Kant s duty to animals

Kant disproves the claim by Baumgarten that humans are above all creation, and therefore have no duties to the animal world. He states that even though animals are not self-conscious and are simply means to an end, there is some reason that animals exist, just as humans exist.

Kant s duty to animals

Outline[ edit ] Portrait of Immanuel Kantwho developed ethical theory Although all of Kant's work develops his ethical theory, it is most clearly defined in Groundwork of the Metaphysics of MoralsCritique of Practical Reason and Metaphysics of Morals. As part Kant s duty to animals the Enlightenment tradition, Kant based his ethical theory on the belief that reason should be used to determine how people ought to act.

No other virtue has this status because every other virtue can be used to achieve immoral ends the virtue of loyalty is not good if one is loyal to an evil person, for example.

The good will is unique in that it is always good and maintains its moral value even when it fails to achieve its moral intentions. A will which acts from duty is distinguishable as a will which overcomes hindrances in order to keep the moral law.

A dutiful will is thus a special case of a good will which becomes visible in adverse conditions. Kant argues that only acts performed with regard to duty have moral worth.

This is not to say that acts performed merely in accordance with duty are worthless these still deserve approval and encouragementbut that special esteem is given to acts which are performed out of duty.

Although duty often constrains people and prompts them to act against their inclinations, it still comes from an agent's volition: Thus, when an agent performs an action from duty it is because the rational incentives matter to them more than their opposing inclinations.

Kant wished to move beyond the conception morality as externally imposed duties and present an ethics of autonomy, when rational agents freely recognise the claims reason makes upon them. The former are classified as perfect duties, the latter as imperfect. A perfect duty always holds true—there is a perfect duty to tell the truth, so we must never lie.

An imperfect duty allows flexibility—beneficence is an imperfect duty because we are not obliged to be completely beneficent at all times, but may choose the times and places in which we are.

Categorical imperative The primary formulation of Kant's ethics is the categorical imperative, [12] from which he derived four further formulations. A hypothetical imperative is one we must obey if we want to satisfy our desires: A categorical imperative binds us regardless of our desires: These imperatives are morally binding because they are based on reason, rather than contingent facts about an agent.

We owe a duty to rationality by virtue of being rational agents; therefore, rational moral principles apply to all rational agents at all times.

For Kant, an act is only permissible if one is willing for the maxim that allows the action to be a universal law by which everyone acts.

A contradiction in conception happens when, if a maxim were to be universalized, it ceases to make sense because the " The maxim is not moral because it is logically impossible to universalize—we could not conceive of a world where this maxim was universalized.

This does not mean a logical contradiction, but that universalizing the maxim leads to a state of affairs that no rational being would desire. For example, Driver argues that the maxim 'I will not give to charity' produces a contradiction in the will when universalized because a world where no one gives to charity would be undesirable for the person who acts by that maxim.

He thus believed that a perfectly rational being must also be perfectly moral because a perfectly rational being subjectively finds it necessary to do what is rationally necessary.

Because humans are not perfectly rational they partly act by instinctKant believed that humans must conform their subjective will with objective rational laws, which he called conformity obligation. Just as physical laws exist prior to physical beings, rational laws morality exist prior to rational beings.

Therefore, according to Kant, rational morality is universal and cannot change depending on circumstance. Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of another, always at the same time as an end and never simply as a means.

This derives from Kant's claim that reason motivates morality: A rational being cannot rationally consent to be used merely as a means to an end, so they must always be treated as an end. Because all rational agents rationally will themselves to be an end and never merely a means, it is morally obligatory that they are treated as such.

Kant believed that any moral law motivated by the desire to fulfill some other interest would deny the Categorical Imperative, leading him to argue that the moral law must only arise from a rational will.

A rational being must always regard himself as giving laws either as member or as sovereign in a kingdom of ends which is rendered possible by the freedom of will. Accordingly, people have an obligation to act upon principles that a community of rational agents would accept as laws.

The first is the Lutheran sect Pietism, to which Kant's parents subscribed. Pietism emphasised honesty and moral living over doctrinal beliefmore concerned with feeling than rationality. Kant believed that rationality is required, but that it should be concerned with morality and good will.

Kant s duty to animals

Second is the political philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, whose work, The Social Contractinfluenced Kant's view on the fundamental worth of human beings.

Pojman also cites contemporary ethical debates as influential to the development of Kant's ethics.Kant’s contention was that cruelty to animals leads to cruelty to humans. Thus, it is in the self-interest of humanity to treat animals humanely, at least most of the time. Kant’s view was that we should refrain from pointless cruelty to animals.

Kant's Duty Ethics by Dr. Jan Garrett Last revised: October 2, For a very substantial internet resource center on Kant, see Kant on the Web..


For the text from which the ideas discussed below are primarily derived see. Yet even amongst those who do view animals as within the sphere of moral concern, there is disagreement about the nature and usefulness of the arguments presented on behalf of the moral status of animals.

Kant's Duty Ethics by Dr. Jan Garrett Last revised: October 2, For a very substantial internet resource center on Kant, see Kant on the Web.. For the text from which the ideas discussed below are primarily derived see.

Kantian ethics refers to a deontological ethical theory ascribed to the German philosopher Immanuel timberdesignmag.com theory, developed as a result of Enlightenment rationalism, is based on the view that the only intrinsically good thing is a good will; an action can only be good if its maxim – the principle behind it – is duty to the moral timberdesignmag.coml to Kant's .

an alternative view, against Kant, that animals would have rights because they ~an suffer, but no duties because they lack the rational capabilities for such; according to this view we might say they are below duty.

Kantian ethics - Wikipedia