description that it was a time period ranging from the mid seventeenth to late eighteenth century that stressed the cultivation of philosophical, intellectual and cultural movements. However, they may not be aware of specific implications it had on former central powers such as the church. Although the scientific revolution was a stepping stone to the destabilization of the church, it was the enlightenment that ultimately removed the church from the central control of cultural and intellectual life. The scientific revolution is a time period in history roughly from 1500 to 1700 that is known as one where advances in European mathematical, political and scientific thought occurred. A…

Branches of Philosophy

There are five types of branches in philosophy. These branches can be categories as Metaphysics, Epistemology, Ethics, Politics, and Estetics. The first branch of philosophy is Metaphysics, also known as the study of existence. Metaphysics act as a foundation in philosophy as well as the foundation of the view of our world. Metaphysics is very important to all of us as it help us to deal with reality by explaining and interpreting the world and nature around us. As you can see, without Metaphysics in our life, we will be unable to preserve our life as well as being ambiguous toward the information and knowledge around us, if this happen, we will have difficulty to live and comprehend the world….

Kant: Human, Animals, and Empathy

Immanuel Kant remains one of the most influential thinkers in history. Part of Kant’s appeal is his ability to provide incredibly unique insights into the human condition. One of the more interesting works by Kant was his writing that looked into human interrelations with animals. From his examinations, Kant essentially shows that how humans treat animals is indicative of how they will treat other people. This ties very heavily into the notion that the human-animal relationship is linked heavily with empathy. Kant makes a very sobering point in his analysis of human relationships with animals. Much of Kant’s analysis is realistic and this realistic insight notes the darker side of human nature. Kant understands that not all human/animal relationships are…

Surpassing Limits-A Question of Morality

There are times when humans are faced with a situation in which the morality of the decision they make is difficult to judge. What is right morally for one individual may be thought of as unethical for another. In this particular scenario, an intellectual man who goes by the name Bill Jackson comes from a very poor family and does not have the money required to be able to go to medical school. Desperately in need of money, he decides to steal from his wealthy, but mean and miserly aunt, whose money is not used for any good cause. She is known as a “gold digger”, as she had married a much older man, whose wealth became hers, after his…

Hume vs Kant Causality

Hume’s ultimate goal in his philosophic endeavors was to undermine abstruse Philosophy. By focusing on the aspect of reason, Hume shows there are limitations to philosophy. Since he did not know the limits, he proposed to use reason to the best of his ability, but when he came to a boundary, that was the limit. He conjectured that we must study reason to find out what is beyond the capability of reason. Hume began his first examination if the mind by classifying its contents as Perceptions. “Here therefore [he divided] all the perceptions of the mind into two classes or species. ” (27) First, Impressions represented an image of something that portrayed an immediate relationship. Secondly, there were thoughts and…

Seth Bordner’s Article “Berkeley’s ‘Defense’ of ‘Commonsense’

As Seth Bordner states “Berkeley is either foolishly optimistic or knowingly dissembling, but (nearly) everyone agrees his is no defense of commonsense”. (Bordner, “Berkeley’s ‘Defense’ of ‘Commonsense’.”) An appropriate starting point for Bordner’s article “Berkeley’s ‘Defense’ of ‘Commonsense’,” Bordner is an Assistant Professor who specializes in the history of modern philosophy, especially the British Empiricists. He received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina and has based a large portion of his work on Berkeley theories. What Bordnar so valiantly attempts, is to give the reader a better understanding Berkeley. To help one comprehend exactly what his stance was, or what he was trying to accomplish with his defense of commonsense and also he goes about defending it. At…

John Locke Essay

Our Earth has been the home to a multitude of great thinkers. These thinkers were scattered throughout the generations from the Romans all the way to the 20th century; however, the time period with the most philosophers was the Enlightenment Age. During this time there were many thinkers such as Voltaire and Thomas Hobbes. One thinker in particular who contributed a great deal to history was John Locke. His work is still influencing the lives of people across the world 300 years later. He rethought the moral role of government, created a new theory of knowledge, introduced the use of reason, and reminded people of their natural rights. The combination of these four things made him the single most influential…

Kant and the Categorical Imperative

The possibility of the existence of right and wrong has been a subject of discussion among philosophers for centuries and many theories have been presented to answer the question of whether morals exist. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), the great German philosopher is one who has contributed profoundly to the world of philosophy and especially in regards to his thought on the subject of morality. Kant disagreed with Hume that morality is objective and not subjective. Kant wanted to propose a pure moral philosophy, one of absolute necessity and independent of all human feelings, because if it not so, it will not be absolute and binding upon every person. The purpose of morality is to affect our behaviour and that it is…

