Homework Question on Objections to Kant’s Categorical Imperative
- What is Kant’s Categorical Imperative? Discuss two objections to his use of it.
- Fundamentals of Ethics
- Notes on Kantien Ethics-online
‘A Brief Introduction to Kant’s Ethics’ J.D. Velleman-online
- Are correct moral principles those rules that self-interested individuals would adopt in order to mutually benefit from cooperation?
- Fundamentals of Ethics Chapters 13 and 14
- ‘Introduction to Social Contract Theory’ Louise Rusling-online.
Peter Singer, How are we to live: Ethics in an age of self-interest, Prometheus Books, 1995. (Chapter 7 deals with the repeated prisoner’s dilemma).
Homework Answer on Objections to Kant’s Categorical Imperative
Timmons (34) suggests that Kant’s categorical imperative theory falls under the most complicated theories. The complicated nature of the theory has led its objections due to contradictions. There are situations that ethical philosophies like the categorical imperative philosophy cannot help in. Categorical imperative has a strict procedure to be followed when looking at situations and therefore tend to fail to work in some instances (Chaffee 67).
This paper is going to look at a brief summary of Kant’s categorical imperative, then further look at the objections to the theory. As far as morals are concerned, imperative is a command, tells a person what to do or not do. From the definition of an imperative therefore, categorical imperative is a necessity that is not influenced by any condition. According to Kant, categorical imperative is the kind of command that does not consider an individual’s social custom, what they want, their emotions or what makes them happy.
According to Walker (56), Categorical Imperative requires a person to act in a maxim way, that is, every person at any place could use it universally any time. For example, if an individual is late for work and while driving comes to a traffic light, the individual can decide to run the red light in order to make it to work faster. However, the individual is at liberty to run the light if they think that anyone else all over the world can run the red light when they are late.