Kant and Ethics
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Immanuel Kant provides and excellent foundation for a research paper on ethics. With his categorical imperative clearly outlined, a student can present an in-depth look at one of the most respected ethical philosophers known to man. When writing a research paper on Kant, begin by noting that his deontological approach rested in the belief that duty was paramount in one’s life. According to Kant, every person had an obligation to respect and practice a moral law. When writing your paper, recognize that “moral law” is very ambiguous and must be classified. This is where his categorical imperative comes into play.
Kant’s categorical imperative was meant to serve as the foundation for all ethical judgements. The main premise is that a person must act in accordance to an obligation to a moral code, without concern for the outcome. Meaning, one must always do the right thing, no matter what is going to happen to the self or to someone else. The word “duty” is used often by Kant and there was no gray area when it came to duty. When an action goes against the categorical imperative, it wrong, immoral and in violation of what a man or woman should do.
At this point, it would be a good idea in your research paper to pause and reflect on whether or not you personally agree with this. If it is a philosophy research paper, you may want to inject personal reflection; however, if it is for an ethics class, simply report what Kant is trying to say.