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Final Project Part 1

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Final Project Part One
Amanda Schneider
Ethics in the Legal Environment
LS312-03
February 17, 2014

Final Project Part One
Immanuel Kant is the founder of the ethical theory untitled the categorical imperative. This theory is based on ethical decisions being universal to everyone in society. Being universal to society means that everyone in society would do the same thing. Kant goes further in his analysis by saying that someone’s motives must be pure. A motive is considered pure as long as it is not selfish. So to apply this theory you must test both the motive behind the action as well as the universality to the action (The Kaplan eGuide to Ethics and the Legal Environment, 2013). To examine the scenario given for this assignment you must first identify the action. In this case the action being examined is whether or not it is ethical for one board member to use their board member status when dealing with personal business contacts. The first part of Kant’s theory states that a person’s motives must be pure. In this case the board member’s motive are not pure. They want to use the board’s good name to further his personal business connections. This motive is selfish as it only produces a positive effect for the board member’s personal business. This board member is not acting with a pure motive and therefore fails the first part of Kant’s theory. Next you must apply this action universally. What would happen if every board member was allowed to use the board’s name in dealing with personal business contacts? There would be no need to sign a document stating that they are not biased to one particular company. There would also be more conflicts that could arise between board members. When member are appointed to the board there is an understanding that they are not going to show favor to any specific company.
Under Kant’s theory the…...

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