Analyzing Kant's Categorical Imperative

1657 Words7 Pages
When we act, whether or not we reach our ends that we intend to pursue, what we control is the reason behind those actions not the consequences of those actions. Kant presents the categorical imperative to pursue and establish the meaning of morality. Of the different formulations of the Categorical Imperative, the second formulation is perhaps the most instinctively persuasive. However, in spite of its intuitive appeal, even the most basic elements of the second formulation are surprisingly unclear and even controversial. The objective of this paper is to offer a consistent account of these issues, while recognizing alternative interpretations that Kant talks about. Moreover I would be presenting my opinion of disagreement with Kant about…show more content…
The first formulation states: “act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.” This means that one will not allow the other to do something that he/she is not willing to accomplish. Basically, you are not allowed to make exceptions for yourself. For example, if you expect other people to keep their promises, then you are obligated to keep your own promises. Moreover, when this maxim is universalized it forms a contradiction in concept, because making a promise you can’t keep disagrees with the convention of promises (a promise, by definition, is meant to be…show more content…
For Kant, the categorical imperative is a technique of directly accessing the orders of our reason, independent of other considerations. On the other hand, I believe that our moral responsibilities spring from the considerations of how our actions affect human happiness. In my opinion, people are self-interested beings; so they want to show their best attributes to other people. They try to do so by taking into consideration the reaction of others when they act and change according to those reactions. So our actions depend on the happiness of others not because we care about their happiness, but because we care about how we are viewed by others. In addition, Mill proposes his own principle of morality, which also disagrees with Kant view, that he calls the “Utilitarian Principle” that states: “Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness; wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.” According to this principle, we look at the consequences of our actions and judge, whether they bring about more happiness than
Open Document