Why Is Robert Cercelletta Wrong

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Kant and Maxims In this paper, I will discuss Robert Cercelletta’s case (as described by the Case Study) in light of Kantian Moral Theory. To summarize, Cercelletta was a homeless man who was mentally ill (Case Study, 1). For 30 years, he obtained coins which had been thrown into the public Trevi Fountain and ostensibly used them as a source of income for himself and others who were in need. Mr. Cercelletta continued to do this after it became illegal. He was fined multiple times and eventually arrested for this action. After arresting Mr. Cercelletta, the authorities began a weekly practice of obtaining the coins and donating them to various charities. As Kantian Moral Theory is a deontological theory, this paper is ultimately trying to declare whether Mr. Cercelletta was right or wrong; that is, whether his action in taking coins from the Trevi Fountain violates the Categorical Imperative (according to its first formulation, the Universal Law). I will begin with a summary of Kantian Deontology, explaining its pertinent features. Then, I will apply it to Mr. Cercelletta’s case in order to determine the rightness of his actions. Next, I will discuss the question of Mr. Cercelletta’s moral accountability, considering his mental state. Finally, I will conclude with my determinations that Mr. Cercelletta’s actions are morally permissible, and, furthermore, that an evaluation of Mr.…show more content…
Cercelletta’s actions to be morally wrong, for a number of reasons. First, the maxim of his actions passes when the Categorical Imperative is applied. Second, Mr. Cercelletta may not be in a position to be considered a moral agent, as he may not be fully rational and autonomous. Third, Mr. Cercelletta may not be in a position to be considered a moral agent because his society has unjustly distributed resources in a way that violates his autonomy by leaving him with no legitimate options for obtaining the resources he

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