"Has been a lifesaver so many times!"
- Catherine Rampell, student @ University of Washington
"Exactly the help I needed."
- Jennifer Hawes, student @ San Jose State
"The best place for brainstorming ideas."
- Michael Majchrowicz, student @ University of Kentucky
There are two types of commands given by reason, the hypothetical and categorical imperatives.
Kant defines the hypothetical imperative as an action that must be done to justify a means or to reach a set
goal. The categorical imperative is an action that is done because of itís necessity to morality. Quoting Kant
"Act as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will a general natural law." So a
categorical imperative is an action could be interpreted as a moral law at any time in that particular act or
circumstance. For example, if I were a female, not only a female but, a female 1-900 telephone operator I
would come across two scenarios. I get a call and am expected to fulfill the man\'s fantasies of being this
beautiful woman on the phone. Unfortunately I am a 300lb blind paraplegic woman. In order to keep this
guy on the line and to keep my job I lie about my physical features and character. This is an example of
hypothetical imperative, my actions have helpe!
d me achieve my goal which was to keep this guy on the line spending money and keeping my job with no
significant damage to anyone. If I were however to obtain this job and tell the man the truth about my
physical features, my actions would fall under categorical imperative. The man would surely hang up and
eventually I would lose my job, this imperative would however help me obtain a greater inner moral worth.
Both imperatives have great use in our society but do understand that categorical imperative must prevail.
If we were to use the general natural law theory with hypothetical imperative, lying(deception) would be a
norm, and society would fail. Hypothetical imperative is acceptable but only in certain situations.
View Full Essay
Kantianism, Categorical imperative, Hypothetical imperative, Maxim, Immanuel Kant, Imperative mood, Will, Morality, Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, Moral imperative
More Free Essays Like This