Explore BrainMass

Kantian's Right's and Duties

Kantian's right's and duties.

Kant's categorical imperative - two formulations.

Solution Preview

1. Kant's categorical imperative - two formulations.

One definition: A categorical imperative (CI) is:

"...a command which expresses a general, unavoid┬Čable requirement of the moral law. Its three forms express the requirements of universalizability, respect and autonomy. Together they establish that an action is properly called 'morally good' only if (1) we can will all persons to do it, (2) it enables us to treat other persons as ends and not merely as the means to our own selfish ends, and (3) it allows us to see other persons as mutual law-makers in an ideal 'realm of ends'?(

Kant proposed three formulations of categorical imperatives which Kant thinks say the same thing. The first two formulations are:

1. The first formulation (Or First Maxim)

"Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law." (Kant, 1785, 1993, p. 30).

Kant based this formulation on some the conclusion "that a moral proposition that is true must be one that is not tied to any particular conditions, including the identity of the person doing the moral deliberation. One could not morally command others by saying "It is wrong for you to murder, but it is not wrong for me to murder" because that would be a hypothetical imperative: Effectively saying "If I am person A, murder is right; If I am person B, murder is wrong". Therefore, a moral commandment must have universality; it must be disconnected from the particular physical details surrounding the proposition, and applicable to all rational beings"(

Concerning this formulation, there are several things to keep in mind. (1) The CI ...

Solution Summary

Discusses Kant's categorical imperative - two formulations.