Premium Essay

Philosophical Ethics

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Lynwill1
Words 455
Pages 2
Philosophical Ethics

1. Show how Kant arrived at the conclusion that a good will is the highest good.

Kant believes that good will is the highest good, because an advantage can be use for evil means.

Example: Slavery
Europeans, not having good will to guide them, and the pursuit of wealth, used their advantages in education, weapons, and ship building to enslave the people of Africa. A person with intelligence, Witt, and judgment must have goodwill to guide them. Kant also believed that fortune and wealth, if not solidify by good will and can lead to evil intentions. Wealth can lead to a life of arrogance and envy. A person with wealth can use their wealth to purchase the evil services of others.

2. State the Categorical Imperative and recapitulate in a step-by-step fashion how Kant arrived at it as the basis of all moral action.

The Categorical Imperative – according to Kant – is the conviction that one should act so that the Maxim of his or her action can be a universal law.

In a step by step fashion, good will is defined as a will motivated by a sense of duty.
- What is Duty? Duty is defined as reverence or respect for the law.
- What type of law? Moral law;

This can be looked at as the same as the golden rule “do onto others as you would like them to onto you” 3. Why, for Kant, are good and generous deeds not in themselves virtuous?

Kant believes that good and generous deeds are not in themselves virtuous because without goodwill they can be used for evil purpose or intentions.

Example: a man is trying to gain the trust of a woman. By utilizing generous gestures, such as offering gifts or friendly actions, a man’s actions may mislead the woman causing her to let her guards down and consequently he gains her trust. If he doesn’t have goodwill to be motivated by, he can use the trust he gains from that…...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Philosophical Fields

...Philosophical Fields Philosophy is a wide-ranging discipline because it deals with various dimensions of human experience. In order to have a better, complete and deeper understanding of philosophy which is broad in nature we should analyze first its components, parts and fields. We study these parts separately, show there interrelationship as well as their relation as a whole. The two philosophical categories are theoretical and practical philosophy. Theoretical philosophy deals with the acquisition of truth and knowledge while practical aims not only to learn the truth but as well as the application of truth or knowledge to benefit and be useful to mankind. Philosophical fields are classified under theoretical philosophy; epistemology-knowledge, cosmology-physical universe, metaphysics-reality, being and existence, ontology- particular existing things, psychology-mind and consciousness, theodicy- God and Divine doctrine. Therefore theoretical deals with knowing things, aiming knowledge or truth and reflects about nature as well as the relation of things. Under practical philosophy include; semantics- linguistic meanings, logic- thinking and argument, ethics-behavior and good life, aesthetics- art and beauty and the last is axiology-values. This kind of philosophy, concern to the things which perceptible and useful. Its goal is not just finding the truth but applying the knowledge gained for the benefit of the mankind. As life in this world becomes more complicated, it......

Words: 375 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Philosophical Theories and Practices

...Philosophical Theories and Practices Katrina D. Braggs Argosy University Abstract In this exercise, the writer was asked to explore the philosophical theories and practices of four of her colleagues. She will select and define Realism and Perennialism and explain how each teacher demonstrates their beliefs in these theories and how they apply them in their teaching. Her purpose will be to show how these modern day educators skillfully use the historical teachings and methods to instill a progressive education in their students. She will discuss two colleagues per theory and offer a comparison and differentiation in their methods. Keywords: realism, Perennialism Philosophical Theories and Practices The writer selected colleagues one and two based upon the theory of Realism in education. According to Pulliam and Van Patten, realists believe division between objects and form does not exist and humans know reality through examination of objects and through reason. Colleague I is a fourth grade teacher whose classroom consists of a mixture of average and below average students from mostly low-income families. Due to these demographics, she finds it imperative to use experiences familiar to the students to effectively convey the subject matter at hand. She presents all objectives in a simple and concrete manner prior to instruction for learner attainment before moving on to that which is more complex and abstract. The materials are highly precise and there is no......

Words: 772 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Philosophical Term Paper

...Philosophical Terms Exercise Define the following terms in your own words: metaphysics: Is a branch of philosophy that focuses its primary studies on the structure and constitution of reality. Metaphysics has been defined throughout history in many ways. It is mainly understood in the categories of what things are or believed to be. The mental and physical as the study of reality, opposed to appearance. Theories and principles alike have defined this term with much emphasis on existence, reality, and life. epistemology: Epistemology focuses on the origin, nature, and limits of human knowledge. For example, questions related to whether knowledge of any kind is possible, and what kind, if so. Do we have knowledge at birth? And what sort is present during this time. Do we inherent knowledge through mental states or properties in our lives? These questions offer avenues that are still under much scrutiny by many philosophers. Knowledge and existence offer minimum answers, but there are justifications for how we acknowledge its nature around us. ontology: This is described as the study of being in general, or what applies neutrally to everything that is real. Many questions surrounding ontology deal with concerns around what type of entities exist, or for that matter, what can be said to exist? Are there similarities and differences to existence? Ontology has been a major branch of metaphysics and still continues to be very important in its philosophical......

