An in-depth look at the famous philosopher’s ideas on moral obligation.
This is a critical paper on Immanuel Kant’s notions of moral obligation. The author argues that Kant’s argument fails and thus his position has the effect of absolving people of all personal responsibility for the things they do.
Kant’s criterion of moral obligation, known as the categorical imperative, states: Act only on that maxim whereby thou canst at the same time will that it should become a universal law (367). Kant’s categorical imperative has often been interpreted to mean that it is always wrong to treat another person as simply a means to an end, rather than as an end-in-itself. In other words, Kant believes that one must show proper respect for other persons, simply a restatement of the Golden Rule, to treat others as one wishes to be treated.