Kantianism Vs Utilitarianism

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From the vantage point of the history of ethical theory, Kant and Mill are arguably two of the most important modern philosophers. Between Kantianism and utilitarianism, these two philosophers offer contrasting ethical theories. In utilitarianism by Mill, he claims that the acts of moral virtue is self-sacrifice are never justified purely by the sacrifice but rather by the intention behind the action for accomplishing happiness for others. Kant, on the other hand, argues that moral value comes only from motivation and from acting purely out of sense of moral duty. Mill emphasizes the intentions behind actions while Kant focuses more so on the consequences. Kant is remorseless in his rejection of “doctrines of happiness” in terms of morality…show more content…
Kant claims that moral value comes only from motivation such as from acting purely out of a sense of moral duty. According to Kant, morality applies to all rational beings. A moral action is defined by Kant as an action that is determined solely by reason, not by our sensual impulses which are one of the two sets of elements that contribute to humans understanding the world. Because an action is moral because of its reason, the moral worth of an action is determined by its motive and not by its consequences. Kant says people can determine the worth of the motive of moral actions by hypothesizing whether or not that action could be turned into a universally applicable maxim. Kant justifies this by saying that reason is the same at all times and for all people, so morality too should be just as universal as reason. The one thing in the world that is unambiguously good is the "good will." It’s also important to note Kant’s opinions on a priori or knowledge that is independent of all particular…show more content…
However, Mill argues that people must sacrifice happiness the happiness of other people. The sacrifice is made so that others will not have to make similar sacrifices of their own happiness which makes the act of sacrificing not justified in itself. Mill does admits that the willingness to sacrifice one's own happiness for someone else’s happiness is the highest virtue. Mill continues, saying that having an affinity and willingness to sacrifice for other people is the best chance of gaining happiness but the major source of unhappiness is a lack of mental cultivation. Therefore even a virtuous person is capable of falling victim to unhappiness. Mill goes into detail saying that while utilitarian’s value sacrificing the goods of one for the good of many, sacrifice is in itself not good. Thus, it is fully within most people's capabilities to be happy, if their education nurtures the appropriate

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