Words: 326 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Philosophical Views

...Philosophical views on Freedom and Free will. The first philosophical position is scientific determinism in which it states that free action is seen as an event having to do with person’s intention that is without a cause. For scientific determinism, Universal causality denies that there can be any such events. They deny that man is really free. The second is indeterminism or sometimes called as libertarians which they believe that man is in fact free. They are similar with scientific determism in such a way that they think that free act as an event involving body or mind, that corresponds to person’s intentions and yet happen without a cause. In contrasted to the views of scientific determinist, they insist that man is really free. They deny the truth of Universal causality. They believe that there are uncaused free actions. The third is compatibilism, defines free action as an event with an inner cause. They believe that free act is any event, involving the body or mind of a person that is caused by an inner state that person. For them event have cause, they maintain, but if the cause of your action is an appropriate inner state of your own mind, then your act is free. The last philosophical position is agency theory, which they define free will as any event, involving body or mind of a person that is caused by an agent. For them, the principle of universal causality maybe true or untrue. In agency theory they believe that man is really free. In my own personal stand,......

Words: 364 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Philosophical Dialogue

...Philosophical Dialogue (from Philosophy Pages) Verbal discussion of serious topics is in no way tangential to the practice of philosophy. From Socratic gatherings to the philosophical conventions of today, thinking things through out loud—and in the presence of others—has always been of the essence of the philosophical method. (Most philosophical texts embody this give-and-take, either in explicit use of dialogue form or by a more subtle alteration of proposal, objection, and reply in expository prose.) Your philosophical education demands that you enter into the great conversation of Western thought. A few suggestions may help: Be prepared Productive dialogue presupposes informed participants. This means that during every class session, each of us will have read the material assigned for the day, we will pay careful attention to what others have already said, and we will think carefully before speaking. Of course, each of us will often be mistaken, but none of us should ever speak randomly. Respect others Joint participants in dialogue show a deep, personal respect for each other. We owe it to each other to listen well and to give each other the benefit of doubt in interpreting charitably what has been said, trying always to see the worthwhile point. Although we will rarely find ourselves in total agreement on the issues at stake, we will never attack or make fun of each other personally. Expect conflict Disagreement with an expressed opinion and criticism of its...

Words: 494 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay


...Ethics Kellie Jackson Arthur Murphy Ethics Utilitarianism - Utilitarianism is the ethical doctrine that the moral worth of an action is solely determined by its contribution to overall utility. It is thus a form of consequentialism, meaning that the moral worth of an action is determined by its outcome—the ends justify the means. Utility — the good to be maximized — has been defined by various thinkers as happiness or pleasure (versus suffering or pain), though preference utilitarian’s like Peter Singer define it as the satisfaction of preferences. (David 2008) Deontology - Deontological ethics or deontology meaning 'obligation' or 'duty') is an approach to ethics that focuses on the rightness or wrongness of actions themselves, as opposed to the rightness or wrongness of the consequences of those actions. It is sometimes described as "duty" or "obligation" based ethics, because deontologists believe that ethical rules "bind you to your duty". (Kant 1785) Deontological ethics is commonly contrasted with consequentialist or teleological ethical theories, according to which the rightness of an action is determined by its consequences. Virtue Ethics - Virtue ethics is a branch of moral philosophy that emphasizes character, rather than rules or consequences, as the key element of ethical thinking. In the West virtue ethics was the prevailing approach to ethical thinking in the ancient and medieval periods. The tradition suffered an eclipse during the early modern......

Words: 797 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Philosophical Essay

...Philosophical Essay (tolerance and Justice) William Touvell Ohio Christian University Ph2000 Introduction to Philosophy Van Kuiken May 9, 2011 Tolerance Tolerance is defined as the capacity for or practice of respecting and recognizing another person’s opinions, practices, behaviors, or beliefs. (editor), 1976). Tolerance can cross into many categories of life from different cultures, the type of music we like, moral issues, religion and many others. More and more these days they are teaching our children in school that we must practice tolerance with all groups of people. I have also heard it described as just agreeing not to disagree; so you avoid any arguments or hurt feelings. The other thing that tolerance can be tied into is that of ethical relativism. Nash defines ethical relativism as the belief that moral beliefs that are conflicting at times can be true at the same time in the same sense. (Nash, 1999). The problems with ethical relativism, is that it’s really confusing and it gives way to numerous paradoxical consequences. The biggest one is when one accepts this way of thinking, that there can be no moral code we use that is better than another. Nash put it this way “if there is no transcendent, objective grounds for moral criticism, no side can be more right than the other.” (Nash, 1999). Some of the other points made are that if we accept this belief than why do we strive to become better people, when no human is any better than his fellow man? ......

