Right to Lie Kant on Dealing with Evil by Christine, M. Korsgaard

Rightto Lie: Kant on Dealing with Evil by Christine, M. Korsgaard

Tobe truthful in all declarations represents a sacred command of thereason that prescribes unconditionally that one should not berestricted by inconveniences. Consideringthis principle, are all lies morally permissible irrespective of theconsequences? Accordingto Kant, there is no maxim to lying that can pass universalizationtests because upon the maxim’s universalization, the person to belied to can be said to expect to such lies. In his argument of lyingto the murderer at the door, Kant emphasizes exceptionless moralprinciple. The trouble with this principle is that saying the truthwhile knowing that the end results of telling it may make onecomplicit in the murder of the other person. Kant argued that even insuch situations, lying is unacceptable. The key fallacy of Kant’sargument implies that telling the truth remains the only obligationwhen one has the right to the truth. Saying that a person has theright to truth is meaningless. Nevertheless, we can conclude that aman has the right to his/her own subjective truthfulness.

Mariavon Herbert`s Challenge to Kant`

Mariavon Herbert was a student to Baron Franz. Baron was an enthusiast ofKant’s philosophy. From the letter that Herbert sent to Kant, it isclear that desolation had taken the better part of her with the vastemptiness chilling its clarity, as put starkly by Herbert. Hasthe obedience to morality turned out to be a torment?Withoutthe counterweight of the opposing inclination, is there any othercourse rather than just obey?

Herbertclaimed that the philosophy by Kant looked so good but had not beenhelpful to her. This was, especially, because of her vanished lovefor her friend whom she believed she withheld so much truth until helost confidence in her. However, Kant argues that Herbert`s regret isnot grounded in any morals. Rather, he felt that if she had said thetruth, her reproach would have been grounded in morality. Kant notedthat the value of the life we experience comprises of enjoyment fromother people and is vastly overrated hence Herbert’s love wasdeservedly lost since she failed morally.

Nussbaum(pp. 630-644)Non-Relative Virtues: An Aristotelian Approach

Howdoes Aristotle connect the virtues related to ethical objectivitywith criticisms of the existing local norms? Mostdefenders of the ethical approach on virtue believe that the returnon virtues is dependent on relativism. However, these people rejectabstract rules and general relativism in favor of the good life basedon virtuous actions. It is critical to note that specific behavioralnorms tend to differ greatly. As such, there is a high possibility ofthinking that Aristotle`s thinking, despite the pretensions toobjectivity and universality must be restricted in such a way thatthey reflect the perceptions of the society towards distinguishing.Though a thorough examination of Aristotle`s ethics seemedculture-based, he individuates and enumerates nameless vices andvirtues that are admired in the society.

Annas(pp. 676-685): BeingVirtuous and Doing the Right Thing

Discussthe concept of being virtuous and doing the right thing?

Whileit is true that virtue ethics theory is not applicable due to itsvagueness, it is also true that people tend to apply it every now andthen. It is evident that someone who can direct people on what to dobased on ethics should always avoid any dishonest and mean actions.The ethics theory gives us justification for doing whatever we aretold to do or not to do but theory of right action is clear on theneed to do the right thing and the reasons why it should benecessary.

Noddings(pp. 699-712): An ethic of Caring

Howcan you describe a universal feeling?

Moralityis an active virtue. Any actions taken on behalf of other peoplemean that it is in accordance to natural caring rather than ethics.The care of the child by the mother may not be considered as naturalbut ethical. However, there is a care accorded to because it isnatural, and there are instances when the care is out of love.However, it is still true that ethics based on caring strives inmaintaining a caring attitude that is superior to natural caring.Ethical behavior comes in twin sentiments. First, it involves directfeeling of others and the second, it is the feeling with one`s bestself.

Calhoun(pp. 713-720): Justice, Care, and Gender Bias

Doesthe compatibility of ethics of care and ethics of justice lead toevaporation of charge of gender bias?The exclusion of care and justice undermines the adequacy of ethicsof justice hence renders it gender-biased. Ethics of justice do notexclude ethics of care. The application of moral rules should notexclude knowledge of the contextual rights. The orientation of ethicsof justice and care is crucial, particularly in adequateunderstanding of moral life and correct moral reasoning. The twoethics should not be considered as rivaling since ethics of caremakes clear the focal issues already contained in ethics of justice.


Russ, S. (2013). Ethical Theory: An Anthology, Second Edition. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley &amp Sons Inc.