Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Unit 4 (Deontology-part three) Assignment

Discussion Blog: 1st 3 students, why is freedom of the will so essential to Kant’s moral

philosophy?; 2nd 3 students, how could you, as an individual, help bring about Kant’s

“kingdom of ends”?; last 4 or so students, what sort of social/economic conditions would

need to exist in order for there to be a “kingdom of ends”?


  1. Kant states in the beginning of chapter three that there is no such thing as freedome of the will. That all rational beings do not have a free will, but a free will has to be pre supposed to allow us to make moral decisions. Freedom of the will is essential to Kants moral philosophy because without the freedom to make ones own choices based on their own will then the action would not have been done out of morality but simply a result of our "code". If we all made moral decisions because that was simply what we were suppose to do, then no one would be a morally good person. We would all simply be following the rules. Which isn't a terrible thing, to be someone who follows rules. But it doesn't mean you are a moral person who understands what is ethically right and good. "Now one cannot possibly think a reason that, in its own consciousness, would receive steering from elsewhere in regard to its judgments; for then the subject would ascribe the determination of its power of judgment not to its reason but to an impulse." Here Kant is answering this question for us. He states that if a person receives steering in their judgements, i.e. not acting with a free will but receiving direction from some outside source, then the act could not be claimed to be a result of that persons own morality or reason but the credit must go to something else.

    1. I think in one hand that Kant is correct when he talks about no one truly having freedom, only the idea of freedom. However, in the other hand I would argue that people do have partial freedom. Take for example a someone kills a person there could be no rationality of it if there only a preprogramed answer. Now in the same example if the person that was killed was a known murder or anything of the sort could be rationalized, in the sense that they would never cause problems for anyone anymore. I feel Kant is trying to show black and white to a gray filled world.

  2. Kant throughout the chapter three states there is no such thing as freedom of the will, and that all rational beings have a predesigned answer to all ethical issues. However, Kant argues freedom of will is essential to his morality. If all the rational beings are predesigned with their own morality there would be no such thing as owning your own actions because your action would result in only the presupposed answer. In this sense there would be no gray area inside of an issue; the person would only see the problem as right or wrong. He also states that the idea of freedom is good that people need to believe they are free otherwise can revolt in chaos. The idea of freedom is to help gain understand in to what ‘ought’ to be. The thought of what ‘ought’ to be is there to persuade someone in an action. “We ave ultimately traced the determined concept of morality to the idea of freedom; but we cannot prove this freedom as something actual,” in this statement Kant proves that throughout human history there is no proof of someone acting under their own consciousness without an influence of another being. There is also talk in this chapter of how people would if following this rule, that there is no freedom, would only work to help follow universal laws.

  3. I would have to agree with you that i feel Kant is partially correct in his thoughts on freedom (I figured I'd respond to your comment on my post and your post all at once :) while we are definitely pre programmed to do certain things when given a certain situation, there are those that break away from the mold. There have been and will always be people who see a different option than what society has tought us to believe. That's how slavery was abolished and women's rights were created among countless other strides in our civilization. It would be hard to argue that we are completely free to make our own choices even if you are not talking about the outlandish things such as being able to fly or breath under water. But simply being free to make whatever choice we would like within our natural abilities isn't exactly plausible either. We are all acting within our own little grey areas in our own little worlds. We're connected to our jobs, friends, families, commitments, and passions. But it would also be a bit of an overstatement to say we are not free at all but just supposing our own freedom.