He who governs by his moral excellence may be compared to the pole star which abides in its place while all other stars bow towards it. Deciding for oneself between what is right and what is wrong has always been an important part of life. All throughout history this subject has been debated and there have been many who have attempted to discover an absolute solution. Among these is the remarkable German philosopher, Immanuel Kant. Applied correctly, Kant’s moral principles, specifically the categorical imperative, would greatly alter one’s view of life and due to this it may help to not only make the world a better place, but to also bolster individual lives.
Through discussing the main points of these three philosophers’ theories, I will prove that passion and reason are both defining factors that influence our decision making, but the relevance of each factor is a subjective opinion in the case of these three men. Hume believed that “reason is the slave of the passions” and that passions are the primary motives of moral action. In other words, Hume believed that the individual “self” was completely constructed by one’s passions, as emotions are what motivate reason
Rather than focusing only on state’s selfishness and competitiveness, structural realists (neorealists) believe that states enter into alliances with other states (diplomacy) to regulate and keep a check on the power of other alliances and more powerful states. Although the school of structural realism (neorealism) is developed from the classical realist school, there are key differences between these two types of realism. According to Ferguson (2011) and the lectures and other materials of week 1-3, classical realists primarily focus on explaining the nature of man; that is, human nature is aggressive and human aggregates (states) are thus aggressive too. They argue that behaviors of states derive heavily from human nature, and self-centeredness and self-interestedness are presumed to be the fundamental principles of realism. In contrast to this, structural realists (neorealists)
INVIGORATING TITLE The matter of morality makes for a deceptively complex discussion. Good and evil actions are categorized variously by different religions, organizations, families, and authors. Moral alignment, a popularized system mainly used referencing fictional and historical characters, classifies people and characters by their views and reaction to the world. Before this system surfaced among the recent generation, authors, playwrights, and philosophers have established their own contrasting views on the idea of human nature. Among these was William Golding, who elucidates in his novel Lord of the Flies how humankind will eventually dissolve reason and civility and resort to their most base and visceral instincts.
Historically, there has been an ongoing conflict between whether humans should live with exemplification of actions and thoughts through their humanistic instincts, or through reason and rationalism. Patrick Süskind, through his novel Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, showcases a travesty of the Age of Enlightenment – a time of intellectual movement and cultural ambience where trust in human reason and rationally was accentuated, overriding man’s trust in their most humanistic instincts – in order to belabor his disbelief against the latter. Through the characterization and actions of minor and major characters – such as Father Terrier, who is shown as one of the most humane characters in the novel; Mme. Gaillard, a woman described as almost completely dead
Clausewitz was proposing that if states perceive war as something that is a necessary step so that they can promote their own interests and power, well then they will use it as a rational political tool. Kenneth Waltz and other modern realists have further built on Clausewitz idea of what causes wars and have also furthered and added to the idea. In Kenneth Waltz’s writing in “Man, the State and War”, he sets out three interconnected images of what causes wars. The first one, which keeps in line with a classical realist thought, is war has its origins in flawed human nature. This suggest that “the evilness of men, or their improper behaviour, leads to war” (Waltz, 2001, p.39).
• During the Enlightenment there was a Scientific Revolution • The enlightenment was also called the Age of Reason • The chaos of the Reformation and wars of religion had shaken a belief system that had been accepted by society in the Middle Ages • People began looking for natural law, the conditions that govern human behavior • Thinkers began to believe that the problems of society could be solved through reasoning • One of the first philosophers to search for the natural laws of government was England’s Thomas Hobbes. • He believed that people by nature were bad and needed strong government • He believed that people could avoid the nature of being bad by entering into a social contract • This was an agreement to give up individual freedom to live in an organized society
Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill are two of the most notable philosophers in normative ethics. This branch of ethics is based on moral standards that determine what is considered morally right and wrong. This paper will focus on Immanuel Kant’s theory of deontology and J.S. Mill’s theory of utilitarianism. While Mill takes a consequentialist approach, focused on the belief that actions are right if they are for the benefit of a majority, Kant is solely concerned with the nature of duty and obligation, regardless of the outcome.
As if he would not all the rather lament the necessity of just wars, if he remembers that he is a man; for if they were not just he would not wage them, and would therefore be delivered from all wars. For it is the wrongdoing of the opposing party which compels the wise man to wage just wars ”. In all of this, Augustine is not far from and is, in fact, probably drawing upon the ideas of Cicero and the author of Deuteronomy. He goes further than either of them, however, in his condemnation of war itself and in his refusal to allow that the aggressor may be just. For Augustine, war is never a good but only a lesser of evils, and the one who causes the war is always unjust.
Nonconsequentialism came from the work of Immanuel Kant, who is known to be the founder of critical philosophy. Markham (2007) described Kant as ‘the giant in philosophy’. Through his research and work, Immanuel Kant labelled himself a deontologist. According to Markham (2007), a deontologist is ‘a person who recognises that there are absolute moral prohibitions that must be applied consistently to all situations’. Different from consequentialism, people who tend to have the mind set of a deontologist believe that you should do your ethical duty, regardless of the outcome.