Chapter 6 Essay Questions

Chapter 6 Essay Questions


1.   Write an essay contrasting Kant’s approach to ethics with the consequentialist approach. Which approach do you think yields the better theory of morality, and why?


2.   Write an essay explaining Kant’s principle of humanity. State the principle clearly and define any key terms. Give examples to make clear how we are supposed to apply the principle. Does this principle provide a better test of the morality of actions than the principle of universalizability? Why or why not?


3.   Compare and contrast Kant’s principle of humanity with his principle of universalizability. Are there any cases where the two principles render conflicting verdicts about the moral status of an action? If so, do you think one of the principles could be revised to make them consistent? If not, why do you think that the principles will always agree?


4.   What does it mean to call something a categorical imperative? How do categorical imperatives differ from hypothetical imperatives? Which does Kant think are essential to morality? Do you agree with him about this? Why or why not?


5.   What does Kant mean by “acting from duty,” and how does it differ from acting merely in accordance with duty? Do you agree with Kant that actions have moral worth only if done from duty? Why or why not?

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