Morality According to Kant, Mill and King
A comparison of the ideas and perspectives on morality of Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill and Martin Luther King.
# 111856 | 2,049 words | 4 sources | APA | 2009 |
Published on Feb 01, 2009 in Philosophy (History - 20th Century) , Philosophy (History - 19th Century) , Philosophy (History - 18th Century)
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This paper discusses and contrasts three different viewpoints on morality, beginning with the narrowest one, that of German theologian Immanuel Kant, which is based on the belief that rationality is the formulating constant allowing for the assumption of absolute moral principles. The writer then applies this viewpoint to the consideration of the more nuanced ideas of John Stuart Mill and Dr. Martin Luther King who wrote concerning the practical association between moral behavior, rationality and the inherent role played by society and individuals in actualizing this correlation. The paper concludes that ideas on morality such as Kant's may well be the reason that individuals like King would be forced to fight and die for rational ends.
From the Paper:"Here then, we come to understand why Kant's assumptions are dangerous. They do not allow for the possibility that rationality may be formed not upon a shared recognition of the order of good and bad in the universe but upon some collective will with distinctly human ends. This is a subject which is clearly examined in the case of civil rights activist and American spiritual leader, Dr. Martin Luther King. A figure of central importance to the drive for equal rights and the abrogation of America's longstanding policies of intended racial disparity, he would draw upon both the moral and rational ideals which preceded his notoriety in the 1950s and 1960s in order to refute the rationale underlying Jim Crow. In his examination of a 'moral America,' King offers the debate on morality and rationality some refined insights."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Jackson, T.F. (2007). From Civil Rights to Human Rights. University of Pennsylvania Press.
- Kant, I. 1785. Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. Jonathan Bennett.
- Kurer, O. (1992). J.S. Mill and Utopian Socialism. The Economic Record, Vol. 68, No. 202.
- Miller, D.E. (2003). Mill's 'Socialism.' Politics, Philosophy and Economy.
Cite this Comparison Essay:
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