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Kent Theory

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This reflective essay was divided into five parts. In the first part, there is a brief description of the first tutorials submission and my new viewpoints of it. Secondly, I provide a brief description of my learning journey. Then, there are my understanding of Kant’s ethics and how it relates to my learning journey. After that, I used Kant’s ethics to analysis a case. Finally, there is a description of the moral reflection on my learning journey. 1.1 Description of the first tutorials submission

In the first tutorial, I submitted a text about “what is responsible commerce and is it important?” In that submission, I defined that responsible commerce as a business which was responsible for some groups of people and organizations. In that article, I hold the point that responsible commerce was important for two reasons: firstly, responsible commerce will have good reputation, which meant this business can borrow money easily; secondly, a responsible commerce can makes people who take part in work efficiently. 1.2 New viewpoints of responsibility commerce

After learning this course, I got more confidence to say that responsible commerce is important. The two reasons “responsible commerce will has good reputation” and “a responsible commerce can make the people who take part in work efficiently” considered it from consequentialist theory. (Shaw, Barry, and Sansbury, 2009) On the other hand, consequentially, the company will earn profit from just being a responsible commerce. Now I also can look at it from non-consequentialist perspective. A company should recognize that they have the duty to provide goods and services for human beings. (Shaw. et al, 2009, p.74.) For example, firstly, a company can donate some profit annually to charity organizations. Secondly, factories can also reduce pollution by setting a limit on the amount of pollutants. (Lewis, & Roehrich 2009) 2. Description of my learning journey

During the study in the COMM101, I get a deeper understanding of moral philosophy and I can use the moral philosophy theories such as egoism and utilitarianism theories to analysis a commercial action. Besides that, I know more about capitalism and socialism. This course acquaints me with the background and features them. And then, I know more about economic distribution which is include the libertarian approach and Rawls’s theory. Moreover, the part of international business and globalizations acquaint me with the definition of globalization. This part also listed several moral issues such as democracy, equality .etc. furthermore, this part emphasize an important corporate way-multinational corporations and explains the connection between moral management and MNCs. Next, this course explained the environment and work place from moral perspective. I think the principles and theories such as environmental responsibility and official position is really useful, because when I become a manager in a firm, I will need them to manage my firm. (Shaw, et al. 2009) 3.1 Understanding of Kant’s ethics

Kant’s ethics is from non-consequentialist perspective, his categorical imperative emphasis on moral motivation and respect for people. We can look at this ethics from two aspects, “Universal acceptability” and “Humanity as an end”. (Shaw, et al. 2009) Before giving my points about Kant’s ethics, I think it is necessary to be clear of what the consequentialist and non-consequentialists are. For consequentialist theory, if the consequences are good, then the action is right. In contrast, non-consequentialist theory contents that if the action is right or wrong is not determined by consequence. (Bajari, & Tadelis, 2001) Kant’s categorical imperative analysis is from non-consequentialist perspective, which means we should only judge whether if the action is right or not based on people’s purposes. Categorical imperative emphasis the morality of any maxim depends on whether we can logically will it to become a universal law. (Lewis. et al, 2009, p.125-142.) Take an example, Jack promised me that he will lend me some money.

However, he did not keep his words. Generally, public hold the opinion that people should keep their promise. In contrast, if Jack had an accident and he needed a large amount of money for his treatment. At the same time, I’m not really need money. In this situation, Jack can break his promise because this maxim became a universal law. (Benjamin, 2011) “Universal acceptability” is another way to explain the categorical imperative. The moral rules we obey are not imposed on us, in contrast the rules are self-imposed. However that not meant if we can use excuse to explain it, the action is right. The rules must be moral rules. (ibid) But how to judge a rule is a moral rule? Firstly, we check if the rules are acceptable to all rational beings. In the consideration of murder, we should not only consider from our own viewpoints, but also from the man who were killed. Secondly, when testing if a rule is morality, we should treat others impartially, regardless of whether they are the doers or the receivers of the action. For example, when I sell a second hand phone, i lie to the buyer that it is a new one though I hate other lie to me. In this issue, I regard the receiver of the action, thus, the action is wrong. (David. 2002) “Humanity as an end, never as merely a means” is another formulation of the core idea of categorical imperative.

This formulation hole the opinion that rational creatures should always treat other rational creatures as ends in themselves and never as only means to ends. This formulation of the core idea requires us judge if an action is right from humanity perspective, which means when we making decisions or doing some other things, we must respect ourselves and others from humanity perspective and the ends are just humanity.(David. 2002, p.23.) For example, some international company donate their money to charity but in the next step, this company focus on tell the public that they have donated a lot of money to promote its credibility. The ends of this action are not from humanity though the charity got money from this company actually. Therefore this donation is not right according to Kant’s ethics. (ibid) Besides our individuals can use the ethics to consider if out action is right, Kant’s moral theory can also be applied for organizations. (Shaw, et al. 2009)

