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What are the main differences between hypothetical and categorical imperatives? Why does Kant claim the moral law can only be expressed in the form of a categorical imperative? Is Kant right? Explain.
Hypothetical imperatives are those acts that must be undertaken not for…
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Download file to see previous pages On the other hand, categorical are principles that are intrinsically valid in and of themselves; they are acts that must be obeyed at all time and in all situations, in order for the actor be moral. Unlike hypothetical imperatives that are undertaken to achieve an end, for categorical imperatives the fulfilment of the act is the end in itself. There must be no other reason for undertaking a categorical imperative than its very compliance. Another difference is that while hypothetical imperatives are applicable only to those who desire the end (in the example above, only to those who desire to be good athletes), a categorical imperative is mandatory for all moral persons, whether they want to do it or not. For example, “Do not kill,” is a categorical imperative.
Kant states that moral law can only be expressed in the form of a categorical imperative, because categorical imperatives are the demands of moral law. This is because moral law must be done purely out of duty, not because it accomplishes some other purpose for the actor’s advantage. If the actor undertakes the action to derive some specific benefit, then it is not done out of duty. Kant is theoretically correct in this, particularly insofar that all persons must perform categorical imperatives as they do moral law. In practice, though, Kant’s position may be too purist, because people do make moral decisions based on their outcomes.
2. People in distress often make "false promises" in order to alleviate their situation. According to Kant, is such action in accordance with the moral law or not? Paying particular attention to his understanding of the categorical imperative and what it prescribes, explain Kant’s position on this. Do you agree with Kant? Why or why not?
According to Kant, “false promises” are not in accordance with the moral law, whatever the motivation behind it. For Kant, the moral law must be ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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