Friday, November 1, 2019

The British Empiricists and Kant's Ethics Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words

The British Empiricists and Kant's Ethics - Essay Example First, because of the theory of conatus, painful things happen to us because of external and not internal causes. And second, passive emotional states or passions, arise only from inadequate ideas – anger, fear, hatred, occur because of ignorance or incomplete understanding of their external causes. Therefore, in so far as we have an adequate idea of our emotions and their causes, we will not be subject to passions. The British empiricists all believe that knowledge is derived from experience alone. This aspect of arriving at knowledge seems quite interesting from the point of view of Locke, Berkley, and Hume. For Locke, our mind is a blank and clean slate, which he calls â€Å"tabula rasa.† Thus, all ideas and knowledge can only come to us and are founded upon experience alone. On the other hand, for Berkeley, all that we ever know are the qualities of an object that our faculty of vision is capable of sensing. Hence, it implies that any given object is the summation of its perceived qualities. Lastly, Hume sets out to achieve the limits of our knowledge. Herein, as far as knowledge is concerned, we are limited to our impressions and their corresponding ideas, which manifest in constant conjunction through experience. We have no way of knowing what causes them. For Hume, if an idea has no corresponding impression, then it is meaningless, that is, it does not exist. Kant’s ethics distinguishes between â€Å"acting in accordance with duty† and â€Å"acting for the sake of duty.† The latter are actions that have moral worth, while the former has no moral worth. Moreover, Kant explains another way of determining whether an action is morally good or not. This is presented in The Categorical Imperative. This principle states that before I will a certain mode of conduct, I should see to it that my subjective course of action could be universalized as a moral legislation. If my desired act involves certain contradictions, then my act cannot qualify as  a moral law and must be rejected. However, if it is devoid of contradictions then, it can be morally acceptable.  Ã‚  

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