Words: 932 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Philosophical Approaches

...on how and when he functioned as he did. Philosophy, on the other hand, is focusing on the more expanded meanings and positions. Ethics is the study of the general nature of morals and of the specific moral choices to be made by a person; moral philosophy (Ethics, n.d). There are three schools when determining and understanding the process of ethics. The three schools of ethics are virtue, consequentialist, and deontological. Each of these schools holds importance but are nothing without the other. All three of these are needed to come to the best ethical decision. When talking about religion and ethics we have to consider one person’s personal beliefs. Just because I may think it is ethically right to believe a certain way another group may not. “A major advantage of a philosophical approach to ethics is that it avoids the authoritarian basis of law and religion as well as the subjectivity, arbitrariness and irrationality that may characterize cultural or totally personal moral views.” (Ethics - By Branch / Doctrine - The Basics of Philosophy, n.d) Ethics would be what is believed to be right and what is normally done by a group, culture, or a nation. Logic can be proved. When someone speaks about logic they are saying they can prove their reasoning behind what they feel is right. “The philosophy of logic from a philosophical perspective, of the nature Logic may thus be characterized as the study of truths based completely on the meanings of the terms they......

Words: 1000 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Philosophical Mind

...In Lesson 2, we explored a number of reasons why it is important to develop a philosophical mindset. In this assignment I want you to take one of those reasons and elaborate on it. In at least 250 words, explain why it is important for you to develop the philosophical mindset. Why develop a philosophical mindset? The definition of a philosophical mindset is reason enough for me. An attitude or approach to life that involves the critical examination of beliefs to ascertain what they mean, if they are true, and what value they have. I don’t understand people who just believe things because that’s what other people believe. The depth of critical examination on a certain belief points to the level of commitment you have to that belief. Without critical examination one can’t truly grasp or lean on a belief. Without true beliefs that one can lean on, life becomes vain and unfulfilling. Look at the church for an example. If you have ever attended a church long enough to get to know its members outside the church walls, then this example will make sense. Many church members say they believe in God, that they are saved through Christ and that they are going to heaven when they die. They say that they believe the whole Bible is God’s truth and holy word, including Matthew 7:17 which states; “By their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”, and Matthew 7:20 which states, “Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast......

Words: 349 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

A Philosophical Perspective of World Wars

...struggle between different national groups (World War I, 2005). Inspired by the scientific theory of Charles Darwin, this ideology emphasized the violent struggle for power between "races" or "nations" in which the weaker would unavoidably be destroyed by the stronger in the never-ending cycle of “survival of the fittest. When applied to national politics, this ethical theory became the excuse to assure economic and military strength in order to meet with the stark opposition of its rivals (Perry 594). Certain nations were seen as “stronger” or “better” than others, and the resulting consequence of such an ideology called forth arms races and colonial expansion. Colonialism was seen as natural and unavoidable, justified through Social Darwinian ethics – “stronger” people saw “weaker” natives as being more unfit to survive, and therefore felt warranted in stealing their land, capital, and resources. These ideas were definitely prominent in causing the war; however there is no single reason why the First World War began. Each nation’s individually ideology played a significant role. Whatever the individual causes of the war, the effects were experienced collectively. Although Germany was primarily blamed and felt the consequences of the war by way of the Treaty of Versailles, every nation involved had pangs of desperation and depression due to the large number of casualties suffered and the financial stresses that the war had affected. Economic instability of world’s......

Words: 2315 - Pages: 10

Free Essay

Philosophical Work

...There has been an immense amount of philosophical work on the idea of equality in the last thirty years, resulting in a number of different conceptions of equality. In this paper, we define equality in a robust sense as ‘equality of condition’. The most general way of defining equality of condition is simply to say that it is the belief that people should be as equal as possible in relation to the central conditions of their lives. Equality of condition is not about trying to make inequalities fairer, or giving people a more equal opportunity to become unequal, but about ensuring that everyone has roughly equal prospects for a good life. It is tempting to call equality of condition ‘equality of outcome’ in order to contrast it with the idea of equal opportunity, but that can be a little misleading, because there is no plausible egalitarian theory that says that the outcomes of all social processes should be the same for everyone. Equality of condition is about cannot always institutionally guarantee that everyone’s needs for love, care and solidarity are met but we can try to arrange societies in ways that make this more or less likely. We can ensure that the balance between paid and generally unpaid care, love and solidarity work is such that the latter is facilitated, and is equally distributed. We can ensure that people are educated about care, love and solidarity relations, that employment, transportation networks and neighbourhoods are structured in a manner that......

