How do you apply Kantian Ethics to a topic/case?

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How do you apply Kantian Ethics to a topic/case?

Postby evelyn2113 on October 4th, 2017, 8:21 pm 

I'm not really sure the steps or process that I have to take to apply Kant's theory to a situation.
Could someone please explain to me the layout or what I have to take in count of?
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Re: How do you apply Kantian Ethics to a topic/case?

Postby Braininvat on October 4th, 2017, 8:57 pm 

First, what have you read of Kant - either primary sources or textbook or encyclopedic entries? It helps if we have some idea why those sources are not working for you. Also, what sort of ethical situation have you tried to apply Kantian ethics to?

And....briefly donning Moderator Hat....you should tell us if this is a homework question or test question. That might have a bearing on how much we can (ethically, that is) assist you in your efforts without undermining the pedagogical value of the assignment.
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Re: How do you apply Kantian Ethics to a topic/case?

Postby evelyn2113 on October 4th, 2017, 9:02 pm 

For homework, I have chosen an article that I must apply all theories to (Utilitarian, Social Contract, Rawl, Moral rights procedre, Kant etc.) in order to 'test' it's ethic
I am not asking that you apply my case to the theory. I just want to know what steps must I take to apply it to.
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Re: How do you apply Kantian Ethics to a topic/case?

Postby BadgerJelly on October 4th, 2017, 10:10 pm 

In very simplistic terms Kant said that we should act out our moral ideas as if they were natural laws. In a sense, we must be unswerving in our duty to our own morality.

I am only going off what I read in Critique of Pure Reason as I have not read any of his other works.

I'll grab the quote later if I can find it. No doubt I've a botched job of it. Failing that havea skim through Stanford Philosophy site. It is a little skewed in some areas (IMO), but at least it outlines all the major topics and arguments very well.
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Re: How do you apply Kantian Ethics to a topic/case?

Postby Braininvat on October 5th, 2017, 10:05 am 

I think the "universalizable" aspect of the Categorical Imperative is a good starting point. Let's say I'm trying to decide if I should keep a promise to a friend. Kant would suggest you consider asking if the rule, "Always keep promises," applied universally by everyone, would yield the best outcome. Is this a maxim that is best applied universally?

The 3 formulations of the CI are:

1.Act only according to that maxim by which you can also will that it would become a universal law.
2. Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end.
3. Every rational being must so act as if he were through his maxim always a legislating member in a universal kingdom of ends.

In this case, I applied the first formulation, and it seemed that a failure to do my duty, to not keep a promise, would result in a contradiction because the whole point of promises is that we must keep them or people cease to trust each other and promises become meaningless.

Perhaps, in a different ethical situation, where someone was exploiting a woman sexually, the 2nd formulation would be applied usefully. People should not be used as a means to an end. People should not be treated as objects.

Just examples, hope that helps.
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