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Kant - the Good

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The good

Categorical imperative

1. act only as if your action were universal law.

2. treat humanity not always as exclusively a means, but as an end.

You can use them as a means, but they have to be included in the ends.As an end, not a means

Both formulations have to apply to count

Good character

Good intent. Doing what it is right because it is right.


Lying to save someones life.

Laws based on the church are illegitimate.

Must make autonomous decisions about moral issues.

Utilitarianism (Consequentialism, John Stewart Mill)b

The good

Happiness or pleasure.

Good character

Jim the disoriented botanist. Shoots the one to save the rest. Don't fight instincts.

Right Action

Maximizing pleasure, minimizing suffering, "moral calculus."


Violates integrity. If you believe against killing someone, but you still have to shoot the prisoner to save the rest.

Virtue ethics

The good

Eudamonia Ð'- proper function in life (good life), a kind of life that leads to be happy, one is good therefore leading to happiness.

Right action

Staying moderate. Acting according to the "golden mean." What will make you happy, may not make happy getting there.

Good character

One courageous act does not make one courageous. It must be something out of habit, and performed constantly.


How do you know if you are learning from an unvirtuous hero? Mother Teresa, Ghandi, were both extemeists. So how does one know where the mean is?


The good

Self interests.

Right action




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