more from Immanuel Kant

Single Idea 6694

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / D. Deontological Ethics / 5. Persons as Ends]

Full Idea

Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or that of another always as an end and never as a means only.

Gist of Idea

Always treat humanity as an end and never as a means only


Immanuel Kant (Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals [1785]), quoted by Gordon Graham - Eight Theories of Ethics Ch.6

Book Reference

Graham,Gordon: 'Eight Theories of Ethics' [Routledge 2004], p.114

A Reaction

Does this really mean that I can't just negligently buy a newspaper without making an effort to respect its seller? How do I ensure that I treat myself as an end, and don't slip into treating myself as a means? What would that be like? Prostitution?