Do Your Duty

Wed, Feb 20

Regardless of your take on the basis of moral truths -- you still need to make moral decisions.  What do you need to do to be a moral person? In this class, we consider the one major theory for how to act well: duty-based ethics.  In particular, we will discuss the theory of philosopher Immanuel Kant.  Kant is famous for believing that rationality is the basis for morality  -- the most important focus of ethical decision-making is respecting the freedom and dignity of rational beings.  He also gives us a theory of inviolable moral imperatives -- rules you must follow, no matter what, to do what is right.

Key Concepts: Rational Agency, Person (Kantian defn.), Autonomy, the Principle of Control, the Categorical Imperative

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