Recently, the idea that every hypothetical imperative
must somehow be "backed up" by a prior categorical imperative has gained a certain influence among Kant's interpreters and ethicists influenced by Kant.
In contrast, the Kantian hypothetical imperative
would state the following: "If you break into the proverbial Coke machine, you rotten immoral person, then you are going to have to pay some very serious damages for your destruction of private property." My claim is that this is a far more palatable stance for the philosophy of libertarianism to embrace.
This gives us what Kant calls the hypothetical imperative
or principle of instrumental reason.
Coles commends liturgy, for example, with a hypothetical imperative
: in order to further democratic politics, we should use democratic liturgies.
The universality of rules or the categorical imperative, versus the "if, then" situation of hypothetical imperative
is discussed and adds Kant's "practical imperative" and "kingdom of ends" as an ideal state of affairs, where one treats oneself and others as an end and not merely as a means.
(6) Ellington refers to the common English names for the various formulas of the categorical imperative in his notes; see also Simon Blackburn, "categorical / hypothetical imperative
," in the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), 56-57, for the five forms.
It derives from the philosophical theory that morality is a form of hypothetical imperative
. This means that if X is a rational goal, and Y will achieve that goal, then Y is the moral action.(155) This demonstrates how efficiency and utilitarianism are ultimately a value or moral judgment.
According to Laudan, rules of scientific methodology are neither conventions nor self-justifying intuitions; instead a methodological rule is a "hypothetical imperative
", in the sense that they are means to desired ends.
For Kant the commands of morality are categorical imperatives; in fact, there is only one such command (which can be given at least three different formulations), and so he calls it the categorical imperative (G 416).(3) Categorical imperatives are contrasted with hypothetical imperatives
, where the distinction between the two types of imperatives has to do with whether the imperative is "universally valid" (G 416).(4) A hypothetical imperative
is not universally valid; rather, it "is valid only under a subjectively contingent condition" (G 416).
It can be rephrased as the hypothetical imperative
, 'If you want to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease, keep your cholesterol below 100'.
Human happiness is not tied to a moral sense of goodness, and Socrates does not pretend to supply moral commands or motivation to pursue virtue; rather he gives practical advice on how to go about pursuing one's own happiness: "Socratic ethics is a descriptive theory, from which an appropriate strategy concerning how one should act in order to become happy can be derived as a hypothetical imperative
In the first case, practical reasoning transforms the desire into a maxim by selecting a hypothetical imperative
that matches the desired outcome with an appropriate action.