Have a listen to this podcast in class. Take notes and answer questions on this (available here – p67).
Kant – Groundwork of Metaphysic of Morals
This is a great book for explaining some pretty trick ideas in a very straightforward way, it’s also ace for revision.
Have a good weekend, jb.
1. What determines the morality of an action according to Kant?
**The intentions behind the action, not the consequences.
2. What is meant by the claim that morality is ‘objective?’
**People can possess different views over morality, and what good morals are.
3. Why is a ‘good will’ the only thing that is good unconditionally?
**Because everything else that is good, is only good under certain circumstances. Good attributes require good intentions to make them good.
4. Which moral theory is usually contrasted with Kant’s theory?
5. If a shopkeeper always gives you the correct change are they necessarily acting out of duty?
**No. It is possible he is only giving you correct change so that you will continue coming to the store, or that he believes that he will not get away with short changing.
6. What is the difference between acting out of duty and acting out of inclination or compassion?
**Acting out of duty is when you are doing something because it is the right thing to do, and its something you may not necessarily want to do, but you realise it is the right thing to do. Where as compassion inclination have no moral worth whatsoever and only because it is a matter of luck whether you happen to have a compassion nature.
7. Why does Kant think that people who have a compassionate nature aren’t always morally praiseworthy?
**Acting on inclination have no moral worth as it is a matter of luck whether you have been raised to be compassionate, actions carried out because they are the right thing to do carry moral worth as there is no inclination needed.
8. What is a ‘maxim’ according to Kant? Illustrate your answer with an example.
** A general rule of behaviour. You should only do something if it would be okay if everyone would do it. For example, dropping litter may not seem like a big deal but if everyone did it then there would be litter everywhere.
9. What is the difference between a ‘hypothetical’ imperative and a ‘categorical’ imperative?
**Hypothetical Imperative acts on the idea that (If X, then Y) however, Categorical acts on the idea of (Always) and there is never any doubt.