Immanuel Kant Versus John Stuart Mill Essay

1159 Words 5 Pages
Immanuel Kant Versus John Stuart Mill

Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill; two opposing philosophers of their time. Even though they were living in different countries, their works have been against each other. In his book, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant argues that there is nothing better than wanting goodwill by itself. He emphasizes the importance of goodwill over and over again and tries to show how effective moral philosophy can be if goodwill is used as the key element. Therefore, for Kant, the sole foundation of philosophy rests on goodwill. Opposing Kant, Mill suggests that goodwill does not have the power to be key element by itself. He suggests that in order for action to be
…show more content…
The reason why Mill disagrees with Kant is simple and convincing enough. Mill says that not always we do have the ability to know other people's intentions and judge them in the perspective of goodwill. How are we going to name the shopkeeper's actions moral or not if we have no access to his intentions. This is where Kant introduces the idea of a "Maxim". This is not the magazine Maxim, of course. But this is just like a plan that we derive in our heads for it to help us accomplish a certain goal. For instance, I am sitting a restaurant and I want a pizza. My maxim would be raising my arm, calling for the waitress, and asking her for a pizza. Another maxim would be shouting; "I wan pizza! Now!" Even though this is not a rational one, this is still a maxim, a plan or a short-term strategy to achieve a certain objective. Kant suggests that if we know someone's maxims, we can get access to his/her intentions. If we take someone's maxim and introduce it to the function of Categorical Imperative-a test that takes a certain maxim and tries to universalize it, to see if that maxim is a law or not- then we will have an idea of his intentions. The restaurant example stands as a good one. If

Related Documents

Knowing Brother Episode 5 | Wii U (168) | Bacteria