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Kantian Ethics: Approval and Objection


It can be safely said that philosophers are the constructors of worldviews. One of them was Kant, who was the first to build a universal ethical system, namely the Categorical Imperative. According to him, “for an action to be permissible, it must be possible to apply it to all people without a contradiction occurring” and that people should never be “treated merely as a means to an end” (Kantian ethics (overview), n.d., para. 1). This paper will provide both approval and objection to these Kantian ethical principles.

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Approval of Kantian Ethics

I agree and support the Kantian view of ethics and morality. The hypothetical absence of Kantian ethical principles allows people to treat other people as means, which is an open window for war crimes, political repression, and laboratory experiments on humans. Kantian ethics is why physicians provide treatment for incurable cancer patients; they are human beings and deserve a humane approach even if the treatment does not have a positive effect (Nwozichi et al., 2018). Kantian ethics are what prohibit politicians from proposing and passing inhuman laws and taking away natural human rights.

An Objection of Kantian Ethics

Although the Kantian ethic is right, it can be logically opposed. For example, a nurse knows that prescribed medication will not help a terminal cancer patient (Nwozichi et al., 2018). It is her perfect duty to inform the patient of it, and non-telling the truth is a lie, which means that the patient is used as a means to keep the nurse happy (Kantian ethics (overview), n.d.). However, in this case, telling the truth is an imperfect duty that can be performed differently (Kantian ethics (overview), n.d.). The nurse may ask the doctor to tell the patient about his terminal condition or tell the truth to the patient’s family over time. Therefore, non-telling here does not make the patient a nurse’s means of maintaining happiness.


This paper serves as a brief discussion on the topic of Kant’s ethics. Both the approval and the objection of his ethical system are provided here. It is also noteworthy that a counterargument was developed to the opposing statement. The impact of the principles of Kantian ethics can be seen in many current social institutions such as politics and medicine, and ethical codes are prime examples of this.


Kantian ethics (overview). (n.d.). Lumen Learning. Web.

Nwozichi, C. U., Guino-o, T. A., & Madu, A. M. (2018). Kant in present oncology nursing realities. Asia-Pacific Journal of Oncology Nursing, 5(3), 285-289.

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