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OK, Kant is HARD to understand.  But the reading is pretty short and the slides are pretty helpful.  So, I’m hoping you can piece enough of his ideas together to answer one (or more) of the following questions.  Please make sure your responses are substantial in length and detail.

1. “Act only on that maxim that you can, at the same time, will to be a universal law”.  This is Kant’s CATEGORICAL IMPERATIVE.  Explain what this means, in your own words, focusing on how this becomes a way of setting up MORAL LAWS for people to follow.

2. Kant’s theory focuses on RESPECT FOR PERSONS.  Explain how this respect works and why Kant thinks this is a central moral principle.

3. How does AUTONOMY factor into Kant’s moral theory, and what role does it play in his ethical theory.

4. There are several objections to Kant’s view in the text (165-170).  Pick one and explain it, in your own words, and try to clarify how this objection works and what Kant might say in response.

5. A practical example: Kant very famously said that you can NEVER lie.  The Categorical Imperative forbids lying in ANY case or circumstance.  Imagine a scenario: your neighbor, Lisa, rushes to your door, frantic.  She says an axe murderer is looking for kill her.  She asks you to hide her in your home, and you do.  A few minutes later, a man with an axe knocks on your door and asks, calmly, “is Lisa here?  I need to see her!”  He has asked you a direct (Yes/No) question.  You have to decide whether to lie or tell the truth.  Kant seems to think you MUST tell the truth here.  How do you reply?  Why?
Pick 1 out of the 5 topics on Kant in 200 or more

 

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