The Morality of Lying to a Person for his Own Good


Must follow the paper prompt and instruction ! ! !

*Read Groundwork for the Metaphysic of Morals by Immanuel Kant (provided in the attachment file)

*Must read Ch.1 & 2.  (Page 1- 40)

Please discuss, from a Kantian perspective, the morality of lying to a person for his own good.  Must consider each of the following cases:

  • Lying to a person about a trivial matter in order to avoid hurting his feelings;
  • Lying to a terminally ill patient about his prospects for recovery in order to keep his spirits up; (understand the following is helpful for this question : “unconditionally good”, “conditionally good”, “extrinsic” and “intrinsic” (For Example : good spirits are desire in themselves are extrinsic, and desirable for something else like health is intrinsic)
  • Lying to a person who is acting in the heat of passion in order to prevent him from doing something you know he will later regret. (Knowledge is true belief, and this case you know he will regret, so build the case that it’s true he will regret.)

Discuss these cases both from the point of view of the Formula of Universal Law and from the point of view of the Formula of Humanity.

So total 6 cases to write about (3 cases above from the Formula of Universal Law) and (3 cases above from Formula of Humanity).


*First talk about from a Kantian perspective, the morality of lying to a person for his own good (*No more than 3 sentences)(No fancy sentences like great philosophy or from dawn of time that stuff, Directly go into the topic)

*Form Thesis

Body paragraphs

*Talk about Formula of Universal Law

            Formula of Universal Law: ‘‘Act only in accordance with that maxim            through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law’’      (G 4:421; cf. G 4:402)

*Talk about Formula of Humanity

            The Formula of Humanity as End in Itself: ‘‘Act so that you use humanity,             as much in your own person as in the person of every other, always at the         same time as end and never merely as means’’ (G 4:429; cf. G 4:436)

(Each case must be 1 page or longer, No more than 2 short quote or none for each case)

*Case 1 from Formula of Universal Law

*Case 1 from Formula of Humanity

*Case 2 from Formula of Universal Law

*Case 2 from Formula of Humanity

*Case 3 from Formula of Universal Law

*Case 3 from Formula of Humanity


*Must be full 8 pages of context or longer (Please don’t count bibliography as one of them).

*No outside source allowed. Direct quote only for this paper! If you have to have to use outside source, please cite direct quote.

Formula of Autonomy: ‘‘the idea of the will of every rational being as a will giving universal law’’ (G 4:431; cf. G 4:432) or ‘‘Not to choose otherwise than so that the maxims of one’s choice are at the same time comprehended with it in the same volition as universal law’’ (G 4:440; cf. G 4:432, 434, 438)

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