Read ch. 5 on Kant and watch Sandel’s Episode 6 (both halves), on Kant’s Groundwork. (Optional: watch Sandel’s Episode 7, Part One (first half of episode 7); it’s on lying, but we can skip this part of Kant). In your short essay, answer the following.
Explain how Kant’s moral law is like, and unlike, the “Golden Rule” (“Do unto others as you would have done unto you.”) How is it similar and how is it different? What does it mean? What does it imply or entail? What conclusions can you draw from this? Feel free to use examples from real life or imagined ones. For more information on check on this:
when you go on http://www.justiceharvard.org/watch/
the videos to watch are
Episode 06 Kant and Deontology (see ch. 5)
PART ONE: MIND YOUR MOTIVE
Professor Sandel introduces Immanuel Kant, a challenging but influential philosopher. Kant rejects utilitarianism. He argues that each of us has certain fundamental duties and rights that take precedence over maximizing utility. Kant rejects the notion that morality is about calculating consequences. When we act out of duty—doing something simply because it is right—only then do our actions have moral worth. Kant gives the example of a shopkeeper who passes up the chance to shortchange a customer only because his business might suffer if other customers found out. According to Kant, the shopkeeper’s action has no moral worth, because he did the right thing for the wrong reason.
PART TWO: THE SUPREME PRINCIPLE OF MORALITY
Immanuel Kant says that insofar as our actions have moral worth, what confers moral worth is our capacity to rise above self-interest and inclination and to act out of duty. Sandel tells the true story of a thirteen-year-old boy who won a spelling bee contest, but then admitted to the judges that he had, in fact, misspelled the final word. Using this story and others, Sandel explains Kant’s test for determining whether an action is morally right: to identify the principle expressed in our action and then ask whether that principle could ever become a universal law that every other human being could act on.
Episode 07 1) Kant on Lying (see ch. 5)
Part 1 – A LESSON IN LYING
Immanuel Kant believed that telling a lie, even a white lie, is a violation of one’s own dignity. Professor Sandel asks students to test Kant’s theory with this hypothetical case: if your friend were hiding inside your home, and a person intent on killing your friend came to your door and asked you where he was, would it be wrong to tell a lie? This leads to a video clip of one of the most famous, recent examples of dodging the truth: President Clinton talking about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. For more information on Immanuel Kant check on this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immanuel_Kant
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