Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Kant on Moral Actions (Post 2/4)

 Megan Fischer Section 10 Group 1
Kant’s principle of universalizability meant that for an action to be moral, the underlying maxim had to be one that could apply to any one else in similar circumstances. You cannot be an exception, you have to be impartial. It’s similar to “do unto others as you would have them do to you”. You can’t act in a certain way towards someone and then get upset or think it’s bad when they act the same way to you. Not every maxim that can be universalized can be an indicator to whether an action is moral or not. If a maxim can’t be universalized then it has failed Kant’s test and therefore cannot be a moral action. So likewise, when someone acts against a maxim they are considered to be acting immorally. The last Kantian argument about moral action is the “means and ends”. The saying for this view was “Treat other people as ends in themselves, never as means to an end.”, which is pretty much a fancy way to say, as Nigel puts it, we should not use people, but rather always recognize their humanity, recognize that they are individuals with wills and desires of their own. I have shown you the various Kantian views on moral actions. In the final two blog posts, I will be sharing some criticisms commonly brought upon by these views and how I feel about these views.
To be continued…


  1. Kant's absolutism ("never lie" etc.) seems clearly wrong, but his imperative never to use others as means to our ends also seems clearly right. So it's hard to be flatly pro-Kantian OR anti-Kantian. Looking forward to your next installment.

  2. Thank you for commenting and I'm glad you're enjoying it thus far!

    FQ- "Pierce hated _____ ________ that didn't make any difference in practice."
    DQ- Do you agree with Freud that our unconscious is what drives us towards our wishes that are hidden from us?

    Link: Ever since I took psychology I have been so interested, although not totally agreeing with all of them, in all of his different views and topics!

  3. I liked your post Megan.
    FQ: Richard Rorty thought of words as _____ that we do things with, rather than ______ that somehow mirror the way the world is.
    A: tools, symbols
    DQ: How should we use our words in our dealings with the world around us?
    Link: This is sort of related, and I thought it was interesting... http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/25/upshot/a-tool-to-trace-words-through-time.html?_r=0&abt=0002&abg=1