Kant’s Approach to Ethics and the Issue of Suicide Essay

September 18, 2017 Philosophy

The Celebrated German philosopher. Immanuel Kant ( 1724-1804 ) was one of the most influential philosophers of the modern age. whose idea. with its accent on the topic. turned the wheels of western doctrine to a new synthesis of idealism and pragmatism in the signifier of transcendental philosophy. His ethical theory. developed in his reputed book The Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals. has to be taken along with the spirit of doctrine that enshrines his three Critiques whenever one attempts a review on ethical issues wish suicide as a gesture of amour propre. Body of the Essay ( Can suicide be ethical? )

Kant holds the theory of intrinsic morality based on the liberty of homo will. Good is good by itself. and the right is right by itself. It doesn’t depend upon the effects or effects of the action for a human action to be right or incorrect. Harmonizing to Kantian deontological theory of moralss. perpetrating self-destruction is incorrect and unacceptable from any position since it is an action that goes against the categorical jussive mood he proposed as the norm for ethical determinations. His Categorical Imperative runs therefore: “Act merely harmonizing to that axiom by which you can at the same clip will that it should go a cosmopolitan jurisprudence.

” ( Wolf Robert Paul ( erectile dysfunction ) Foundations of the Metaphysics of Ethical motives: text and critical essays. 1969. p. 44 ) . Each single topic should make up one’s mind for himself and move in such a manner that he wills that his axiom should be a cosmopolitan jurisprudence. ( Wolf. p. 21 ) . Let us now take up the issue of self-destruction. Suicide may be a personally-decided act. on selfish grounds. emotions or recommendations from physical state of affairss ( as in the instance of mercy killing ) . In whatever respects it may be. it goes against the Categorical Imperative. and therefore. it is inherently or per se incorrect to perpetrate it.

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Kant argues that perpetrating suicide out of amour propre is contrary to the categorical jussive mood because there is “a contradiction in a system of nature. whose jurisprudence would be to destruct life by the feeling whose particular office is to force the betterment of life. ” ( Wolf. p. 45 ) . Rather he thinks that the devastation of life is incompatible with its betterment and that nature ever chooses variety meats adapted to their intent ( p. 13 ) . so that nature couldn’t ( or wouldn’t? ) allow amour propre to be used in a manner contrary to its intent which is betterment and raising of life.

In conformity with Kant’s intrinsic morality. the categorical jussive mood besides supports a Practical Imperative. that one has to move so that one treats humanity. whether in his ain individual or in that of another. ever as an terminal in itself and ne’er as a means merely. ( Wolf. p. 54 ) . One has to esteem and back up one’s life because of the self-respect implied within. By self-respect. he means. “unconditional and uncomparable worth” ( Wolf. p. 61 ) . Kant supports this theory with his theory of incommensurability. which holds that moral virtuousness is boundlessly better than anything else.

From the position of human self-respect every bit good. self-destruction seems to be an indecent action for worlds. Decision For Kant. ground holds the supreme place ( as elaborated in Critique of Pure Reason ) . and moralss as scientific discipline. is non rooted in faith or metaphysics. but instead on the built-in worth of being. Hence. self-destruction is an unacceptable manner of action even from the position of amour propre. Love nourishes and does seldom destruct. And even when a spot of devastation is involved. it is merely to foster better that it destroys. Suicide is entire devastation without raising and therefore contradicts the really nature of amour propre.


Gregory. Mary ( erectile dysfunction ) ( 1998 ) Basis of the Metaphysics of Morals by Immanuel Kant. New York: Cambridge University Press Henson. Richards ( 1979 ) . “What Kant Might Have Said: Moral Worth and the Over-determination of Dutiful Action” . in Phil. Review. January. 1979. pp. 39-54 ) . Smith. Norman Kemp ( trans. ) ( 1965 ) Critique of Pure Reason. New York: St. Martin’s Press. Wolf. Robert Paul ( ed. ) ( 1969 ) Foundations of the Metaphysics of Ethical motives: text and critical essays. trans. . by Lewis White Beck. Capital of indiana: Bobbs-Merrill.


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