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Categorical Imperative

Categorical Imperative

Is it ever morally permissible to lie to someone?  Describe a circumstance in which it seems that lying might make more people happy than telling the truth.  Would lying be the right thing to do in that circumstance, or is it our moral duty to tell the truth, even then?  Consider what Immanuel Kant would say, and explain that with reference to this week’s readings.  Then, offer your own perspective.  If you agree with Kant, consider and respond to an objection to his view.  If you disagree with Kant, explain why.  Discuss the positive and negative aspects of deontological theory as it relates to another of the theories you have encountered in this course.

Recommended Articles:

O’Neill, O. (1993). A simplified account of Kant’s Ethics. In T. Regan (Ed.), Matters of Life and Death, 411-415. Retrieved from http://users.manchester.edu/Facstaff/SSNaragon/Online/texts/201/O’Neill,%20Kant.pdf

Sayre-McCord, G. (2000). Kant’s “Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals”. A very brief selective summary of sections I and II. Retrieved fromhttp://www.unc.edu/~gsmunc/phil22/Kantsum.pdf

Recommended Websites:

    • Lee, R. (n.d.) Immanuel Kant: Links. Retrieved from http://comp.uark.edu/~rlee/semiau96/kantlink.html



  • The Philosophy Pages. (2011). Immanuel Kant. Retrieved from http://philosophypages.com/ph/kant.htm




…………….Answer Preview……………….

Based on my personal opinion, at times it may be morally right or permissible to lie to someone. It all depends on the circumstances at hand and the overall effect the lie will have in the situation. Take for example lying about a surprise birthday party to a loved one. No one gets hurt by the lie and thus we may consider it morally permissible. Another example is a lie told to a child who insists of knowing how children are made. It may be considered morally necessary to tell a white lie to this child.  According to Emanuel…


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