One proposed maxim as a universal law essay

The argument of the Transcendental Deduction is one of the most important moments in the Critique, but it is also one of the most difficult, complex, and controversial arguments in the book. Hence, it will not be possible to reconstruct the argument in any detail here. Kant takes it to be uncontroversial that we can be aware of our representations as our representations.

One proposed maxim as a universal law essay

Kant and Happiness for the Philosopher Essay Pages: In very simple terms, he believed that happiness is basically getting what one wants. His ethical system was presented in Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals Kant where seeking universal and supreme principle of morality was his focus.

It should be noted that Kant does not discuss actual 'happiness' to a great extent because happiness was not the foundation of his ethical system.

This is in contrast to many ethical systems, including Mill's, where happiness is the aim of morality. However, happiness still is an important part of Kant's ethics, yet, because of his belief that happiness is about getting what one wants, it is easy to see happiness as being powerless in its function as a foundation for morality.

One proposed maxim as a universal law essay

Getting what one wants could prevent other individuals from getting what they want, so it seems highly improbably that everyone could be happy. So if morality is defined in terms of happiness, not every person can be moral. Thus it can be reasoned that morality cannot possibly be defined in terms of happiness.

Also, Kant thought that people do not know what will make them happy. Therefore, the concept of happiness is indeterminate because everyone desires it, yet they cannot say what it is that they really want.

Kant has used the example of someone who is looking for wealth because he believes that it will make her happy, only to discover that this quest actually results in unhappiness because of certain aspects that come along with it One proposed maxim as a universal law essay.

Another example he uses is a person who seeks out knowledgeonly to come to find that that there are so many things that were hidden from him before his pursuit. As human beings, it is impossible for us to know what kind of actions will bring us happiness and what kind of actions will bring us unhappiness.

For us to know would require that we be all-knowing i. The best thing we can do and this will be discussed later is to learn from one's own experiences.

The universal moral law, which he named the 'categorical imperative,' was found as a basic law that can apply to multifaceted and shifting circumstances.

Imperative is a command, forcing certain actions, and there are various types of imperatives. Kant came up with the hypothetical imperative as opposition to moral or categorical ones.

A hypothetical imperative is an imperative that is formed in conditional form and focuses on the final outcome. In the case of happiness, the imperative is that a person knows certain actions will bring her a desirable result i.

For example, "if I clean my room, change my sheets, and put away my clean clothes, my mother will give me a reward. This is a more hypothetical imperative as opposed to a moral one and these types of imperatives cannot contain universal truths because they are based on subjective thoughts.

Therefore, according to Kant's reasoning, there cannot be any general happiness an antithesis to Mill's theories on general happiness because people desire different things and they comprehend happiness in different ways.

Hypothetical imperatives are defined by personal taste and choice and cannot be called a universal moral principle Happiness cannot be considered a basis for morality, according to Kant, because the way or means to happiness cannot be truly known.

For Kant, there is no determining whether an action is good or right simply based on one's happiness. Kant said that good or bad actions can be performed to achieve the worse or better result and this puts a person in the position of moral dilemma where choosing good for one's self can hurt other people and vice versa.

The Nature of Morality and Moral Theories

The actions that we do undertake after these considerations are what Kant calls moral actions. Moral actions are thus the actions where reason is responsible for the action itself and where we take the happiness of others into consideration when making our final decision on what one will do.

This means that one has to think about one's self and about others and can then make a final decision on how to act. Kant believed that humans must follow universal moral law and "act only on that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law" Kant According to Kant, human beings are incapable of reasoning happiness to its principle.

Happiness is indefinite, and while every individual wishes for happiness, he or she can never truly know his or her true wishes and wills. Kant thought that instead of actively seeking out happiness, the moral law constructed by reason is really what a person should actively be seeking i.

These principles make up morality and this gives a person pure reason. This pure reason makes us choose certain actions, which brings good to others or help people improve themselves. He defines happiness as the rational being's consciousness of the agreeableness of life, which without disruption accompanies his whole existence.

Man, as a rational being, has certain needs and he has desires to fulfill those needs. Therefore, a conscious being with needs necessarily desires happiness, which can be defined as the satisfaction of those needs.

For Kant, happiness is not inherently good because even being worthy of happiness requires that one possess a good will.

More simply stated, happiness can be attained when one lives a life that is guided by reason. All people seek happiness and, first and foremost, is their own happiness. Everyone has certain inclinations to seek out happiness, however, Kant thought that one would run into major conflict if they simply tried to follow those inclinations.

Despite all this rhetoric, Kant also argued that there is no real possibility of moral perfection in this life and that very few individuals deserve the happiness that they are lucky enough to enjoy.(22) In 1 Bla.

Com, , it is contended, that, unless in cases where the natural law or conscience dictates the observance of municipal laws, it is optional, in a moral view, to observe the positive law, or to pay the penalty where detected in the breach: but that doctrine, as regards the moral duty to observe laws, has been justly refuted.

See . Kant's Aesthetics in Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground when he proposed the test that one must "Act always on that maxim whose universality as a law you problem suggests the solution that perhaps the feeling of the sublime is the source of judgement in the assessment of maxims that might serve as "universal laws" in the way.

As a follow-up to Tuesday’s post about the majority-minority public schools in Oslo, the following brief account reports the latest statistics on the cultural enrichment of schools in Austria.

Vienna is the most fully enriched location, and seems to be in roughly the same situation as Oslo. Many thanks to Hermes for the translation from This suggests that breaking promises for some personal advantages are forbidden since although one may wish to break the promise but one cannot rationally wish that such action should become a universal law otherwise the whole institutions of promising will collapse.

Kant: Categorical Imperative – Universalisability “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.” Kant’s first formulation of the Categorical Imperative appeals to our rationality, and can be found.

Kant's improvement on the golden rule, the Categorical Imperative: Act as you would want all other people to act towards all other people. Act according to the maxim that you would wish all other rational people to follow, as if it were a universal law.

Immanuel Kant ()