Immanuel Kant Biography

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Immanuel Kant was born in Prussia (Germany) in 1724 and was a major contributor to the study of Ethics. He was known as a philosopher and scientist and was also very involved in the study of mathematics, astrophysics, geography and anthropology. He also wrote about metaphysics, morality, science, politics, and free will. However, it was his study of ethics for which he is best known. Kant played a major role in developing the theory of deontology (duty). The deontological theory says people should adhere to their obligations and duties when analyzing an ethical dilemma. In other words, a person will follow his or her obligations to another individual or society because upholding one's duty is what is considered ethically correct. Utilitarianism seeks to maximize happiness and pleasure, regardless of the action taken to reach the desired state of pleasure. Deontology differs from the theory of utilitarianism in that the ends do not always justify the means – meaning there are some actions that are always wrong to engage in, regardless of it producing a positive result. According to deontology, an action should be taken without regard to the outcome or consequences of the action. It assumes that people are rational and decisions should lack emotion and any consideration of the consequences. The goal of deontology is to produce more consistent decisions based on an individual’s sense of obligation to others or society. It seems that deontology relies too heavily on the belief that humans are rational and that a person’s emotions, personal biases, or self-interest not be part of action taken. It makes no room for the gray area in life or consideration for the result of the action taken. It tries to dictate morality while also placing constraints on free will. It seems to be very Puritanical in its rigidity. In addition,…...

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