Short Essay - Kant's Vs. Aristotle's Ethics
Short Essay - Kant's vs. Aristotle's Ethics
Times have seen many philosophers who have advocated in favor or against ethics or virtue. There have been many notable philosophers who have presented different views regarding various aspects of virtue and ethics, and every argument has its own pros and cons. The below-mentioned details discuss my actions in a situation where a famous celebrity (Justin Beber) had a severe accident and he is hanging off a cliff. His life is in serious danger as he is about to fall. The waters below contain deadly sharks, which will tear him into pieces as soon as he falls down. Now the following piece of writing demands me to view the whole situation in light of both schools of thought: the one presented by Aristotle and the other one presented by Kant. The following details will also discuss the similarities and differences between the outcomes of both actions.
My Action According To Aristotle’s Point Of View
Aristotle defines the various aspects of virtue as the moderation between the two vices. The famous philosopher urges his followers to behave in a right and appropriate manner as an average or mean between an extreme of deficiency and excess (Gerson). In this case, the excess of virtue would be that I save the life of the famous celebrity, take care of him completely, take him to the hospital and remain with him until he becomes completely healthy. However, a deficiency of virtue would mean that I read the tweet and ignore it. In accordance with Aristotle’s point of view, I would rescue Beber and leave him in the hospital or a nearby clinic, where he will be taken care of. This would be a moderate act and in complete compliance with Aristotle’s teachings.
My Action According to Kant’s Point of View
Contrary to Aristotle’s beliefs, Emmanuel Kant considers virtue as a necessary aspect of a human’s life. According to him, the judgment of an action being right or wrong does not depend upon its consequences but on the fact whether it fulfills the duty or not (Kant). Hence, according to Kant’s teachings, it becomes my moral duty to save the life of any person who is in Beber’s situation, whether I like him or not. Hence, I would rescue him and take him to the nearest hospital as soon as possible. Moreover, the acceptance of reward will also become doubtful in this respect, as saving the life of the celebrity was my moral duty and I should have done it with or without the greed of reward.
Similarities and Differences Between Kantian Ethics and Aristotle’s Virtue of Ethics to the Situation
There are a number of similarities that occur in both cases. One of the most notable is that the life of the celebrity will be saved. Whether the approach of Aristotle or Emmanuel Kant is followed, action in both of the cases will mean that the life of a famous singer is safe. However, the only difference would lie in the level of care and the acceptance of reward. In the case of following Aristotle’s school of thought, the level of care will be moderate and the acceptance of reward will be necessary, as the reward will be acting as a major motivator in my action. While in the case of Kantian school of thought, it becomes my moral duty to save the life of the celebrity, with or without the inclusion of reward. Kantian school of thought also requires the maximum level of attention and care.
Gerson, Lloyd P. Aristotle and other Platonists. Cornell University Press, 2017.
Kant, Immanuel. Kant: The metaphysics of morals. Cambridge University Press, 2017.
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