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Categorical Imperative: Kant And Ross

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Immanuel Kant developed a concept called Categorical Imperative. His concept acts as an ethical principle for behavior which helps in deciding whether an action is right or wrong, desired or undesired. A way to evaluate his concept is to ask what would happen if others also in the same circumstance, act the same. An example of the categorical imperative: Suppose Ram plans on cheating in an examination. If he applies Kant's categorical imperative, he will decide not to cheat because if everyone cheated examination will be pointless. We can say that the concept of the Categorical Imperative provides a guideline for what decision to be made when faced with ethical confusion.

Immanuel Kant discovers duties as a required action in the same degree as the categorical imperative. The actions that are always met are considered to be perfect duties, for example being honest in any circumstances. And the actions that are admirable, but not essential in respect to categorical imperative is considered as imperfect duties. Kant illustrates nurturing one's talent as a form of imperfect duty. For example professional duties. Business professionals have imperfect duties of acquiring knowledge and skills necessary to complete or accomplish their business tasks. Another example, we have imperfect duties to develop our skills for our career-related jobs in our college life.

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Ross describes duties as following a certain duty honestly until it is set aside by another duty. Ross explains there are various prima facie duties that every individual needs to decide in what way or how precisely they want to do it. Prima Facie duties are strong beliefs in doing something in an honest and ethical manner. It includes various ethical responsibilities like keeping a promise, self-improvement, justice, etc.

For example: keeping a promise always means that one should not break the promise. Adapting to Ross's concept means breaking promises is wrong. In moral sense duty of not lying is broken after breaking the promise and this can not be compromised. He also explains that breaking a promise in any circumstance is bad even for good cause. One can only break promises if the breaking of the promise is interpreted as a compulsion to create a great good in order to avoid bad. Ross's approach of keeping promises is different. In my opinion, making a decision solely depends on the circumstances.

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Categorical Imperative: Kant And Ross. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 5, 2024, from
“Categorical Imperative: Kant And Ross.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
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Categorical Imperative: Kant And Ross [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2024 Mar 5]. Available from:
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