Do Your Duty

Jan 30

Pick your Professor

Immanuel 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. Today we will discuss whether we have inviolable moral duties and the importance of freedom and rational choice in living the good life.

We have three main learning goals for this day. You will:

  1. Understand Kant’s ethical view and how it differs from utilitarianism
  2. Evaluate the “categorical imperative” both as a moral rule and as the source of moral obligations, and consider whether you have inviolable duties       
  3. Appreciate the importance of the “good will” and “acting from duty” on Kant’s ethical view.

Read This:

Primary Text: Interactive Essay: Act from Duty (Kant) 

Secondary Text: Duty Dilemmas

Do This:


  • Make sure you’ve completed the “How We Argue” (ThinkerAnalytix) course up through lesson 3 by today’s class.
  • After you’ve finished today’s reading, make sure you complete the reading quiz, which you can access through your section’s Canvas page.

Suggested: Think about a time when you have, or have not, taken responsibility for your actions. Why did/n’t you do this? How did it make you feel? Do you feel like you’re growing into a more or less responsible person?

Watch This: