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<title>Kant's categorical imperative</title></titleStmt>

<publicationStmt><distributor>BASE and Oxford Text Archive</distributor>


<availability><p>The British Academic Spoken English (BASE) corpus was developed at the

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The recordings and transcriptions used in this study come from the British

Academic Spoken English (BASE) corpus, which was developed at the

Universities of Warwick and Reading under the directorship of Hilary Nesi

(Warwick) and Paul Thompson (Reading). Corpus development was assisted by

funding from the Universities of Warwick and Reading, BALEAP, EURALEX, the

British Academy and the Arts and Humanities Research Board. </p></availability>




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<u who="nm0182"> # last time as you know that # <pause dur="0.4"/> # tape recorder broke down <pause dur="0.2"/> i've in fact done a rerecording rather swiftly last night for anyone who did miss the lecture <pause dur="0.3"/> and needs to make use of that material <pause dur="0.6"/> # but it # <pause dur="0.3"/> it is now in S-R-C <pause dur="0.9"/> # somebody said could i put in a box available <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="0.8"/> the # O-H-Ps that i've been using well i've put # # # copies from which i've copied O-H-Ps <pause dur="0.4"/> in the box in the philosophy common room <pause dur="0.7"/> and somebody else was saying what about our essays <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="0.2"/> to which the answer is yes <pause dur="0.2"/> what about your essays indeed <pause dur="0.4"/> # i'll hope to be able to let you have them <pause dur="0.2"/> # next week <pause dur="1.7"/> # right <pause dur="1.0"/> now we said today that we'd talk <pause dur="0.2"/> about Kant <pause dur="1.4"/> in considering the three <pause dur="0.3"/> dominant strands of ethical thinking <pause dur="0.2"/> that emerged out of the break-up of the medieval synthesis <pause dur="0.9"/> i've sketched the appeal to pleasure <pause dur="1.1"/> with particular reference to utilitarianism <pause dur="1.4"/> # from # from Bentham onwards <pause dur="0.7"/> and last time i was talking about the appeal to moral insight <pause dur="0.3"/> from Butler's <pause dur="0.3"/> conscience <pause dur="0.4"/> to twentieth century <pause dur="0.2"/> intuitionism <pause dur="0.9"/> and there

remains <pause dur="0.4"/> the appeal <pause dur="0.2"/> to law <pause dur="1.8"/> now first let's get some <pause dur="0.5"/> quite proper objections out of the way <pause dur="1.7"/> there are well known objections to conceiving of morality in terms of law <pause dur="1.5"/> it's misleading <pause dur="0.2"/> to compare <pause dur="1.7"/> # morality <pause dur="0.2"/> or moral laws with laws of nature <pause dur="0.9"/> because we no longer believe <pause dur="0.4"/> that the stars and <pause dur="0.3"/> other such bodies being subject to the laws of nature <pause dur="0.3"/> we no longer believe they're animate <pause dur="0.5"/> bodies <pause dur="0.9"/> # or animate beings who consent <pause dur="0.2"/> to obey <pause dur="1.2"/> their instructions <pause dur="2.3"/> it's also misleading <pause dur="0.8"/> to compare <pause dur="0.3"/> morality with <pause dur="0.2"/> the product of legislation <pause dur="0.4"/> since as we saw in an earlier lecture <pause dur="0.8"/> an act can be immoral <pause dur="0.2"/> without being illegal <pause dur="0.7"/> or may of course require <pause dur="0.2"/> what our conscience condemns <pause dur="1.6"/> and perhaps more important <pause dur="0.3"/> than all these <pause dur="0.7"/> legalisms it's sometimes called <pause dur="0.6"/> is a term for a recognized moral failing <pause dur="1.4"/> the scrupulous legalist <pause dur="0.4"/> will <pause dur="0.2"/> go to absurd lengths <pause dur="0.4"/> in fulfilling commandments to the letter <pause dur="1.2"/> # and the lax one <pause dur="0.6"/> will take advantage of every possible <pause dur="0.2"/> loophole <pause dur="0.5"/> and indeed <pause dur="0.2"/> the legalist may show both traits together <pause dur="1.2"/> and

the fault of course lies precisely <pause dur="0.7"/> in the fact that duties are interpreted as if <pause dur="0.7"/> they consisted in obedience <pause dur="0.4"/> to a fixed <pause dur="0.2"/> and all sufficient <pause dur="0.2"/> code <pause dur="0.6"/> and as many of you will know the New Testament <pause dur="0.3"/> is <trunc>no</trunc> <pause dur="0.4"/> # notably severe <pause dur="0.6"/> on this sort of approach <pause dur="2.7"/> and <pause dur="0.3"/> another objection <pause dur="0.6"/> moral rules can conflict in particular situations <pause dur="0.4"/> we've already seen that <pause dur="1.4"/> and then of course one has to look if one's # <pause dur="0.4"/> thinking of morality in terms of rules or laws <pause dur="0.3"/> one needs to look for further rules to decide which to set aside <pause dur="1.1"/> and the resultant <trunc>elib</trunc> elaboration can get <pause dur="0.4"/> # very unrealistic <pause dur="0.7"/> and that incidentally is part of the attraction of something we've come across before and i'll raise again with you <pause dur="0.2"/> particularism <pause dur="0.6"/> sometimes called situation ethics where you don't look for rules or laws at all you say let's look to each particular case <pause dur="1.7"/> and the final objection that i'm just going to touch on <pause dur="0.6"/> if morality is wholly dependent <pause dur="0.2"/> upon a set of <pause dur="0.2"/> rules <pause dur="1.1"/> or laws <pause dur="0.7"/> it becomes difficult to describe those who live by very

different codes from our own <pause dur="0.3"/> as <pause dur="0.2"/> moral <pause dur="0.2"/> or morally good <pause dur="0.6"/> but of course <pause dur="0.5"/> right from the beginning people are seen as the sophists saw <pause dur="0.5"/> that even quite alien and by our <pause dur="0.2"/> # light misguided codes <pause dur="0.5"/> may foster <pause dur="0.2"/> distinctive forms of virtue <pause dur="0.6"/> which perhaps are worthy of respect <pause dur="0.8"/> and certainly not just to be dismissed as moral errors committed in good faith <pause dur="1.8"/> so there are all those objections <pause dur="0.3"/> to thinking of morality in terms of law <pause dur="0.8"/> and for present purposes <pause dur="0.3"/> i'll accept them all <pause dur="1.0"/> right <pause dur="1.1"/> but <pause dur="0.4"/> even if we accept all this <pause dur="0.8"/> there is <pause dur="0.2"/> something i've left out there's one very important feature of moral judgements <pause dur="0.6"/> that thinking of morality in terms of law <pause dur="0.6"/> helps to bring out <pause dur="1.2"/> and this very general feature <pause dur="0.2"/> makes difficulties for what i've called moral <pause dur="0.2"/> particularism <pause dur="1.3"/> and the point is this <pause dur="1.1"/> just as laws <pause dur="0.2"/> are of universal <pause dur="0.4"/> application <pause dur="2.1"/> they enjoin <pause dur="0.3"/> conduct of a certain type in all circumstances of a certain type <pause dur="1.2"/> so <pause dur="0.4"/> moral judgements appear <pause dur="0.3"/> to have a universalist <pause dur="0.3"/> element <pause dur="2.1"/> and i think i can present the

argument like this <pause dur="1.5"/> whenever we make <pause dur="0.5"/> whenever we make a moral judgement <pause dur="0.8"/> about <pause dur="0.3"/> for example <pause dur="0.4"/><kinesic desc="turns on overhead projector showing transparency" iterated="n"/> an act <pause dur="4.8"/><event desc="covers part of transparency" iterated="n"/> whenever we make <pause dur="0.2"/> a moral judgement <pause dur="0.3"/> # about something an act for example <pause dur="1.0"/> and this differentiated from just telling someone what to do <pause dur="0.3"/> issuing an imperative <pause dur="0.7"/> whenever we make a moral judgement about something call it an act <pause dur="0.4"/> we must make it <pause dur="0.4"/> because of something <pause dur="0.2"/> about <pause dur="0.4"/> the act <pause dur="0.7"/> the focus isn't right is it <pause dur="2.2"/><event desc="adjusts overhead projector" iterated="n"/> that's better <pause dur="1.8"/> # <pause dur="0.3"/> <vocal desc="clears throat" iterated="n"/><pause dur="1.8"/> and then it always makes sense to ask <pause dur="0.2"/> what this something is what is it about it <pause dur="0.9"/> that <pause dur="0.7"/> justifies that moral judgement <pause dur="1.0"/> now it may be difficult to put into words <pause dur="0.3"/> but <pause dur="0.3"/> in making a moral judgement <pause dur="0.2"/> rather than just saying do this <pause dur="0.5"/> you're saying that there's a reason <pause dur="1.6"/> now this feature of moral judgement as i say differentiates it just from simple <pause dur="0.2"/> commands simple imperatives <pause dur="1.1"/> so to every particular moral judgement <pause dur="0.8"/> it would appear <pause dur="0.6"/> there corresponds a universal judgement <pause dur="0.5"/> to the effect <pause dur="0.2"/> that a certain feature of the thing judged is <pause dur="0.6"/> so far as it goes <pause dur="0.4"/> a reason for making <pause dur="1.3"/> a

certain judgement <pause dur="0.2"/> about it <pause dur="1.7"/> now that's an argument and i've put it up there <kinesic desc="indicates screen" iterated="n"/> which <pause dur="0.3"/> <trunc>e</trunc> what with i'm calling for the moment universalists accept or universalism in morals <pause dur="0.6"/> universalists accept <pause dur="0.4"/> and particularists reject <pause dur="0.3"/> this argument <pause dur="2.1"/> let's just take it a little further give you an example <pause dur="0.2"/><vocal desc="clears throat" iterated="n"/><pause dur="0.9"/> if i say that a particular act is good <pause dur="0.7"/> because oh i don't know <pause dur="0.3"/> # suppose we say because it's the act of <pause dur="0.2"/> helping a blind person across a road <pause dur="2.0"/> then <pause dur="0.2"/> i seem to be adhering to the universal judgement <pause dur="0.7"/> that it's good <pause dur="0.8"/> to help blind people across roads <pause dur="0.4"/> # assuming they desire our assistance <pause dur="0.8"/> # assuming that # you know <pause dur="0.3"/> they're not horribly lost and in fact <pause dur="0.2"/> they their destination is this side of the road <pause dur="0.3"/> all those other things <pause dur="0.4"/> if <pause dur="0.2"/> they desire properly our assistance then it's good to help blind people across roads appears to be the universal judgement <pause dur="0.5"/> that <pause dur="0.2"/> lies behind <pause dur="0.4"/> that was a good act <pause dur="0.2"/> because it was helping him across the road <pause dur="1.6"/> and that <pause dur="0.7"/> that universal judgement <pause dur="0.2"/> appears to be there <pause dur="0.7"/> we're not just

talking about this particular person across this particular road <pause dur="1.5"/> so i say the people who accept that sort of example <pause dur="0.7"/> i can call for the present purposes universalists <pause dur="0.5"/> and particularists <pause dur="0.5"/> will reject it <pause dur="1.6"/> now a universalist <pause dur="0.4"/> is not committed to the view <pause dur="0.2"/> that it's a good act to help blind people across roads <pause dur="0.2"/> on all occasions <pause dur="0.5"/> just because it is on this <pause dur="0.8"/> you can find all sorts of circumstances under which it would not be <pause dur="0.2"/> obviously <pause dur="1.1"/> the universalist is only committed to the view that it would be a good act <pause dur="0.4"/> in the absence of something to make a difference <pause dur="0.4"/> from this one <pause dur="1.4"/> something more than the mere fact <pause dur="0.4"/> that it is different <pause dur="2.5"/> now <pause dur="0.6"/> this <pause dur="0.5"/> if you accept that <pause dur="1.4"/> this general feature of moral judgements <pause dur="1.2"/> can be used for interesting purposes <pause dur="0.4"/> and Kant effectively did accept it <pause dur="2.7"/> Kant <pause dur="0.4"/> provided # used this general feature of moral judgements <pause dur="0.4"/> to provide a test <pause dur="0.8"/> for <pause dur="0.2"/> the validity <pause dur="0.4"/> of particular <pause dur="0.4"/> moral judgements <pause dur="1.1"/><kinesic desc="reveals covered part of transparency" iterated="n"/> and so as one might say <pause dur="0.9"/> # <pause dur="0.2"/> Kant <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.5"/><vocal desc="clears throat" iterated="n"/> <pause dur="0.2"/> <trunc>pr</trunc> uses the general form of moral judgements as i've

just sketched them up there <pause dur="0.5"/> to provide <pause dur="0.3"/> a test #<pause dur="0.6"/> for their proper <pause dur="0.6"/> content <pause dur="3.2"/> and from this ethical premise about the nature of moral judgements <pause dur="0.6"/> he drew <pause dur="1.1"/> a moral conclusion <pause dur="1.5"/> and the general form of that moral conclusion <pause dur="0.5"/> he laid out <pause dur="0.3"/> in what he called his categorical imperative <pause dur="0.4"/> which has various versions i'll just give you <pause dur="0.4"/><kinesic desc="reveals covered part of transparency" iterated="n"/> perhaps <pause dur="0.4"/> the <pause dur="0.3"/> most important one <pause dur="1.6"/> Kant's categorical imperative <pause dur="0.5"/> <reading>act only on that maxim <pause dur="0.8"/> through which you can at the same time will <pause dur="0.5"/> that it should become <pause dur="0.3"/> a universal <pause dur="0.2"/> law</reading> <pause dur="8.9"/> and of course <pause dur="0.7"/> as you will see it's a <pause dur="0.2"/> rather formal way of putting it <pause dur="0.6"/> but it has much in common with something that's not formal at all the famous golden rule <pause dur="1.0"/> # <pause dur="0.2"/> do unto others <pause dur="0.2"/> as you would they did unto you <pause dur="4.9"/> now <pause dur="0.7"/> there seems to be at least <pause dur="0.4"/> a tolerable plausibility <pause dur="1.2"/> in terms of widespread intuitions <pause dur="1.0"/> # for it seems a reasonable plausibility for regarding this <pause dur="0.2"/> as the <pause dur="0.6"/> a anyhow <pause dur="0.2"/> foundation stone <pause dur="0.3"/> of morality <pause dur="1.5"/> it is a powerful argument in many cases <pause dur="0.7"/> if a person is contemplating some <pause dur="0.5"/> act <pause dur="1.3"/> to ask <pause dur="0.2"/> her

or him <pause dur="0.2"/> what it is about the act <pause dur="0.2"/> which makes them call it <pause dur="0.4"/> right <pause dur="0.7"/> and whether if some other act <pause dur="0.2"/> possessed those same features <pause dur="0.7"/> but their own role in it <pause dur="0.2"/> were different <pause dur="1.4"/> would <pause dur="0.5"/> she or he judge <pause dur="0.2"/> in the same way <pause dur="3.6"/> of course <pause dur="0.2"/> whether or not they would still prefer to act in this way remains a matter about which <pause dur="0.2"/> they <pause dur="0.3"/> may still have to make up their minds <pause dur="1.2"/> though one might still distinguish between silly and sensible choices <pause dur="0.6"/> so there's still freedom of moral decision <pause dur="0.4"/> and action <pause dur="1.0"/> but it's not irrelevant <pause dur="0.9"/> to ask the question <pause dur="1.0"/> what if the roles <pause dur="0.3"/> were reversed <pause dur="5.3"/> now <pause dur="1.0"/> this <pause dur="0.3"/> universalist <pause dur="0.5"/> feature <pause dur="0.7"/> of moral judgements <pause dur="2.5"/> # # does though it does as i say embody a <pause dur="1.2"/> central feature <pause dur="0.6"/> of laws in general <pause dur="1.9"/> is not what <pause dur="0.2"/> is usually being pointed to when people talk about laws of nature <pause dur="0.3"/> so he's not talking about laws of nature <pause dur="0.2"/> for reasons i'll explain shortly he's talking about what he calls laws of freedom <pause dur="2.1"/> Kant didn't think of himself as working out laws of nature <pause dur="1.9"/> he <pause dur="0.3"/> sees these as a function not of the way that

nature has to go <pause dur="0.4"/> but of what we are free <pause dur="0.7"/> to <pause dur="0.3"/> act on <pause dur="0.2"/> so he calls them laws of freedom <pause dur="0.8"/> obscure terminology and i'll explain it a bit <pause dur="4.9"/> now i think to explain it i just need to go back slightly <pause dur="1.3"/> one one of the criticisms that i <pause dur="0.7"/> raised <pause dur="0.2"/> a few minutes ago <pause dur="0.8"/> # to thinking of morality in terms of law <pause dur="1.4"/> is that it's misleading <pause dur="0.3"/> to compare morality <pause dur="0.5"/> to a law of nature in the scientific sense <pause dur="1.3"/> for we no longer suppose <pause dur="0.4"/> that <pause dur="0.7"/> various items stones stars various bodies <pause dur="0.3"/> we no longer think of them <pause dur="0.5"/> as in some sense animate beings <pause dur="0.6"/> who consent to obey their instructions <pause dur="0.5"/> and of course in days when people thought of the order of nature <pause dur="0.3"/> as following the orders of a divine lawgiver <pause dur="0.4"/> who was also the source of the moral law <pause dur="0.6"/> then that analogy made a lot of sense <pause dur="1.8"/> human beings on that traditional account <pause dur="0.6"/> were unlike the rest of the created order <pause dur="1.2"/> in that <pause dur="0.2"/> # <pause dur="0.5"/> we were given freedom to choose <pause dur="0.4"/> whether or not <pause dur="0.2"/> to obey <pause dur="0.2"/> the divine laws <pause dur="0.6"/> whereas the rest of creation <pause dur="0.6"/> has no choice <pause dur="2.0"/> in this freedom <pause dur="0.8"/> lies the

possibility of morality <pause dur="0.2"/> and hence of virtue <pause dur="0.9"/> for virtue <pause dur="0.9"/> virtue lies in freely <pause dur="0.4"/> obeying <pause dur="0.4"/> the laws of God <pause dur="2.6"/> and so <pause dur="0.2"/> for men <pause dur="0.4"/> the law of God is seen <pause dur="0.3"/> under the aspect of a moral law <pause dur="0.9"/> whereas for the rest of creation <pause dur="0.2"/> law is a matter of necessity <pause dur="0.3"/> i take it that model is fairly familiar to you think of <pause dur="0.8"/> the whole universe is under the law of God <pause dur="0.5"/> what distinguishes human beings from the rest of creation we have some or do we have free will <pause dur="0.2"/> so we can decide <pause dur="0.3"/> in within a restricted range <pause dur="0.2"/> whether to set ourselves within or outside the law of God not completely <pause dur="0.2"/> we can't defy the law of gravity or if we do we'll end up with broken bones or death <pause dur="0.4"/> but there are certain <pause dur="0.2"/> moral laws <pause dur="0.2"/> that we can defy <pause dur="0.4"/> and if we do <pause dur="0.2"/> that's what's called sin <pause dur="0.6"/> and we have freedom to sin that that model is familiar <pause dur="0.3"/> talking about the moral law as giving <pause dur="0.3"/> the laws which are made possible by human freedom <pause dur="0.9"/> makes a form of sense <pause dur="0.2"/> in that framework <pause dur="2.0"/> # <pause dur="0.8"/> now <pause dur="0.8"/> since Newton <pause dur="1.5"/> # we've not <pause dur="0.5"/> really thought <pause dur="0.2"/> of laws of nature in

this way <pause dur="2.8"/> science <pause dur="0.4"/> has become independent <pause dur="0.3"/> of religion and of theology <pause dur="1.9"/> we tend to think of scientific laws of nature now much more as a matter of statistical regularities <pause dur="1.4"/> and i think what we see in Kant <pause dur="0.9"/> is perhaps <pause dur="3.4"/> an attempt to salvage what can be salvaged of the general picture i've just sketched <pause dur="1.3"/> # that general picture of morality as embodying laws of freedom <pause dur="0.5"/> what can you salvage from that when the old prescientific notion of a law of nature <pause dur="0.5"/> in terms of obedience to orders <pause dur="0.3"/> has disappeared <pause dur="0.5"/> how can you do this <pause dur="0.6"/> how can you <trunc>s</trunc> how can you to what extent can you salvage this <pause dur="0.4"/> without theological <pause dur="0.5"/> premises <pause dur="1.2"/> and that's really what Kant's trying to do <pause dur="0.7"/> and <pause dur="0.4"/> i think the argument <pause dur="0.4"/> can be reasonably displayed like this <pause dur="3.1"/> there were two <pause dur="1.5"/> quite closely connected <pause dur="0.6"/> differences <pause dur="0.8"/> between <pause dur="0.3"/> moral laws <pause dur="0.5"/> and laws <pause dur="0.5"/> of nature <pause dur="1.7"/> one difference plainly is <pause dur="0.2"/> our subjectivity <pause dur="1.6"/> # we have a subjective sense of obligation to obey moral laws <pause dur="1.2"/> but none <pause dur="0.8"/> to obey <pause dur="0.3"/> laws <pause dur="0.2"/> of nature <pause dur="1.0"/> we don't feel any moral obligation <pause dur="0.4"/> to obey the law

of gravitation <pause dur="0.5"/> # if we can <pause dur="0.8"/> # get round it in some way or another <pause dur="1.0"/> perhaps by <pause dur="0.2"/> flying <pause dur="0.3"/> then <pause dur="0.2"/> we have no qualms about doing so <pause dur="0.3"/> of any moral sort <pause dur="2.7"/> so that's one obvious difference <pause dur="1.3"/> # we have a subjective sense of obligation to obey moral laws but none <pause dur="0.8"/> natural laws <pause dur="0.8"/> and second <pause dur="1.2"/> moral laws <pause dur="0.5"/> have <pause dur="0.4"/> what is sometimes called a prescriptive <pause dur="0.9"/> a practical import that is <pause dur="0.3"/> they tell us what to do <pause dur="1.3"/> in contrast to laws of nature <pause dur="0.7"/> which are purely theoretical or descriptive <pause dur="0.8"/> they tell us <pause dur="0.9"/> how things are <pause dur="0.5"/> they tell us <pause dur="0.3"/> what is the case <pause dur="3.3"/><kinesic desc="reveals covered part of transparency" iterated="n"/> human beings then <pause dur="0.4"/> are unusual <pause dur="0.3"/> perhaps unique <pause dur="0.7"/> in that they are subject both to natural laws which tell us how things are and you express in the <pause dur="0.3"/> indicative <pause dur="0.2"/> # grammatically <pause dur="0.5"/> # indicative mood # <pause dur="0.7"/> how things are <pause dur="1.0"/> but we're also subject <pause dur="0.2"/> on this account to moral laws <pause dur="0.3"/> which tell us <pause dur="0.2"/> what to do <pause dur="0.8"/> prescribe actions <pause dur="0.7"/> are imperatival <pause dur="5.1"/> in other words we're both physical organisms and rational agents <pause dur="0.9"/> we're half animal half angel if you like <pause dur="1.0"/> we're half sensual <pause dur="0.2"/> half rational <pause dur="2.2"/> the way we act <pause dur="0.7"/> reflects <pause dur="0.6"/>

this <pause dur="0.2"/> predicament <pause dur="0.7"/> often our <pause dur="0.3"/> sensual nature <pause dur="1.3"/> our <pause dur="0.4"/> glands and so on pull us one way <pause dur="0.6"/> and our rational nature <pause dur="0.6"/> another <pause dur="1.4"/> and the tug of war <pause dur="1.2"/> sometimes goes one way <pause dur="0.2"/> sometimes another <pause dur="0.8"/> you know you ought to get out of bed <pause dur="0.8"/> and you don't <vocal desc="laugh" iterated="n"/><pause dur="0.3"/> right <pause dur="0.7"/> you know you ought to get out of bed <pause dur="0.7"/> and you do <pause dur="1.2"/> who's to tell in advance which will work <pause dur="2.0"/><vocal desc="clears throat" iterated="n"/> <pause dur="0.9"/> we're tempted when our desires conflict <pause dur="0.2"/> with what we believe we ought to do <pause dur="0.7"/> sometimes we resist <pause dur="0.6"/> temptation <pause dur="0.4"/> sometimes <pause dur="0.5"/> we succumb <pause dur="0.8"/> sometimes no doubt we succumb with finesse <pause dur="2.4"/> of course sometimes perhaps there's no conflict <pause dur="0.9"/> we may want to do something <pause dur="0.8"/> our consciences may not object either way <pause dur="1.0"/> or indeed we may think we ought to do something and our desires raise no difficulty <pause dur="2.1"/> so <pause dur="0.9"/> # what one might call sensuous impulses <pause dur="0.4"/> are the determining factor in many of our actions <pause dur="1.1"/> and here to use the language of <pause dur="0.2"/> David Hume <pause dur="0.5"/> # reason is the slave of the passions we use our reason <pause dur="0.2"/> to help us get what we want <pause dur="0.7"/> of course <pause dur="1.0"/> but <pause dur="0.2"/> on this account <pause dur="0.8"/> that isn't the only <pause dur="0.5"/> part <pause dur="0.2"/> of the

story <pause dur="0.9"/> because in moral actions reason plays a different role <pause dur="0.8"/> leading <pause dur="0.3"/> rather than following <pause dur="0.9"/> we perform these actions not for some further <pause dur="0.3"/> end given by our <pause dur="0.7"/> bodily desires <pause dur="0.8"/> but simply because of the principal <pause dur="0.6"/> they embody <pause dur="1.4"/> the moral worth <pause dur="0.4"/> of an action on this account and i quote now from Kant <pause dur="0.6"/> lies <reading>not in the purpose to be attained by it <pause dur="1.6"/><kinesic desc="reveals covered part of transparency" iterated="n"/> but <pause dur="0.9"/> in the maxim in accordance with which <pause dur="0.2"/> it is decided on</reading> <pause dur="1.9"/> # where we're governed by our <pause dur="0.3"/> bodily desires <pause dur="0.2"/> we have an aim <pause dur="0.5"/> we have a purpose <trunc>give</trunc> beset by that desire <pause dur="0.4"/> and # we judge <pause dur="0.2"/> the satisfactoriness or not of our action by whether it gets us closer to that desire fine that's a a moral that <pause dur="0.3"/> we're all familiar with <pause dur="0.3"/> but not all the time <pause dur="0.9"/> # the moral worth as distinct from the <pause dur="0.6"/> other forms of worth <pause dur="0.3"/> the moral worth for Kant <pause dur="0.3"/> of an action <pause dur="0.2"/> lies not <pause dur="1.0"/> in its further consequences <pause dur="0.6"/> but <pause dur="0.3"/> in the maxim or the principle <pause dur="0.4"/> in accordance with which <pause dur="0.4"/> the action <pause dur="0.4"/> is decided <pause dur="0.4"/> on <pause dur="1.7"/> # <pause dur="1.0"/> <trunc>a</trunc> and it needs to be of course for it to be morally worthy <pause dur="0.2"/> a maxim go back to the

categorical imperative <pause dur="1.0"/> a maxim <pause dur="0.3"/> which you can will <pause dur="0.4"/> that it should become <pause dur="0.5"/> universal <pause dur="5.1"/> let's explain this further <pause dur="4.1"/> Kant held <pause dur="0.6"/> and it seems on the face of it <pause dur="0.2"/> not unreasonable <pause dur="1.0"/> that the starting point <pause dur="0.4"/> of <pause dur="0.2"/> moral philosophy <pause dur="1.0"/> must be the ordinary deliverances of <pause dur="1.1"/> our moral understanding <pause dur="1.7"/> uncorrupted preferably by philosophy so far as that's possible <pause dur="1.9"/> otherwise the danger is <pause dur="0.3"/> that what will be studied won't be morality but something else <pause dur="0.9"/> probably a construction of the thinker's own invention start with what you actually recognize in your own experience <pause dur="1.4"/> well <pause dur="1.3"/> at a very <pause dur="0.2"/> commonsensical level how do we <pause dur="0.6"/> ordinarily distinguish <pause dur="0.6"/> moral <pause dur="0.5"/> precepts <pause dur="0.2"/> from other ones <pause dur="2.4"/> well according to Kant we normally distinguish them <pause dur="1.1"/> # from precepts <pause dur="0.3"/> which are designed to promote our pleasure or our advantage we say if that may bring me pleasure that may bring me advantage but is it right <pause dur="0.3"/> we say we can separate them out <pause dur="0.3"/> right <pause dur="3.7"/> just because <pause dur="0.3"/> an action brings about something we want <pause dur="0.8"/> doesn't show that it's moral

again i'm talking at the level of common sense at the moment we distinguish between <pause dur="0.5"/> a moral considerations <pause dur="0.4"/> and these other ones <pause dur="0.8"/> associated with <pause dur="0.5"/> Watts <pause dur="0.5"/> and you can see that in making this move <pause dur="0.2"/> i'm already beginning to move away from certain forms of utilitarianism <pause dur="5.6"/> when <pause dur="0.8"/> we think of precepts which are designed to promote our pleasure or our advantage to bring about something we want <pause dur="1.6"/> we normally say well <pause dur="0.2"/> do this <pause dur="0.2"/> if <pause dur="0.2"/> you have that <pause dur="0.7"/> goal <pause dur="0.2"/> in mind <pause dur="1.2"/> yeah <pause dur="0.6"/> if you want <pause dur="0.2"/> to be rich <pause dur="1.3"/> then <pause dur="0.6"/> follow this <pause dur="0.3"/> regimen <pause dur="2.4"/> if you <pause dur="1.0"/> want that form of pleasure <pause dur="0.2"/> then <pause dur="0.2"/> do this <pause dur="0.3"/> and so on <pause dur="1.8"/> these are <pause dur="1.0"/> these do thises <pause dur="0.5"/> are imperatives but they're hypothetical imperatives <pause dur="0.2"/> i've touched on this earlier this term <pause dur="0.3"/> a hypothetical imperative is one that's governed by an if clause <pause dur="0.3"/> if you want to do something <pause dur="0.3"/> then <pause dur="0.7"/> do X <pause dur="0.5"/> right that's a hypothetical imperative <pause dur="0.9"/> and <pause dur="0.2"/> where # the <trunc>hypo</trunc> where the hypothesis comes from relates to your desires or your wants or whatever <pause dur="0.3"/> and these may be given <pause dur="0.3"/> indeed by <pause dur="0.3"/> # your <trunc>s</trunc> # by by your # bodily <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.6"/> # pressures <pause dur="7.3"/> press the switch <pause dur="0.2"/> if you want the light to go on <pause dur="1.1"/> you ought to earn some money <pause dur="0.2"/> if you want to get on in life <pause dur="0.9"/>

okay <pause dur="1.9"/> Kant's point is <pause dur="0.3"/> that whilst <pause dur="0.3"/> <trunc>a</trunc> as a matter of practical reason <pause dur="1.1"/> these are perfectly acceptable and we use them all the time of course <pause dur="0.3"/> they're not moral reasons <pause dur="2.4"/> not to say they're wrong but they're just not moral ones <pause dur="0.7"/> in distinctively moral situations these sorts of hypotheticals are out of place <pause dur="2.6"/> in a moral situation we say you or possibly i <pause dur="0.4"/> ought <pause dur="0.2"/> or ought not to do such and such <pause dur="1.0"/> and not <pause dur="1.3"/> if you want X or Y <pause dur="1.1"/> but rather <pause dur="0.2"/> there's no reason of that sort you just ought <pause dur="0.8"/> and this there's no reason <pause dur="0.3"/> is designed <pause dur="0.2"/> to <pause dur="0.2"/> exclude these sorts of appeals <pause dur="0.4"/> to consequences <pause dur="1.2"/> so <pause dur="0.3"/> common sense reflection <pause dur="0.9"/> uncorrupted by philosophy <pause dur="0.4"/> it is suggested <pause dur="0.7"/> indicates <pause dur="0.3"/> that duty <pause dur="0.4"/> is distinct <pause dur="0.2"/> from pleasure <pause dur="0.2"/> or indeed utility <pause dur="2.4"/> further Kant thinks <pause dur="0.5"/> that <pause dur="1.0"/> # <pause dur="0.5"/> being prepared to follow the dictates of <pause dur="0.2"/> morality as so understood <pause dur="0.9"/> being prepared to do what you know you ought to do <pause dur="0.9"/> moral virtue <pause dur="0.4"/> or what he calls good will <pause dur="0.9"/> what's sometimes called <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="0.2"/> conscientiousness that is acting out of a recognition of duty <pause dur="1.0"/> according to Kant <pause dur="0.8"/>

being prepared to do that having a good will <pause dur="0.3"/> being prepared to and actually acting <pause dur="0.5"/> out of a recognition of <pause dur="0.3"/> what is your duty <pause dur="0.8"/> is <pause dur="0.5"/> in a a very important sense <pause dur="0.2"/> for Kant <pause dur="0.2"/> the supreme good <pause dur="1.8"/> to which everything else <pause dur="1.2"/> is to be <pause dur="0.6"/><kinesic desc="reveals covered part of transparency" iterated="n"/> subordinated <pause dur="1.6"/> so on this account <pause dur="1.3"/> the highest good is that of the good will <pause dur="0.8"/> which seeks to act according to the dictates <pause dur="0.5"/> of the moral law <pause dur="1.2"/> that is not to say that doing that doesn't have consequences <pause dur="0.5"/> of course everything that you do has consequences <pause dur="0.9"/> but the sort of effect or the reward of virtue <pause dur="1.2"/> is not <pause dur="0.3"/> happiness <pause dur="1.3"/> as # <pause dur="0.8"/> # <pause dur="0.2"/> <vocal desc="clears throat" iterated="n"/> <pause dur="0.3"/> Aristotle said a long time ago <pause dur="0.7"/> he who says <pause dur="0.2"/> that a man is happy if only he be good <pause dur="1.1"/> even when he's being tortured on the rack <pause dur="0.3"/> is talking nonsense whether he knows it or not <pause dur="0.8"/> it may be that someone resisting their torturers because they know they <pause dur="0.2"/> it is their duty to # keep faith with their comrades <pause dur="0.3"/> may be doing what they believe to be or even know to be the right thing <pause dur="0.8"/> is not to say that that's giving them happiness <pause dur="0.5"/> <shift feature="voice" new="laugh"/>it may not at

all <pause dur="0.4"/> it may give them <shift feature="voice" new="normal"/><pause dur="0.3"/> the reverse of anything that could be plausibly called happiness <pause dur="0.4"/> but they are retaining <pause dur="0.9"/> their dignity <pause dur="0.8"/> and they are showing that degree of freedom <pause dur="0.6"/> of refusing <pause dur="0.5"/> to be <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="1.1"/> # forced to do what the torturers <pause dur="0.3"/> are wanting it may end in their death <pause dur="0.2"/> sure <pause dur="0.5"/> but that is a choice yet again <pause dur="0.8"/> of course <pause dur="0.8"/> it's said <pause dur="0.3"/> that everybody <pause dur="0.6"/> may be i don't know but with a skilled torturer <pause dur="0.5"/> forced to submit <pause dur="0.4"/> that may be true and if it is true that removes their freedom <pause dur="1.5"/> but the reward of virtue <pause dur="0.2"/> certainly <pause dur="0.2"/> is not going to be happiness in all circumstances we hope it will in many <pause dur="1.0"/> but <pause dur="0.6"/> we need to go right back to that distinction i mentioned to you between Plato and Aristotle <pause dur="0.4"/> Aristotle is indeed concerned with <pause dur="0.4"/> finding a form of society where in general happiness <pause dur="0.2"/> goes together with virtue <pause dur="1.0"/> Plato who remembers <pause dur="0.4"/> person <pause dur="0.4"/> that he respected most in all the whole world Socrates <pause dur="0.5"/> obeying his duty was <trunc>f</trunc> was executed <pause dur="0.6"/> says well <pause dur="0.9"/> one needs to give an account of <pause dur="1.0"/> how one should live which takes account of <pause dur="0.2"/> the situation <pause dur="0.2"/> in

which the good person <pause dur="0.2"/> may be made <pause dur="0.5"/> to drink the hemlock <pause dur="1.3"/> if you're going to say that Socrates remains happy <pause dur="0.2"/> then you're going to redefine happiness in quite a significant way <pause dur="1.3"/><vocal desc="sniff" iterated="n"/> <pause dur="0.7"/> so <pause dur="0.7"/> this again is fairly common sense reflection <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.2"/> that <pause dur="0.6"/> the <pause dur="0.3"/> # <pause dur="0.9"/> # <pause dur="1.4"/> # <pause dur="0.5"/> <trunc>th</trunc> <trunc>th</trunc> good will <pause dur="1.5"/> # in a certain sense <pause dur="0.3"/> is what <pause dur="0.3"/> we may quite reasonably subordinate <pause dur="0.2"/> the other values to and <pause dur="0.5"/> of course often we don't <pause dur="0.5"/> but we respect the person <pause dur="0.2"/> who stands up for what they believe to be right <pause dur="1.1"/> despite loss <pause dur="1.1"/> of <pause dur="1.1"/> all the normal goals we don't always reckon that we could do that but we can see the value in it <pause dur="3.4"/> other things that we ought and really and quite properly call good <pause dur="0.5"/> riches talents <pause dur="0.2"/> worldly wisdom <pause dur="0.3"/> comfort and so on <pause dur="0.7"/> they are only good as far as Kant's concerned on <trunc>concer</trunc> # <trunc>o</trunc> on condition that they are used compatibly <pause dur="0.2"/> with a good will <pause dur="1.0"/> when <pause dur="0.4"/> riches or talents worldly wisdom or anything else <pause dur="0.3"/> are used maliciously <pause dur="0.5"/> by a bad will <pause dur="1.0"/> the evil of the situation is greater <pause dur="0.5"/> than if the malicious person <pause dur="0.3"/> were less well <pause dur="0.7"/> endowed <pause dur="1.5"/> that after all is

why in mythology <pause dur="0.3"/> the devil <pause dur="0.3"/> is a fallen <pause dur="0.2"/> angel <pause dur="2.7"/> so on this account then <pause dur="0.5"/> we are both <pause dur="0.6"/> animals plainly <pause dur="0.4"/> and also rational beings <pause dur="1.1"/> and in so far as we are rational because we are rational beings <pause dur="0.8"/> we can recognize ourselves as subject to the moral law <pause dur="1.7"/> the moral law <pause dur="0.4"/> expresses not <pause dur="0.2"/> hypothetical imperatives of prudence <pause dur="1.3"/> but categorical imperatives <pause dur="0.5"/> prescribing actions <pause dur="0.4"/> regardless of the informations <pause dur="0.2"/> of our animal nature <pause dur="1.9"/> the highest good <pause dur="0.2"/> is that of the good will <pause dur="0.8"/> if you like conscientiousness but i don't like that as a translation because the word's come down in the world <pause dur="0.8"/> and good will attempts to act according to the dictates of the moral law <pause dur="2.1"/> in so far as we are moral <pause dur="0.5"/> we can form our will to the moral law <pause dur="0.9"/> acting as reason tells us <pause dur="0.9"/> and to that extent free <pause dur="0.3"/> of our purely animal <pause dur="0.2"/> nature <pause dur="0.3"/> our animal nature plainly is subject to the regularities of the laws of nature <pause dur="1.8"/> in so far as we are <pause dur="0.2"/> immoral <pause dur="1.0"/> we are <pause dur="0.4"/> irrational <pause dur="0.3"/> slaves to our natural <pause dur="0.2"/> inclinations <pause dur="1.0"/> and that's why <pause dur="0.5"/> the capacity

that we have as human beings <pause dur="0.4"/> to consider rationally what we should do to ask ourselves can i really will that be a universal law <pause dur="0.3"/> and adjust our action to suit <pause dur="0.7"/> provides us with the ability of moving against what our natural inclinations will lead us <pause dur="0.2"/> it frees us it gives us a space of freedom <pause dur="0.2"/> to say no <pause dur="0.5"/> to our natural inclinations <pause dur="0.9"/> and <pause dur="0.2"/> that is why <pause dur="0.7"/> our recognition of the moral law <pause dur="1.0"/> is <pause dur="0.2"/> in fact <pause dur="0.4"/> the condition <pause dur="0.3"/> of our freedom <pause dur="2.0"/> the reward of virtue <pause dur="0.6"/> is <pause dur="0.7"/> dignity <pause dur="0.4"/> and freedom dignity interesting word <pause dur="1.2"/> dignity in # Kant's terminology <pause dur="1.1"/> something has dignity if it has no exchange value <pause dur="0.3"/> most things have exchange value <pause dur="0.9"/> some think and <pause dur="0.2"/> some cynics say everything has exchange value <pause dur="0.4"/> every man has his price <pause dur="2.1"/> Kant says no <pause dur="1.5"/> there are some <trunc>th</trunc> there are people that think that of course <pause dur="0.6"/> and that shows that they're immoral <pause dur="2.1"/> there is nothing <pause dur="0.6"/> that can be exchanged <pause dur="0.4"/> for virtue <pause dur="1.3"/> there's nothing that can be exchanged <pause dur="0.2"/> for a good will <pause dur="1.6"/> without <pause dur="0.3"/> loss <pause dur="0.7"/> of course <pause dur="0.9"/> people do exchange that's a practical # # it's a rhetorical matter <pause dur="0.3"/> but in terms

of value <pause dur="0.6"/> there there is # there is <pause dur="0.3"/> inevitable loss you can't just say well <pause dur="0.3"/> that was an unjust act but lots of people were made happy by it so it's okay it's not okay <pause dur="0.3"/> if it was an unjust act even if people were made happy by it <pause dur="0.6"/> that sort of <pause dur="0.2"/> moral loss <trunc>t</trunc> # <trunc>lo</trunc> loss <trunc>adj</trunc> # adjusting <pause dur="0.3"/> is for Kant <pause dur="0.4"/> a symptom <pause dur="0.2"/> of corruption <pause dur="3.1"/> we can set ourselves against Kant <pause dur="0.7"/> our <pause dur="0.5"/> perceptions and beliefs about <pause dur="0.5"/> what would be nice for us or good for us even <pause dur="0.9"/> we can <pause dur="0.2"/> move against the dictates of our <pause dur="0.3"/> bodily nature <pause dur="0.4"/> and recognize that some things are incumbent on us <pause dur="0.2"/> and some are not <pause dur="1.3"/> and <pause dur="0.2"/> that <pause dur="0.4"/> provides us with our dignity <pause dur="1.2"/> it provides us with our freedom <pause dur="0.4"/> it may <pause dur="0.4"/> not <pause dur="0.2"/> lead <pause dur="0.2"/> to happiness <pause dur="0.7"/> but <pause dur="0.6"/> it is liberating <pause dur="1.9"/> <vocal desc="clears throat" iterated="n"/><pause dur="3.1"/> mankind indeed one might say in fact Kant does say <pause dur="0.6"/> has dignity to the extent <pause dur="0.5"/> that it is capable <pause dur="0.8"/> of <pause dur="0.4"/> morality <pause dur="0.4"/> of recognition <pause dur="0.3"/> of and hence <pause dur="0.6"/> living in accordance with <pause dur="1.8"/> # rationality <pause dur="0.5"/> and in the practical sphere rationality involves <pause dur="0.3"/> living according <pause dur="0.2"/> to <pause dur="0.8"/> the moral law <pause dur="0.5"/> the categorical imperative <pause dur="3.5"/> so <pause dur="0.5"/> to summarize this <pause dur="1.3"/> ethics for Kant <pause dur="0.8"/>

articulates the laws of freedom <pause dur="1.2"/> which a rational being <pause dur="0.3"/> imposes <pause dur="0.2"/> on her or his <pause dur="0.2"/> own actions <pause dur="0.8"/> and expect other rational beings to recognize <pause dur="0.4"/> and obey <pause dur="2.7"/> and the justification for these rules <pause dur="0.8"/> lies in the fact that moral rules are those which can be followed consistently <pause dur="0.4"/> by all rational beings <pause dur="0.9"/> so <pause dur="0.4"/> to determine whether my action is right <pause dur="0.4"/> my proposed action perhaps is right <pause dur="0.8"/> i have only to consider <pause dur="0.5"/> whether the principal upon which it's based <pause dur="0.3"/> what Kant calls the maxim <pause dur="0.5"/> i need to consider whether the principal upon which my action is based <pause dur="1.2"/> is such <pause dur="0.4"/> that i could will that that maxim become a universal law <pause dur="0.5"/> governing not merely this particular action of mine <pause dur="0.7"/> but the action of all agents similarly <pause dur="0.5"/> circumstanced <pause dur="1.8"/> and an action is only <pause dur="0.2"/> permissible <pause dur="0.8"/> for me <pause dur="1.2"/> if it is permissible <pause dur="0.3"/> for anyone <pause dur="0.2"/> in my situation <pause dur="2.0"/> to put it <pause dur="0.8"/> in a very simple <pause dur="0.2"/> and commonsensical fashion <pause dur="1.1"/> moral rules hold <pause dur="0.5"/> without <pause dur="0.2"/> distinction <pause dur="0.4"/> of persons <pause dur="1.2"/> not without distinction of position <pause dur="0.2"/> of course <pause dur="0.3"/> people may have a certain

role and therefore have certain responsibilities for them <pause dur="0.4"/> but <pause dur="0.9"/> that's the position <pause dur="0.3"/> if you were in that position rather than her <pause dur="0.3"/> then you would have that similar role <pause dur="0.9"/> now <pause dur="0.5"/> plainly some of these are physical impossibilities <pause dur="0.5"/> unless <pause dur="0.2"/> # <vocal desc="clears throat" iterated="n"/> # unless science gets a move on pretty fast <pause dur="0.3"/> i'll never be able to be a mother <pause dur="0.5"/> but <pause dur="0.4"/> that's # that's a misfortune of mine no doubt <pause dur="0.6"/> but while rational being <pause dur="0.9"/> it is merely a contingency <pause dur="4.7"/> it'll probably help <pause dur="0.6"/> if i took <pause dur="0.2"/> one of Kant's own <pause dur="0.2"/> examples <pause dur="0.8"/> and i'll follow the summary <pause dur="0.4"/> which is a quite nice and elegant summary <pause dur="0.4"/> # provided by Alasdair MacIntyre <pause dur="0.2"/> in the book i recommended A Short History of Ethics <pause dur="1.7"/> # suppose i'm tempted <pause dur="0.2"/> to break a promise <pause dur="1.8"/> the maxim <pause dur="0.6"/> on which i'm considering action <pause dur="0.6"/> might be # formulated as <pause dur="0.5"/> i may always break a promise when it's in my interest to do so <pause dur="0.9"/> we all know people who seem to act on that <pause dur="1.7"/> now <pause dur="0.2"/> can i consistently will <pause dur="0.4"/> that this precept <pause dur="0.7"/> i may always break a promise when it's in my interest to do so <pause dur="0.7"/> can i consistently will that this

precept <pause dur="0.2"/> should be universally accepted and acted upon by all <pause dur="2.1"/> if <pause dur="0.2"/> all people <pause dur="0.2"/> acted on this <trunc>precip</trunc> <pause dur="0.2"/> precept <pause dur="0.2"/> and broke <pause dur="0.3"/> their promises whenever it suited them <pause dur="0.9"/> the practices of making and relying on promises would of course break down <pause dur="1.8"/> because nobody would be able to trust the promises of others <pause dur="1.7"/> and consequently <pause dur="0.4"/> utterances of the form <pause dur="0.3"/> i promise to <pause dur="0.5"/> would cease <pause dur="0.2"/> to have point <pause dur="1.6"/> so <pause dur="0.3"/> to will that this precept should be universalized <pause dur="0.5"/> is to will <pause dur="0.9"/> that promise keeping should no longer be possible <pause dur="2.0"/> but to will that i should be able to act on this precept <pause dur="1.7"/> i may always break a promise when it is in my interest to do so <pause dur="0.7"/> and clearly i must will this as part of willing that the maxim should be universalized <pause dur="1.1"/> to will this <pause dur="0.6"/> is to will that i should be able to make promises <pause dur="0.3"/> and break them <pause dur="1.2"/> and that of course is to will that the practice of promise keeping should continue <pause dur="1.3"/> so that i can take advantage of it <pause dur="2.6"/> so <pause dur="0.2"/> to will that this precept <pause dur="1.0"/> i may always break a promise when it's in my interest

to do so <pause dur="0.7"/> to will <pause dur="0.4"/> # that this precept should be universalized <pause dur="0.3"/> is to will both that promise keeping as a practice should continue <pause dur="0.5"/> and also <pause dur="0.4"/> that it should not <pause dur="1.8"/> so <pause dur="0.5"/> i cannot universalize this precept consistently <pause dur="0.9"/> and so <pause dur="0.2"/> it cannot be a true moral rule <pause dur="1.7"/> think through the consequence of universalizability <pause dur="0.2"/> and in this particular instance you actually lodge yourself in a self-contradiction <pause dur="2.7"/> and that is indeed # i i'm quoting or citing MacIntyre but it is in fact # # one of Kant's leading examples and it's quite an interesting one <pause dur="4.4"/> so <pause dur="0.2"/> on this account i can't universalize <pause dur="0.2"/> that precept <pause dur="0.3"/> and so it cannot be a true moral rule <pause dur="0.2"/> in accordance with the categorical imperative <pause dur="0.8"/> on the other hand <pause dur="0.6"/> a rule such as do not make false promises <pause dur="0.8"/> can <pause dur="0.2"/> in principle be followed without exception <pause dur="1.5"/> can that is in the logical sense <pause dur="0.6"/> and thus <pause dur="0.6"/> may qualify <pause dur="0.3"/> as a moral <pause dur="0.3"/> duty <pause dur="1.4"/> okay so far <pause dur="3.0"/> so <pause dur="1.3"/> in <pause dur="0.2"/> determining <pause dur="0.5"/> what the moral law <pause dur="0.2"/> commands <pause dur="0.7"/> i have initially at my disposal <pause dur="0.4"/> no other resources <pause dur="0.3"/> than <pause dur="0.2"/> that it must be

universalizable <pause dur="0.6"/> and that is <pause dur="0.2"/> applied <pause dur="0.4"/> impartially <pause dur="2.7"/> but of course in practice <pause dur="0.8"/> this criterion is held <pause dur="0.2"/> to carry others with it <pause dur="0.3"/> and Kant thinks it does <pause dur="1.5"/> if the moral law <pause dur="0.2"/> applies without distinction of persons <pause dur="0.9"/> it follows says Kant <pause dur="0.6"/> that i must treat <pause dur="0.2"/> all human beings <pause dur="0.3"/> as equally entitled to rights under it <pause dur="1.1"/> must treat them as persons <pause dur="0.4"/> too <pause dur="3.5"/> and therefore <pause dur="1.5"/> i must regard other people <pause dur="0.3"/> as ends <pause dur="0.2"/> in themselves <pause dur="0.8"/> not just means to my own ends if they are centres of moral agency <pause dur="0.5"/> as i am <pause dur="0.9"/> then we're in the same boat <pause dur="1.7"/> and so <pause dur="0.3"/> since # the moral law applies without distinction of persons <pause dur="0.4"/> all moral agents <pause dur="0.2"/> are ends in themselves so another version <pause dur="0.6"/> of the categorical imperative <pause dur="0.6"/> is # <pause dur="0.4"/> treat <pause dur="0.2"/> # other persons <pause dur="0.5"/> # never as means <pause dur="0.3"/> but only <pause dur="0.4"/> as ends <pause dur="2.8"/> there are about five different versions i'm not going to go through all of them you'll find them laid out <pause dur="0.2"/> in the material i circulated # <pause dur="0.3"/> last time <pause dur="2.4"/> at the moment i'm trying to get at the nerve of what's going on here <pause dur="4.1"/> further <pause dur="2.5"/> once i recognize <pause dur="1.4"/> that other people are morally <pause dur="0.7"/> in the

same position as i am myself <pause dur="2.0"/> once i recognize that we all belong to the same moral community <pause dur="0.2"/> in virtue of our being rational agents <pause dur="1.1"/> and therefore under the aegis of the moral law <pause dur="0.3"/> and of course the criterion for being a moral agent is <pause dur="0.3"/> potential <trunc>pot</trunc> # # capacity <pause dur="0.4"/> to <pause dur="0.4"/> recognize <pause dur="0.5"/> # and act on maxims that we can universalize <pause dur="1.6"/> once we recognize that i'm in the same position <pause dur="0.4"/> as others <pause dur="1.1"/> i recognize both <pause dur="0.5"/> that i can <pause dur="0.2"/> legitimately <pause dur="0.8"/> pursue those of my purposes <pause dur="0.4"/> that do not conflict with the moral law <pause dur="2.1"/> okay if it doesn't conflict with the moral law i can follow those purposes <pause dur="0.3"/> and therefore <pause dur="0.4"/> i have a duty <pause dur="0.5"/> to facilitate the likely pursuit <pause dur="0.3"/> on the part <pause dur="0.3"/> of my fellows <pause dur="1.2"/> and so in another version of the categorical imperative <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="0.5"/> Kant speaks of what he calls the kingdom of ends the point about kingdom is it's a form of <pause dur="0.3"/> polity not there has to be a literal king <pause dur="0.4"/> # <pause dur="0.2"/> the notion of a community in which <pause dur="0.4"/> each sees a responsibility to facilitate each other's <pause dur="0.3"/> ends <pause dur="3.6"/> well <pause dur="0.6"/> so much <pause dur="0.2"/> for the moment <pause dur="0.6"/> for <pause dur="1.0"/>

exposition <pause dur="3.9"/> and although it is <pause dur="0.6"/> more complicated as i say there are five different versions of the categorical imperative and i've only touched on three <pause dur="0.6"/> # so you can get the detail <pause dur="0.3"/> from that Paton summary <pause dur="1.8"/> the main line of thinking <pause dur="0.6"/> is as i've laid it out <pause dur="2.9"/> and i think there is a great deal <pause dur="0.2"/> to be learned from Kant's ethical thinking <pause dur="1.2"/> and indeed Kant is one of the great masters of modern philosophy <pause dur="0.4"/> and his moral thinking has provided the dominant image <pause dur="0.5"/> for most subsequent debate <pause dur="0.6"/> and # i should mention i mentioned right at the beginning of term that the words ethical and moral were used in a lot of different ways <pause dur="0.4"/> i told you the way i wanted to use it but i said there was another way <pause dur="0.3"/> where <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="0.6"/> morality is seen as a subclass of ethics and ethics is seen as the general # enquiry into how one should live <pause dur="0.8"/> <vocal desc="clears throat" iterated="n"/> and the subclass some people have picked out as being # <pause dur="0.7"/> # morality <pause dur="0.2"/> is precisely that subclass picked out by Kant <pause dur="0.4"/> those considerations subject to <pause dur="1.0"/> universalizability <pause dur="0.6"/> in Kant's

fashion <pause dur="0.3"/> that is # # those of you who've read # <pause dur="0.4"/> Bernard Williams' book Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy <pause dur="0.3"/> where he criticizes morality <pause dur="0.9"/> but defends ethics <pause dur="0.6"/> he's saying within the sphere of practical reasoning <pause dur="1.0"/> the Kantian model that i've been sketching is deeply flawed and we should move away from it <pause dur="0.4"/> yes he says Kant is dead right it does capture many of our central intuitions <pause dur="0.3"/> which have arisen out of a historical context <pause dur="0.3"/> and that historical context is damaging <pause dur="0.4"/> and those of you who are into Nietzsche in a big way <pause dur="0.2"/> who sees himself as an immoralist <pause dur="0.3"/> what does he mean by morality when he describes himself as an immoralist given that he clearly has his own views <pause dur="0.2"/> about how to live <pause dur="0.2"/> nobody and so on <pause dur="0.6"/> it's Kant he once again has in his sights <pause dur="0.3"/> Kant as providing <pause dur="0.2"/> the clearest model of what <pause dur="0.2"/> the intuitions of morality <pause dur="0.5"/> amount to <pause dur="0.3"/> and Nietzsche has a <pause dur="0.5"/> a slightly curious story <pause dur="0.6"/> where # he # relates this back to # the history of Christianity and the <trunc>christiani</trunc> and the history of <pause dur="0.6"/> classical Greece <pause dur="0.4"/> #

which is <pause dur="0.5"/> flawed in a number of ways <pause dur="0.4"/> leave the history aside for the moment <pause dur="0.5"/> again <pause dur="0.2"/> # <trunc>h</trunc> <trunc>h</trunc> what <trunc>i</trunc> however it came about <pause dur="0.6"/> the model of morality <pause dur="0.5"/> with which <pause dur="0.4"/> Kant is operating <pause dur="0.2"/> provides a recognizable model today <pause dur="0.3"/> about which there is a good deal of debate <pause dur="0.3"/> and Kant as i say <pause dur="0.3"/> focuses that <pause dur="0.6"/> # supremely well <pause dur="2.1"/> # <pause dur="0.9"/> there are however <pause dur="1.3"/> many difficulties <pause dur="0.4"/> both external to the system people can criticize from outside and also internal to it <pause dur="1.0"/> and i'm just going to in the closing minutes of this lecture mention four <pause dur="1.6"/> first <pause dur="1.5"/> # <pause dur="0.6"/> the insistence on the fundamental principle of morality being categorical <pause dur="1.8"/> not a hypothetical imperative <pause dur="0.7"/> you may well challenge <pause dur="1.9"/> # <pause dur="0.3"/> and that's precisely what people who say morality is <pause dur="0.3"/> a defective subclass within ethics more generally will often say <pause dur="0.9"/> you may certainly the notion of duty <pause dur="0.3"/> detached from any particular role <pause dur="1.1"/> in the singular rather than the plural what is my duty not what are my duties as such and such the notion of duty <pause dur="0.7"/> # <pause dur="0.4"/> is <pause dur="0.5"/> one often found in popular thinking sure <pause dur="0.6"/> but

historically it only emerged a century or so before Kant <pause dur="1.1"/> and it's arguable <pause dur="0.2"/> that it only represents the ghost of a dead concept <pause dur="0.6"/> that only lived when embedded in particular social situations <pause dur="0.4"/> which was disintegrating by Kant's time <pause dur="0.3"/> and have disintegrated by now <pause dur="1.9"/> perhaps <pause dur="0.3"/> someone said <pause dur="0.4"/> Kant's duty is rather like that concept of decay justice <pause dur="0.7"/> in the sophist's time <pause dur="0.2"/> it at this stage remained a central moral notion <pause dur="0.5"/> everyone agreed that justice was a good thing <pause dur="0.6"/> but the descriptive content <pause dur="0.2"/> had been eroded by social change <pause dur="1.5"/> perhaps the notion of duty <pause dur="0.2"/> people say <pause dur="0.4"/> made good sense in a feudal set-up <pause dur="0.5"/> where everybody had their respective rights and duties <pause dur="1.1"/> and this provided the framework within which everyone lived their lives <pause dur="0.8"/> so it's clear what your duties are and it's best to fulfill them <pause dur="0.9"/> but the shift to thinking of duty in the singular <pause dur="0.5"/> out of any such social context <pause dur="0.5"/> empties that concept <pause dur="0.3"/> of all <pause dur="0.2"/> significance <pause dur="1.0"/> and the refusal to give any reason for the

dictates of the moral law <pause dur="0.2"/> it's categorical you just ought <pause dur="1.2"/> reflects a collapse of the moral community <pause dur="0.6"/> not <pause dur="0.3"/> as Kant thinks the key to all moral thinking <pause dur="0.5"/> and that line of # <pause dur="0.2"/> argument you'll find in MacIntyre both in the book i've mentioned <pause dur="0.3"/> and in subsequent writings such as After Virtue <pause dur="1.9"/> that's the first objection the notion of duty <pause dur="0.2"/> is empty <pause dur="1.6"/> second <pause dur="0.3"/> it is possible to object to Kant's doctrine <pause dur="0.2"/> that it's my duty to act according to the imperative <pause dur="0.2"/> and not look to the consequences might say consequences matter <pause dur="1.7"/> Kant for example says <pause dur="0.2"/> it's categorically binding on us we ought not to tell lies <pause dur="1.4"/> and when i've discerned a categorical imperative i've discerned a rule with no exceptions <pause dur="1.3"/> so i ought not says Kant to tell a lie <pause dur="0.3"/> even from benevolent motives <pause dur="1.8"/> but what if i'm to save a potential victim from a murderer <pause dur="1.4"/> some might <pause dur="0.4"/> say no <pause dur="0.5"/> the insistence on keeping one's own soul pure <pause dur="0.2"/> at the expense of others <pause dur="0.2"/> is grossly <pause dur="0.2"/> immoral <pause dur="2.0"/> there's an old slogan <pause dur="0.9"/> <distinct lang="la">fiat justitia</distinct> <pause dur="0.4"/> <distinct lang="la">fiat justitia ruat caelum</distinct> <pause dur="0.8"/>

approximately let justice be done <pause dur="0.5"/> though the heavens fall <pause dur="0.9"/> fits in with Kant beautifully <pause dur="1.5"/> there is however <pause dur="0.4"/> a well known and equally ancient <pause dur="0.2"/> retort <pause dur="1.3"/> if the heavens fall <pause dur="1.1"/> justice won't be done <pause dur="2.3"/> there is <pause dur="0.4"/> many would say a genuine <pause dur="0.2"/> dilemma here <pause dur="0.8"/> which Kant is <trunc>insensiv</trunc> to # is insensitive to <pause dur="0.3"/> sometimes consequences can override <pause dur="0.3"/> what Kant would see as the moral law <pause dur="0.2"/> and surely it is blind <pause dur="0.3"/> to ignore it <pause dur="1.1"/> third <pause dur="0.8"/> just giving four <pause dur="0.2"/> standard objections <pause dur="0.4"/> third <pause dur="0.3"/> although Kant interpreted his principles in this very rigorous manner <pause dur="1.4"/> it's often <trunc>agra</trunc> argued <pause dur="0.2"/> that his system doesn't really <pause dur="0.8"/> require that <pause dur="0.3"/> but <pause dur="0.4"/> in fact it's much too loose <pause dur="0.8"/> he doesn't really provide conclusive reasons for doing <pause dur="0.4"/> rigorous <pause dur="0.2"/> arguing on Kant's manner <pause dur="0.5"/> on the contrary can sanction almost anything <pause dur="0.9"/> for how am i to decide <pause dur="0.3"/> what is the correct description <pause dur="0.3"/> and hence maxim <pause dur="0.3"/> of any proposed act <pause dur="1.3"/> the Kantian test of a true moral precept <pause dur="0.4"/> is that it's one i can <trunc>s</trunc> consistently universalize <pause dur="0.8"/> but with sufficient ingenuity <pause dur="0.7"/> perhaps one can find <pause dur="0.3"/> a

consistently universalizable maxim <pause dur="0.2"/> for almost any action just specified <pause dur="1.3"/> in enough detail <pause dur="1.1"/> # <pause dur="0.5"/> just characterize the proposed action in such a way that the maxim will permit me to do what i want whilst prohibiting others from doing <pause dur="0.6"/> what would <pause dur="0.3"/> nullify the maxim if universalized <pause dur="7.0"/> however <pause dur="0.3"/> i don't think this is <pause dur="0.7"/> to say that nothing can be salvaged <pause dur="0.2"/> from Kant's approach <pause dur="0.3"/> or even from the notion of universalizability <pause dur="0.9"/> because <pause dur="0.2"/> what Kant is getting at or part of what Kant's getting at <pause dur="0.7"/> in his categorical imperative <pause dur="0.7"/> is that a person who says he or she ought to act in a certain way <pause dur="0.4"/> is guilty of an implicit contradiction <pause dur="0.6"/> and this may well be true <pause dur="1.1"/> once a maxim has been specified then <pause dur="0.3"/> if it's to be a moral maxim <pause dur="0.4"/> it must be universalizable <pause dur="4.5"/> now as i've mentioned to you the prescriptivists like Hare <pause dur="0.2"/> have taken up this approach and have argued that a person isn't genuinely making a moral <trunc>ju</trunc> # judgement <pause dur="0.4"/> unless he or she <pause dur="0.2"/> is prepared <pause dur="0.3"/> to universalize the maxim <pause dur="1.3"/> for to judge that something is

right <pause dur="0.2"/> is to commit oneself to choosing that course <pause dur="0.2"/> of action <pause dur="0.5"/> even if it's open <pause dur="0.8"/> to one # # # if it is open to one and approving of others doing so <pause dur="0.3"/> when it's open to them <pause dur="1.7"/> so if the Nazi's judgement <pause dur="0.3"/> that gassing Jews is right is to be a genuinely evaluative judgement <pause dur="0.6"/> not just a descriptive one <pause dur="0.6"/> then he must be committed to the position <pause dur="0.2"/> it would be right for he himself to be gassed <pause dur="0.5"/> if it were unexpectedly discovered that he were of Jewish parentage <pause dur="1.7"/> if he's not prepared to <trunc>universali</trunc> # universalize his maxim in this way <pause dur="0.3"/> he is not genuinely accepting the imperative <pause dur="0.4"/> let Jews be gassed <pause dur="0.7"/> he's hence not making a moral judgement <pause dur="1.0"/> of course it's possible for him to change his mind <pause dur="0.5"/> and if his Jewish ancestry <pause dur="0.2"/> were discovered he might well do so <pause dur="0.6"/> the point is <pause dur="0.3"/> you cannot genuinely hold <pause dur="0.4"/> that gassing Jews is right unless you accept <pause dur="0.8"/> the <pause dur="0.2"/> # # maxim <pause dur="0.5"/> # is in principle universalizable <pause dur="0.3"/> and of course more generally <pause dur="0.3"/> bringing home to a person <pause dur="0.6"/> what <pause dur="0.4"/> might be involved in certain circumstances in

universalizing a maxim may be a way of bringing people <pause dur="0.2"/> and often is <pause dur="0.2"/> to change <pause dur="0.2"/> their minds <pause dur="2.0"/> now as you know <pause dur="0.2"/> there are well known objections to prescriptivism <pause dur="0.8"/> but <pause dur="0.2"/> and this is the note i'm going to end on <pause dur="1.7"/> the type of argument i've sketched doesn't stand or fall either with Kant <pause dur="0.2"/> or with prescriptivism <pause dur="1.0"/> if you take the line that what a person commits themselves to <pause dur="0.4"/> in saying X is right <pause dur="0.4"/> is not <pause dur="0.2"/> just the imperative <pause dur="0.3"/> let me do X <pause dur="0.2"/> but <pause dur="0.4"/> there are sufficient reasons of a moral kind for doing X <pause dur="1.3"/> then you could still argue <pause dur="1.0"/> that <pause dur="0.5"/> to the extent the two situations are of the same type <pause dur="0.5"/> what are sufficient moral reasons for doing X in one situation <pause dur="0.6"/> are sufficient <pause dur="0.2"/> in another <pause dur="0.9"/> if there are sufficient moral reasons <pause dur="0.4"/> for gassing Jews when i happen to be the executioner <pause dur="0.8"/> then there are sufficient moral <pause dur="0.4"/> reasons for doing so <pause dur="0.3"/> when i happen <pause dur="0.2"/> to be a victim <pause dur="1.1"/> and with this we come back to the heart of the Kantian enterprise and what i want to leave you with <pause dur="1.3"/> Kant is concerned <pause dur="0.5"/> to

establish ultimate moral <pause dur="0.2"/> principles <pause dur="2.2"/> which are at once autonomous that is determined by the agent's own rational will not by anything external to that will <pause dur="0.6"/> whether the will of another <pause dur="0.2"/> or even one's own desires <pause dur="1.3"/> establish moral principles once autonomous <pause dur="0.3"/> and objective <pause dur="0.3"/> not depending on the desires <pause dur="0.3"/> or even the nature <pause dur="0.4"/> of the agent <pause dur="0.3"/> moral principles <pause dur="0.2"/> bottom of this <kinesic desc="indicates screen" iterated="n"/><pause dur="0.3"/> are at once <pause dur="0.3"/> autonomous <pause dur="0.7"/> and <pause dur="0.4"/> objective <pause dur="1.9"/> and this meets the dual sense we have of morality that in facing moral decisions it's important <pause dur="0.2"/> to get it right <pause dur="1.0"/> and yet no one has the right to tell us what we ought to do <pause dur="0.7"/> the point at which McNaughton starts his book <pause dur="1.8"/> # <pause dur="0.2"/><vocal desc="clears throat" iterated="n"/> <pause dur="0.6"/> we are autonomous beings <pause dur="0.4"/> but these two requirements <pause dur="0.2"/> it would seem <pause dur="0.5"/> of objectivity and autonomy <pause dur="0.5"/> can only be met if certain moral principles are demanded <pause dur="0.4"/> by the formal character of morality itself <pause dur="0.6"/> a morally good action must be rationally chosen <pause dur="0.3"/> in accord with a law <pause dur="0.3"/> rational # <trunc>v</trunc> valid for all rational beings universally <pause dur="0.6"/> and determined by nothing <pause dur="0.2"/> beyond <pause dur="0.2"/> itself <pause dur="1.4"/> so given

that <pause dur="1.0"/> a correct moral judgement <pause dur="0.5"/> is one that could in principle be reached <pause dur="0.2"/> by anybody <pause dur="1.5"/> so such judgements must be made in terms of features <pause dur="0.2"/> which the actions or situations possess <pause dur="1.0"/> so any feature picked out as relevant <pause dur="0.6"/> must be one that's always relevant <pause dur="0.4"/> unless there's some special explanation why not <pause dur="1.1"/> so <pause dur="0.8"/> what anyone ought to do in a given set of circumstances <pause dur="0.2"/> is what anyone else ought to do <pause dur="0.2"/> so long as the case isn't relevantly <pause dur="0.2"/> different <pause dur="0.6"/> and this gives us <pause dur="0.3"/> Kant's <pause dur="0.3"/> insistence <pause dur="0.2"/> on <pause dur="0.4"/> universalizability <pause dur="2.3"/> and of course <pause dur="0.5"/> the principle that one ought to treat similar cases similarly <pause dur="0.7"/> is a general formulation <pause dur="0.2"/> of the particular requirement of justice <pause dur="0.8"/> that any form of treatment <pause dur="0.2"/> thought right for one person <pause dur="0.4"/> must be right <pause dur="0.2"/> for all others <pause dur="0.7"/> unless the others are significantly different <pause dur="1.1"/> and this thesis <pause dur="0.3"/> about justice <pause dur="0.6"/> is what i shall begin to consider <pause dur="0.9"/> next time <pause dur="1.0"/> thank you very much