Hey sorry, i misread the syllabus, this is actually the reading notes for Wednesday April 7th.

Ch 5-Kantian Ethical theory

*Kant is most famous deontologist
*Kant believes in moral law
*moral laws apply to all people
*deontologist theory-focuses on reasoning that precedes the action
Rules and Actions
*for any action, we can identify a personal rule that guides the action
*Kantian Theory states that if persons want to be ethical the personal rules that guide their actions must be able to be willed to be moral laws
Developing the Kantian Ethical insight
1)Moral laws connected to reason
2)all persons are equal in regard to the moral law and should be treated consistently in similar situations
*moral equality is crucial to this theory
Rational Beings, persons, and moral laws
To be a rational being a person must be able to:
-deliberate, follow rules, and make decisions supported by reason
-understand the idea of moral law
-act from respect for the moral law
*moral laws are universal
The ethical Standard
*the Kantian ethical theory uses the Categorical Imperative to determine legitimate rules that ought to guide the action
*The categorical imperative which is like the golden rule (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you)
*two formulations of the categorical imperative are:
1)"act only from those personal rules that you can at the same time will to be moral laws
2)"act in regard to all persons in ways that treat them as ends in themselves and never simply as means to accomplish the ends of others
-don't tell people to do something, ask them because they are free rational beings capable of making their own decision
legitimate moral laws
a rule is legitimate when:
-individuals determine the personal rule on which they propose to act
-only act from rules that are internally consistent
-only follow rules that are universal
-only act from rules that treat persons as moral equals
-never act from rules that treat people as a means to accomplish the ends of others
*legitimacy of moral laws not connected to consequences
Strengths of the theory
1)ethics is rations
2)moral equality of persons
3)Universal moral guidelines

*A morally significant action is any action related to acting from respect for the moral law
Basic ethical themes
*Good and bad are objective
*Right/wrong depends on reasoning leading to action
*Follow rules with no exceptions
*Focus on ethics of the individual
Problems with Kantian Ethics
1)Description for actions
*how to determine personal rules
-steal and feed starving children or let them die
2)Conflicting moral laws
*if 2 rules conflict, may not know which one to follow
-unethical to steal and and ethical to save innocent lives
-What should you do if you have starving children?
3)Exceptions for moral laws
*if no compromises, it will be hard to solve real moral problems

That's all that I have, feel free to add anything!
Brittany Kaminsky

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