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Flashcards in Kantian ethics Deck (52)
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Define 'moral law'

Binding moral obligations


Define 'maxims'

Another word for moral rules determined by reason


Define 'duty'

Duties are created by moral law, our duty is to follow it


Define 'summum bonum'

The highest, most supreme good


Define 'good will'

A person of good will is someone who makes decisions according to the moral law


Define 'categorical imperative'

An unconditional moral obligation that is always binding irrespective of a person's inclination or purpose


Define 'hypothetical imperative'

A moral obligation that applies only if one desires the implied goal


Define 'kingdom of ends'

An imagined future in which all people act in accordance to the moral law, the categorical imperative


What does Kant believe about moral law?

There is an objective moral law beyond personal opinion, preference or desire which exists and is known through reason


Describe objective moral law

Independent of all opinion, demands universal obedience in its own right not because it promotes happiness but it tells us what we ought to do irrespective of consequence


What is good will?

Good will is irrespective of what it accomplishes so doing good despite what it accomplishes e.g. giving money to charity because you should is virtuous but giving money to charity to impress someone else is not


What is the shopkeeper analogy?

The first shopkeeper does not short change their customers because it is their duty, the second shopkeeper doesn't short change their customer because they are afraid of getting caught so only the first shopkeeper is virtuous


How does Kant believe emotion links into moral duty?

Motives with inclination such as family loyalty or guilt have no moral worth but we should act with sympathy to others as long as emotion does not drive our moral thinking


Give some duties Kant establishes to ourselves and others

- self-perfection and well being
- pursue greater good
- innate right to freedom
- not to destroy or limit other human beings
- avoid drunkenness


What does Kant believe is the wrong way to perceive moral law?

- What we desire
- Sacred scripture
- What will benefit ourselves
- Weigh up consequences of either course of action


How does Kant believe moral knowledge is known?

Reason not sense or emotion


How does Kant believe we can separate knowledge?

- Two groups
- Gained through sense experience from the empirical world (a posteriori)
- Knowledge at first hand (a priori) a necessary or universal feature of all objects


Give a quote from Kant describing experience

"Though all our knowledge begins with experience, it does not follow that it all arises out of experience"


What are the two types of judgement?

Synthetic and analytic


Give an example of an analytic judgement

All bachelors are unmarried
- Subject: bachelors
- Predicate: unmarried


What are analytic judgements?

Judgements of clarification


What are synthetic judgements?

- Those in which the predicate is outside the judgement and so must be made certain with reference to something other than the meanings of terms and laws of logic
- Judgement of amplification because when it's true it adds new information to the subject


Give an example of a synthetic judgement

The table in the kitchen is round
- Subject: table
- Predicate: round


How can judgements be linked with knowledge?

Analytic are a priori
Synthetic are a posteriori


What does Kant think moral propositions should be?

Synthetic because they add information outside of experience so the additional information is the moral law that is revealed by reason and you should assess what people ought to do not what they actually do


What does Kant think moral knowledge should be?

Reason at first hand, a priori synthetic


What does situationsim and utilitarians think moral propositions are linked too?

S: love
U: consequences


What is hypothetical knowledge?

'If' statements are conditional e.g. if you want to do the loving thing then you should do x


What is the hypothetic imperative?

Commands behaviour for an end but it only commands us if we have accepted the desired end


Why does Kant reject the hypothetic imperative?

Moral law binds us unconditionally