Words: 638 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Reasoning as Philosophical

...Nicolas, Fatima May D. 2014-45876 Spec. Thought WFY, Mr. Romulo Banares What Constitutes Reasoning as Philosophical? Philosophy consists of a very long history of arguments, counter- arguments, thesis, and theories; thus we can also see questions, and answers that lead to more questions and so on. Like most sciences, philosophy has its own procedures and its own approach to inquiries about the world. One of the central objectives of this discipline is to learn and make use of those procedures to understand the mysteries behind existence and reality. It is also a study that aims to find out the nature of truth and knowledge and to discover what is of basic value and the significance of life. As established by its founding fathers the basic business of philosophy is to know what truly exists and the relation among these existents. Reason is a method in which people acquire knowledge and understanding by means of thinking in an organized and clear way. It has played a big role in the progress of different branches of philosophy (e.g. epistemology, metaphysics, etc.) throughout the years. Some of philosophy’s longest running problems are based on reason but reason also paves way for the solution to these problems. In this paper, I will address different examples that exhibit the being philosophical of reason. REASON IN THE ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENTS Ontological arguments are arguments that assert the existence of a God by......

Words: 1037 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Philosophical Critique of October Sky

...The movie October Sky contains some interesting philosophical content. The movie takes place in West Virginia in the town of Coalwood in 1957. The town has a coal mine, which employs most of the men who live there. John Hickam is the foreman at the coal mine. John has two sons, and he intends for them both to work in the coal mine. One of his sons, Jim, gets a football scholarship. The other son, Homer, becomes interested in Rockets. In the movie, Homer overcomes many obstacles in order to launch rockets and get to science faire. John Hickam has a very limited world view. He thinks that the most important thing in life is working in the mine. He only seems to value people in as far as they can work in the mine. To John, any other profession is somewhat frivolous. Homer Hickam seems to be a normal teenager with normal ambitions until his world-view is turned upside-down by the sight of the Sputnik satellite streaking across the October sky. Homer decides that he wants to build and launch rockets. Logic – Homer uses logic in order to gain knowledge of rocket science, so that he can make a rocket. First, he reads science fiction comics and reads about Wernher Von Braun, who is the German rocket scientist. Then Homer meets the nerd in his school who knows about rockets. Then, Homer gets some books on science and math and teaches himself. Then Homer and his friends use trial and error to test the rockets, until they make one that launches correctly. Homer also uses the logic...

Words: 1262 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Philosophical Approached

...Running head: PHILOSOPHICAL APPROACHED TO ETHICAL DECISION 1 Philosophical Approaches to Ethical Decision-Making Donald McCoy Strayer University PHILOSOPHICAL APPROACHED TO ETHICAL DECISION 2 Philosophical Approaches to Ethical Decision-Making The problem of freedom can be understood in two distinct meanings; however we will take a more philosophical approach (N.A Berdyaev, 2011). We will define the problem of freedom as choice of good and evil, which conquers and which they conquer not. Also in order to understand the problem of freedom we have to add Free will. Free will has as much to do with making choices and participating in actions as morality fitting into the equation (N.A Berdyaev, 2011). Morality dictates that we have freedoms to be moral and make moral decisions. The chances are if we were to remove free will form the equation then we could not be held responsible for our moral decisions. Another factor of the problem of freedom is responsibility, which is the direct path to freedom. This analogy puts it in to perspective the more freedom we have; the more responsible we are for it. When freedom is involved the words choice and free are synonymous of each other. You can’t have one without the other (Williams & Arrigo, 2008). One would state that we couldn’t choose if we are not free to do so. We would not do the word freedom justice unless we look at ethical decision-making. Freedom when discussed...

Words: 988 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Philosophical Argument on Human Nature

...all other traits associated with human nature lack sufficiency and can also be distorted by our free will and individuality. Free will has been a highly debated aspect of human nature. Opinions vary between eastern and western philosophies and among philosophers. Many western philosophers seem to hold that as humans we have choices and that we are in control of in our life, though the level of freedom that they believe we have does vary. Descartes believed that not only did we have the ability to choose to do or not do something, but he also believed that “the will is so free by nature that it can never be constrained.”(,art. 41).Jean-Paul Sartre said that “man is nothing else but what he makes of himself”. In Sartre’s philosophical beliefs of man, we have the freedom to make choices in life; in fact it is those choices that actually make the man. We may have the will to do something, however unless we chose to act upon our will, then we are nothing. David Hume held similar theories in defining liberty as “a power of acting or of not acting, according to the determination of the will.”(sec. 73). Laozi, the father of Taoism, also believed that humans have free will and are capable of choosing the path their life takes. A quote from Confucius’ book of analects states that “The commander of the forces of a large state may be carried off, but the will of even a common man cannot be taken from him.” I personally believe that we all intrinsically have free will......

Words: 1934 - Pages: 8