Deontology: Ethics and Kant

In our world today it is often hard to genuinely decide what in fact is right or wrong. The reason that it is so tough to determine is because of our human nature given everyone has their own opinion. We do not all think the same or think the same actions and consequences have the same effect. It is this reason we analyze situations with ethical theories, such as that of Kant’s deontology. Kant’s theory in its own right has a strong moral foundation in which it seems understandable to decide what is right or wrong. However it has its weakness as well. To me however, I believe Kant’s theory on deontology offers a sound premise for which to determine…

Kant: Grounding for Metaphysics and Morals

Immanuel Kant states that the only thing in this world that is “good without qualification” is the good will. He states the attributes of character such as intelligence, wit, and judgment are considered good but can be used for the wrong reasons. Kant also states that the attributes of good fortune such as health, power, riches, honor, that provide one happiness can also be used in the wrong way (7). In order to understand Kant’s view of moral rightness, one must understand that only a good will is unambiguously good without qualification, it is “good in itself”. To clarify, Kant states that “a good will is good not because of what it effects or accomplishes, nor because of its fitness…

Kant V. Mill

Kantianism and Utilitarianism are two theories that attempt to answer the moral nature of human beings. Immanuel Kant’s moral system is based on a belief that reason is the final authority for morality. John Stuart Mill’s moral system is based on the theory known as utilitarianism, which is based upon utility, or doing what produces the greatest happiness. One of Kant’s lasting contributions to moral philosophy was his emphasis on the notion of respect for persons. He considers respect for persons (a. k. a the Kantian respect) to be the fundamental moral principle of ethical philosophy. His Kantianism premise is a deontological moral theory which claims that the right action in any given situation is determined by the categorical imperative,…

Kant Moral Ethics

Immanuel Kant’s moral theory can be best explained by comparing it to a math equation. Kant’s moral system will always hold true no matter what the circumstance just like how two plus two will always equal four. According to Kant, our lives should be lived according to maxims that can be willed into universal law (Kant, Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals, p 303). However the action regarding a moral decision is not judged by the consequences of that action, rather by the motive of that action. Kant’s the method of moral reasoning starts off by first realizing the principle the rational agent is acting under. To fully understand what this means, a rational agent is to be defined…

Hume vs Kant Causality

Hume’s ultimate goal in his philosophic endeavors was to undermine abstruse Philosophy. By focusing on the aspect of reason, Hume shows there are limitations to philosophy. Since he did not know the limits, he proposed to use reason to the best of his ability, but when he came to a boundary, that was the limit. He conjectured that we must study reason to find out what is beyond the capability of reason. Hume began his first examination if the mind by classifying its contents as Perceptions. “Here therefore [he divided] all the perceptions of the mind into two classes or species. ” (27) First, Impressions represented an image of something that portrayed an immediate relationship. Secondly, there were thoughts and…

Kant Moral Law Theory

“Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe the oftener and more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me. ” – Kant (1788), pp, 193, 259 Immanuel Kant introduced and initiated his ‘moral law theory’ in the late 18th century. The doctrine in question sought to establish and constitute a supreme or absolute principle of morality. Kant disputes the existence of an ‘ethical system’, whereby moral obligations are obligations of ‘purpose’ or ‘reason’. The accuracy of actions [i. e. the rightness or wrongness of an individual deed] is determined by its configuration and conformity with regard to ‘moral law’. Evidently, according to Kant, an immoral transaction…

Explain Kants Ethical theories

Kant’s ethical theory is an absolute and deontological theory. This means that humans are seeking the ultimate end called the supreme good also known as the ‘summon Bonnum’. Kant says that morality is a categorical imperative, this is a duty which must always be obeyed in all possible situations. A categorical imperative is what is needed to find what is right or wrong. Kant argued that to act morally is to do one’s duty, and one’s duty is to obey the moral law. Kant also believe that there was no room for emotion. Kant believe that categorical imperative helps us to know which actions are obligatory and which are forbidden. There are three principles within the categorical imperatives these include…

