Immanuel Kant’s Views on Professors Fingerprinting

Immanuel Kant’s views

Immanuel Kant would have opposed the directive, that all professors must be fingerprinted, through the categorical imperative argument. The categorical imperative, developed by Immanuel Kant, consists of two formulations. The first formulation has two criteria. The first is universalibility, which states that the reason to do something must be one that everyone could act on.

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The second is reversibility, which states that the reason why someone is doing something is that they don’t mind it being done to them (Kant 19). The second formulation is that people shouldn’t use others as a means to succeed. It seems that the professors do mind or were not consulted when the decision to take their fingerprints was reached by the university.

Under the first and the second formulation of the categorical imperative, the university ought to have asked the professors to approve of their intention to fingerprint them. If every university exercised this power, it might not be sustainable since the free will of the professors is not respected.

Thus, “the moral worth of an action does not lie in effect expected from it, nor in any principle of action which requires to borrow its motive from this expected effect” (Kant 45). Kant is specific in asserting that wit, intelligence, and judgment are generally of good value to human life, but might turn out to be timid when employed for bad rationale.

Reflectively, Kant is categorical in pursuing the negative results of bad use of self-control and moderation, which generally are good. Thus, Kant concludes that goodwill cannot be perverted since it is ‘intrinsically and unqualifiedly good.’ About the directive of fingerprinting the professors, the value of the free will is timid since the rationale does not give room for their independent views on the exercise (Kant 23).

In his book, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, Immanuel Kant categorically states that “a goodwill is good not because of what it effects or accomplishes, nor because of its fitness to attain some proposed end; it is good only through its willing, i.e., it is good in itself” (Kant 25).

Thus, Kant strongly believes that highest morals rest in ‘goodwill’ which allows mankind to undertake actions in the backdrop of peak morality. Although the rationale for fingerprinting the professors may be valid, the subjects of this action are not allowed to exercise their freedom of making decisions in the process.

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Personal opinion

In my opinion, I do not think that the professors should be fingerprinted, especially before seeking the consent of each professor. The professors are adults who should exercise free will and be given alternatives, instead of directives. Although the intentions of the fingerprinting exercise might be good, its implementation raises the question of trust between the university and the professors.

This action delineates virtue, as readiness and the inclination to jump into action with situational excellence may not be met, despite the circumstances of the time in which the exercise is being implemented. Therefore, excellence, in this case, is the average between duo extremes; deficiency and excess. Despite the existence of several means of achieving the highest good through this action, it is immoral since it denies the professors their right to choose.

Fingerprinting the students

The student should be fingerprinted at the HCC. This is because the argument presented by the HCC may apply to the learning environment of the students. Reflectively, the students are under the moral authority of the university in addressing any security concern. Considered as a relatively irrational group, it is for the university to implement this decision in the best interest of the learners.

Unlike the professors, the students are within the realms of the university’s moral authority. As a result, it will result in some level of order and identity. However, this action-oriented motive should be aligned to the right individual, extent, time, and reason. This will ensure that the primary goal is met with little resistance from the students.

Argument critique

Reflectively, my argument unites the individual to freedom of choice, which is not a must to be exercised over a long period to establish the level of uniformity if the directive is implemented on the students.

Rather, what matters is the intention of the action in inter and intrapersonal relationships, since the primary aim of the argument is to declare the directive out of order when implemented on the professors. Thus, if the university went ahead and implemented the initiative to all professors, incidences might happen with interior motive such as lack of full support.

The minor and major premises in my argument, which supports HCC in fingerprinting students, are moral intentions and moral authority. The university has the moral authority over the learners, and the action has good intentions. On the other hand, the major and minor premises in my argument, which opposes fingerprinting of the professors, are free will and moral worthiness. The professors are mature enough to exercise their free will within acceptable limits of moral worthiness.

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Works Cited

Kant, Immanuel. Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, New York: Braodview Press, 2005. Print.

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StudyCorgi. "Immanuel Kant’s Views on Professors Fingerprinting." November 18, 2020.


StudyCorgi. 2020. "Immanuel Kant’s Views on Professors Fingerprinting." November 18, 2020.


StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Immanuel Kant’s Views on Professors Fingerprinting'. 18 November.

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