KANT'S FORMALISM (diagram) -- by Gordon Ziniewicz

Key Alternatives:

heteronomy autonomy
interest disinterest
inclination duty
acting because of interest acting out of duty
outward act of overt action inward act of decision
willing not in accord with universal moral law willing in accord with universal moral law


Intentionalism: What counts is the motive or reason for acting. Only intentions are good or bad: One's heart is "in the right place" or "in the wrong place"


Formalism: What counts is the act in itself; one must determine whether acts are right or wrong in themselves (by means of pre-existing standards [Plato], reason and law of non-contradiction [Kant], or God's will [Christianity]. Formalism is allied to universalism.


Consequentialism: Whether consequences are good or bad determines whether acts are right or wrong (e.g., utilitarianism). This view is often linked to teleologism, which emphasizes purposes or ends.

CONDITIONS (or circumstances)

Situationism: Acts are right or wrong in terms of actual conditions or circumstances (objectivism without universalism)

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