Kant Deontological Theory

The Formula of Humanity- Act so that you use humanity, whether in your own person or that of another, always at the same time as an end, never merely as a means. The Formula of the Kingdom of Ends- Act in accordance with the maxims of a member giving universal laws for a merely possible kingdom of ends. The moral duty is what we should be doing. Good is defined as doing what is right and avoiding doing wrong. We have a duty to act in such a way that our actions are moral even if it produces unfavourable results. What is good, according to Kant “Nothing is good but a good will”. (Good intentions). It is good to be…

Kant Euthanasia

Based on Kant’s theory, I have found suicide morally unjust. This case is about euthanasia and assisted suicide. On September 28, 1991, Dr. Boudewijn Chabot administered a sufficient amount of sleeping pills and a liquid drug mixture to a patient with the intentions of assisting the patient with death. The patient, Hilly Bosscher, was suffering from depression, and psychological pain. She was recently divorced from a 25 year abusive relationship, and her two son’s had died. The doctor determined she suffered from unbearable pain, genuinely desired to die, and freely and competently made such a request. On the same day Dr. Chabot administered the medicine, Hilly took the concoction, and died. In Deontology, the term itself leads us to the…

Deontological ethics

?Clarify the key features of a deontological theory of ethics. To what extent if any do the weaknesses outweigh the strengths of this theory Deontology literally translates as the science of duty. It is an approach to making decisions in ethics which relies on duties or rules to determine how you should act. Thus it is very different from consequential theories of ethics like Utilitarianism where results matter more than obligations (oughts). One of the most notable examples of a deontological theory of ethics is Kantian Ethics. Kant rejected using results as a good way to guide actions. A notable feature is that, unlike Utilitarianism, he thought empirical evidence was an unreliable guide and that how we experience things came…

Hobbes and kant

The first humans on earth were primative clans that stuck together. As time developed so did the mind of the human. As the minds of humans started to expand, society developed and so did its many other aspects. One of those aspects is the social contract. A social contract are theories that try to explain the ways in which people form states and/or maintain social order. The notion of the social contract implies that the people give up some rights to a government or other authority in order to receive or maintain social order through the rule of law. It can also be thought of as an agreement by the governed on a set of rules by which they are…

Kant: Goodness

The philosopher I used is Immanuel Kant. He was very practical in his thinking of goodness. A quote of his was “I ought, therefore I can”. His view was good anything is under good will . He believed good will was the primary goodness, good in its purest form, and that it couldn’t be corrupted. Good feelings and good intentions and actions can be interpreted in different ways; man can corrupt these things into evil… even though it still might be good in that man’s eyes. What he’s really trying to say is that good will is good in its objective form. Therefore, it defines goodness. A few examples of forms of goodness that could be corrupt are intelligence, courage,…

John Locke and Immanuel Kant

We are here concerned with the relationship between the human mind, somatic-sensory perceptions, objects of perception, and claims of knowledge arising from their interaction, through the philosophies of John Locke and Immanuel Kant. Confounding the ability to find solid epistemological ground, philosophers have, generally speaking, debated whether ‘what’ we know is prima facie determined by the objective, as-they-are, characteristics of the external world 1(epistemological realism) or if the mind determines, as-it-is, the nature of objects through its own experiential deductions (epistemological idealism). The purpose of this paper is to use the synthetical approach of Immanuel Kant, who utilizes a logical schematization of cognition along with experience (transcendental idealism), in the attaining of knowledge, to criticize Locke’s claims against innate ideas,…

Categorical imperative

Kant was a deontologist who believed that knowledge was created by the mind, not external factors; because of this he wanted to unite reason and experience. Humanity’s frail nature was the human condition according to Kant, their struggle to make moral decisions and do the right thing can only be solved by employing reason and his three maxims when decision making. Kant’s diagnoses the human condition as human’s frailty and impurity when distinguishing between one’s self interested inclinations and moral duty. Humans were “…finite beings with our individual needs…yet we [were] also rational beings, and for Kant that include[d]…the recognition of moral obligations” (Stevenson and Haberman p. 155). The contrast and ever-apparent strain between these opposing sides of human nature…

Deontological ethics

Immanuel Kant was a philosopher and professor that was born in Konigsberg in East Prussia in 1724 and died in 1804 (Turner, 2012, para. 2). Kant developed a theory of duty ethics that focused on nonconsequential theories of morality. According to Thiroux and Krasemann (2012) Kant’s theory stated that questions of morality can be answered by reasoning alone (p. 50). The other theory of ethics that will be analyzed, compared and contrasted to Kant’s theory of duty ethics is the ethical theory of utilitarianism. There are two forms of utilitarianism. Act Utilitarianism states that everyone should perform the act that brings about the greatest good for everyone (Thiroux, Krasemann pg. 37). Rule utilitarianism states that everyone should follow the rule…

