Subject Philosophy General Philosophy


Two Questions on Kant

1. It is often said that many of the weaknesses of consequentialism are addressed by Kantian ethics and that many of the weaknesses of Kantian ethics are addressed by consequentialism. Explain.

2. What are the shortcomings of consequentialist and Kantian ethics for which virtue ethics and feminist ethics attempt to correct? How do virtue ethics and feminist ethics attempt to correct for them?

*Each question must be answered as briefly, accurately, and completely as possible
*Required readings are listed below.

1) Al Gini & Alexei Marcoux, The Ethics of Business: A Concise Introduction (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012). ISBN: 978-0742561625 2.

2) Russ Shafer-Landau, The Fundamentals of Ethics, 3rd edition (Oxford University Press, 2015). ISBN: 978-0199997237 3. Online Readings: Plato, Mill, Kant, and Aristotle

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Kant addresses weaknesses posed by a consequentialist ethical framework. To resolve the weaknesses of consequentialism, Kant avoids having to deal with whether a “bad act” can lead to a good outcome by simply ruthlessly emphasizing duty. For Kant, consequentialists distort morality by misconstruing a good consequence with poor moral judgment. For example, when the United States dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end the Second World War there intentions were wrong, but the consequences were good. This also points to a weakness in Kant’s arguments. Sometimes people are faced with difficult moral decisions where duty and the conditions of the categorical imperative seem to thwart good actions....

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