Firstly, the categorical imperative requires the moral rules which do not depend on circumstances and consequences. Because some action are always wrong no matter when and where it happens. For example, polluting is wrong no matter in before and future. (ibid) Secondly, although majority of companies are aim at earn profit, Kant insist that companies should treat humans as mean to end. For example, if a manufacturer wants to treat humans as means to ends, the manufacturer can try to provide more jobs to poor people. This way, morally, this action is right. (Arrowsmith. et al, 2000) Finally, an action has moral worth only if it is done from a sense of duty. On the other words, even an action helps others eventually. However, the motivated is not for duty, it is not right. Take an example, a company offers engineers high salary, but the purpose use the salary to encourage engineers work harder instead of the sense of duty, the action is still wrong. (ibid) 3.2 Effects of Kant’s ethics

The Kant’s ethics have a positive effect on my values framework. First, Previously, I donate money just because others do it. Now I realized this kind of action is wrong and no morality worth because it is not form sense of duty. (Sharan, 2005, p.52.) Secondly, I am always a volunteer in nursing house, because I think I have the duty to take old people. Now I realized that it is right according to Kant’s ethics, which is Humanity as an end, never as merely a means. My ends just to servers old people from humanity, thus I believe this action is right. I need continue to do it in future. 4.1 Description of case

I was a reporter in my hometown in China. In 2010 August, the primary school is going to a new trimester is going to start. A food company named Kangtai connected us and wanted to provide free lunch for students to the school located in country side. We thought it is good for poor students, then we helped the company get connect with three schools. One month later, students told us through hot line that the Kangtai stopped provide students free food, instead of at a reasonable price, I did not though too much no organizations force students to buy it. However, 3 month later, Hebei province TV station exposured that Kangtai provides moldy food and substandard food for students. (Kangtai and moldy food, 2010) 4.2 Analysis

According to Kant’s ethics, Kangtai’s actions are not right. Firstly, provided free lunch for students is not from humanity. In contrast, it was for make their food popular in the schools. According to the theory which is humanity as an end, never as merely a means, Kangtai’s actions treat providing food as merely a means instead of humanity as end. Thus Kangtai’s actions are wrong. (Caldwell. Roehrich, & Davies, 2009) Secondly, providing moldy food and substandard food for students is wrong. According to Kant’s ethics, what determines if an action is right? Must according to if we can will it to become a universal law of conduct or not. However, how to check if a law is moral law? We can use two points. One is to see if the law commands would be acceptable to all rational being. (Shaw, et al. 2009, p.76.) Obviously, providing students moldy food and substandard food cannot not be acceptable by public.

Another is if both of doers and receivers will accept that. I think there is no doubt that the Kangtai will not. Thus, providing moldy food and substandard food for students is wrong. (Clegg, Koenberger, & Pitsis 2001) Thirdly, from Kant in an organizations context perspective, on one hand, providing moldy food and substandard food for students are against to the theory, which is companies should treat humans as mean to end. Kangtai use moldy food and substandard food to low down the cost, it did not consider about human. In contrast, Kangtai just focus on profits. On the other hand, providing free food for promotion is against to the theory, which is an action has moral worth only if it is done from a sense of duty. Thus, the actions of Kangtai are not right and do not have moral worth. (David, 2002) 5. The moral reflection on my learning journey

In my daily life, I am trying to connect the moral principles and issues together which happen in our every daily life. For example, when I have a seat on MRT, I always check if there are old people still standing. If there is someone, I will give my seat to him or her. According to the non-consequentialists, Kant’s categorical imperative told me giving my seat to old people is right. Because I think have the duty to help others and I need to follow my inherent ideas to do the moral actions. When I consider playing computer is right, according to the utilitarianism theory of consequentialist, which is if its consequence brings more total good than those of any alternative course of action, then it is right one. Playing computer brings me less good than reading books, thus, playing computer is wrong. In the future, when I become a manager, I will also use moral principles to manage my group. If I am making a decision about globalization, environment and work place, I can also use the related principles in COMM101.


Arrowsmith, S., Linarelli, J., and Wallace, D. (2000) Analyzing moral issue, luwer Law International, The Hague. Bajari, P. and Tadelis, S. (2001) Media
ethics: issues and case, Journal of moral, 32, 3, pp.387-407. Benjamin, B. (2011) moral issues, accessed Oct 21st, 2012 Kant http://www.tutorialspoint.com/management_concepts.htm Caldwell, N.D., Roehrich, J. K., and Davies, A. C. (2009) Kant’s Theory of Mind: An Analysis of the Paralogisms of Pure Reason, moral issues, 15 3, pp.178-186. Clegg, S., Koenberger, M. and Pitsis, T. S. (ED) (2001) Kant’s Platonic Revolutio , SAGE Publications LTD, London. David,J. (2002) The Categorical Imperative; a study in Kant’s moral philosophy, Journal of Kant’s Fishner, S. (1989) Kant’s Ethical Thought, Camelot Publishers, Merrifield. Kangtai and moldy food (2010) In Zhongguo Xinwen Zhoukan, 25th July, China, p.3. Lewis, M. A. and Roehrich, J. K. (2009) Lectures on the History of Moral Philosophy, Journal of moral issues, 2, 2, pp.125-142. Sharan, A (2005). A Kant Dictionary, Mason, USA

Shaw, w. h., Barry, v. and Sansbury, G. (2009) Moral issues in business, Cengage Learning, Australia.

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