Kant on Will

Kant’s argument that an act out of duty can not be in conflict with itself or with any other will acting out of duty derives from the concept he puts forth of the internal principle. A will cannot conflict itself if it determines itself a priori. By determining its morals before the benefit of experience, it determines itself simply that it exists as it is. Intuitively, anything pure cannot conflict with itself just as the idea of good cannot conflict with itself and be somehow partly bad (437). Thus by simply being, without any other influence determining it, the will is an end in itself (437). A will acting out of duty, or in other words on its own internal…

Immanuel Kant and American Psychological Association

For this paper, I will explore the ethical issues in Psychology, more specifically the violation of basic human rights in the example of the Stanford Prison Experiment. The following questions will be addressed: Was the Stanford Prison Experiment worth the consequences it had on the participants? Was it morally right to put the participants in these conditions without their full consent? I will first begin by discussing the experiment and then explain how it was conducted. I will also briefly explain the American Psychological Association guidelines relevant to this example using three of their APA codes: beneficence, autonomy and justice. Then, I will discuss two contrasting theories, the first will be the theory of utilitarianism and if the consequences of…

Categorical imperative

Immanuel Kant believed in utilitarianism, which is the moral philosophy that says we should act in such ways as to make the greatest number of people happy as possible. This is why he introduced the categorical imperative. As a moral law, it is a command that is unqualified and not dependent on any conditions or qualifications. In short, it tells us to act in such a way that we would want everyone else to act the same way. In the circumstance where I am considering stealing a book when no one is looking, how would I decide whether the act is immoral or not? By using Kant’s categorical imperative, I first have to generalize my action. I have to wonder…

Critique of Pure Reason

Immanuel Kant, (born April 22, 1724, Konigsberg, Prussia [now Kaliningrad, Russia]—died February 12, 1804, Konigsberg), German philosopher whose comprehensive and systematic work in epistemology (the theory of knowledge), ethics, and aesthetics greatly influenced all subsequent philosophy, especially the various schools of Kantianism and idealism. Kant was one of the foremost thinkers of the Enlightenment and arguably one of the greatest philosophers of all time. In him were subsumed new trends that had begun with the rationalism (stressing reason) of Rene Descartes and the empiricism (stressing experience) of Francis Bacon. He thus inaugurated a new era in the development of philosophical thought. BACKGROUND AND EARLY YEARS Kant lived in the remote province where he was born for his entire life. His…

Is Deception Justified?

Everyone characterizes deception differently. One may view it as breaking the trust of a loved one and think of it as mere deceit. Others may accept deception as a way to gain/give happiness. Some may even think of it as part of life. More commonly, deception stands being viewed as hand and hand with “evil”, this includes, not only viewed by people, but also portrayed in movies and novels from all eras of time. Frequently feelings dealing with deceit –lying or jealousy- creates anger in an individual leading into irrationality. However, can a simple trick or lie for the sake of entertainment or flattery allow deception to be justified? Robert Southey once said “All deception in the course of life…

Kant Moral Law Theory

“Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe the oftener and more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.” – Kant (1788), pp, 193, 259 Immanuel Kant introduced and initiated his ‘moral law theory’ in the late 18th century. The doctrine in question sought to establish and constitute a supreme or absolute principle of morality. Kant disputes the existence of an ‘ethical system’, whereby moral obligations are obligations of ‘purpose’ or ‘reason’. The accuracy of actions [i.e. the rightness or wrongness of an individual deed] is determined by its configuration and conformity with regard to ‘moral law’. Evidently, according to Kant, an immoral transaction is invariably…

Business ethics

Introduction Today’s world is continually shrinking due to many factors, not the least of which is the rapid growth of international business. Four specific interlinking phenomena are occurring which present new problems to international business: a) the increase in offshore banking transactions; b) the continuing growth of multinational corporations (MNCs); c) the increasing instances of outsourcing business activities offshore and d) the equally increasing instances of locating and using suppliers of goods and services in developing countries. All four of these phenomena are fueled by economics and they show no sign of abating anytime soon. Two aspects dealt in this paper are: a) the existence of perceived corruption in international business, including graft, kickbacks and preferential treatment and b) workplace…