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Transcript
Kantian Ethics Exam Questions
Lesson Intentions:
• I have answered at least 3 past exam questions on
Kantian ethics.
• I have peer marked other members of my classes
exam questions.
Success Criteria
• I am confident about answering a question on
Kantian Ethics.
Kantian ethics has only come up twice in the
last 5 years of Higher RMPS.
1. What is meant by “respect of persons” in
Kantian Ethics? 3KU
1. What is meant by “respect of persons” in
Kantian Ethics? 3KU
• The second formulation of the Categorical
Imperative
• A moral act will not use people as means to
an end
• Treat people with dignity
• Don’t exploit people.
1. Sample Answer
Respect for persons is a key principle of Kantian
ethics.
Respect for persons is part of the Categorical
Imperative, the formula Kant designed to make
ethical decisions. In Kantian ethics it is important
that any moral act does not use people as means
as an end. This means that people should be
treated with dignity and not be exploited.
2. In Kantian Ethics, what is the Categorical
Imperative? 3KU
2. In Kantian Ethics, what is the Categorical
Imperative? 3KU
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Moral absolute
Universal law
Examples can be used
Humans reason can work it out from nature
One of the key principles alongside not using
people as a means to an end and assuming the
role of lawmaker.
2. Sample Answer
2. In Kantian Ethics, what is the Categorical Imperative?
3KU
The Categorical Imperative is a key principle of Kantian
ethics.
It means a moral action must be absolute. It should be
able to be applied as universal law e.g. Killing is always
wrong. Human beings must use reason to work out
what is right or wrong. People should not be used as a
means to an end. By applying these rules people can
become law makers of morality.
3. State the key principles of Kantian
Ethics? 4KU
3. State the key principles of Kantian Ethics? 4KU
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Use of people as means to an end.
Universal maxim
Categorical imperative
Moral absolutes
Duty
Respect for moral laws.
Use of human reason
Act in a way that you are the legislator – the
law maker.
3. Sample Answers
The key principles of Kantian ethics are to treat
people with respect e.g. they should not be used
as a means to an end. In order to make a moral
decision the Categorical Imperative can be used.
This means moral laws should be applied to
everyone and can be applied universally in every
circumstance. He focused on someone's sense of
duty, meaning what they feel they ought to do
they must do. He emphasised the importance of
human reason in making ethical decisions over
emotion.
4. In what ways can duty be seen as the basis of
ethical decision-making? 5KU
4. In what ways can duty be seen as the basis of ethical decision-making? 5ku
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Kantian ethics is based upon the teachings of the philosopher, Immanuel Kant (1724–
1804) consisting of the importance of duty, good will and the categorical imperative.
Kant’s theory of ethics is deontological meaning that an action is good or bad, right or
wrong by something within the action itself.
Focus is on the morality of actions and disregards the consequences of an action.
It is absolute since the morality of an action takes no regard of the situation it is in.
Stress on duty and obligation - to Kant, the concept of “motive” is the most important
factor in determining what is ethical. More specifically, Kant argued that a moral action
is one that is performed out of a “sense of duty”, i.e. ‘this is what I must/should do’.
Grounded in the highest form of good will. To have good will is to perform one’s duty
and not by considering the consequences. It is good-in-itself.
Good-will fostered by a human being acting rationally- using reason.
Importance of intention motive is reason not action, eliminating any notion of
emotions which undermine rational decision-making.
The categorical imperative helps us to know which actions are obligatory and which
are forbidden. For Kant, the only moral imperatives were categorical: ‘I should to do x”,
with no reference to desires or needs.
Universal principle. "Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same
time will that it should become a universal law"
Humans as ends - not merely as means
Sample Answer
Duty can be used as a basis of ethical decision making
through Kantian Ethics. These ethics put forward by
Immanuel Kant are deontological meaning that an action
is good or bad, right or wrong by something within the
action itself. Morality in this case is absolute as the moral
action is right or wrong regardless of different situations.
Duty comes into Kantian ethics by what you ought to do
is what you should do. Your good will is your motive
behind the action. Kantian ethics emphasise using human
reason rather than emotion when making a decision. It is
someone’s duty not to treat people as a means to an end.