Another long delay, this time since write-up five.

This one was the first of a two-parter on Kant and did a good job of trying to break my brain.

There was a lot less audience participation and what little there was seemed to be covered by "ah yes, someone at the time attempted to critique Kant with that – they were wrong too".

Kant starts off by criticising Mill and utilitarianism by saying that even if the right act, morally speaking, is done – if it is done for the wrong (internal) reason then it is still not a moral act. If I do something to get a benefit rather than because it is the "right thing to do" I am, by definition, not acting in a moral way. I have poor "quality of will".

The only correct reason for doing anything is due to "duty" where duty is defined by each of us as "the right thing to do no matter what the circumstance". Yet, somehow, as we are all moral and rational beings this doesn’t lead to incredible moral relativism…

Kant’s Supreme Principle of Morality :
* Motives : Duty (self imposed moral laws) vs Inclination (external and internal ‘necessities’ such as hunger or social laws)
* Determination : Autonomous (according to a law I give myself driven by reason) vs Hereronomously (not by something imposed on me from an external source)
* Reason, imperaitve : Hypothetical (means drives end reasoning) vs Categorical (it is moral in and of itself)

Leads to the catagorical imperative:
* The Formula of the Universal Law — act on that maxim that you wish to become a universal law (do unto others)
* The Forumla of Humanity as an End — act in such a way that you treat youself or in the person of any others never simply as a means but also always as an end

Now – if only someone would like to explain how that fits in with the rest of the course beyond "do the right thing, it’s the right thing to do"…

Advertisements