Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Apply the tenets of Kant's philosophy of morality to the ethical principles of the social work profession. Submission Instructions: An example that evidences the application of - Writeedu

Apply the tenets of Kant’s philosophy of morality to the ethical principles of the social work profession. Submission Instructions: An example that evidences the application of



This activity aims to prepare a written work applying the concepts studied in this module. Go deeper into the topic(s) discussed in the module by answering the following question:

  1. Apply the tenets of Kant's philosophy of morality to the ethical principles of the social work profession.

Submission Instructions:

  • An example that evidences the application of the studied concept.
  • You must author the work submitted without using quotations, the material discussed in the module, or any other source.
  • Contribute a minimum of 450 words for your initial post. It should include at least 2 academic sources, formatted and cite in APA.

Module 5:  Lecture Content 1

I. Kant: Ethics and Non-Dogmatic Dialectics

Immanuel Kant (Prussia, 1724-1804) was one of the most influential intellectuals in political philosophy. Today, justice systems in democracies are based primarily on Kant's writings. The philosopher's work provides a compelling account of a single set of moral principles that can be used to design just institutions to govern society perfectly. The United Nations, formed centuries after Kant's first book, is mainly based on his vision of an international government that unites nation-states and maintains peace.

A. Categorical Imperatives in Kantian Ethics

        A hypothetical imperative is a moral obligation that applies only to pursuing a predetermined goal. For example, a student studies to get good grades. Hypothetical imperatives are independent of morality. Kant argues that categorical imperatives drive moral duties. The rules are categorical in that they are universally applicable to everyone in every situation, regardless of their personal goals and inhibitions. They are imperatives because a human being may be inclined not to adhere to a moral code of conduct since it is only human to seek pleasure and reduce pain.

To conclude, cheating on a test is immoral (Horkheimer, M. 1984). He states, "Act only following that maxim which in time can become a universal law." An idea can only be expounded when it applies to all. Cheating in a test can only be moral when the cheating of everyone else is justified. However, in a practical sense, a massive cheating scandal will eradicate confidence in the meritocracy system, leading to the collapse of educational institutions.

According to Kantian ethics, categorical imperatives are contradictory because, although human beings may be inclined to act in self-interest, their actions must be driven by their duty to humanity. Kant regarded self-improvement and preservation as an indisputable obligation placed on everyone. Therefore, unproductiveness, suicide, or self-destruction is inherently immoral.

B. Kant's Definition of Morality

Kant's moral philosophy is a normative deontological theory. It rejects the idea that the rightness of an action is a function of how fruitful its outcome is. He says that the action's motive (or means), not the consequence (or end), determines its moral worth. To live ethically, one should never treat another human as a means to some greater end. Human beings are different from other forms of physical existence because of their unique capacity to reason.

Kant wrote, "without rationality, the universe would be a waste, vain and purposeless." The only way to preserve such a consciousness, which is unique in the universe or at least on Earth, is to treat all humans as ends in themselves. It is right to eat food to satisfy hunger, but stealing is wrong since it deprives the owner of his private property.

Kant argues for a strict notion of morality, which demands that virtue be universal. Stealing is immoral regardless of one's circumstances. Murder is wrong, even in the case of self-defense. This objectivity remains Kant's most remarkable but disputed idea, for it has challenged the basis of civilization since Aristotle, Horkheimer, M. (1984).

However, Kant is not a masochist or an anarchist. He understands that for civilization to exist, a student must use himself as a means to get good grades and his teacher to accumulate knowledge. He introduces the idea that respect is essential to humanity and that it is different from feelings such as love, sympathy, or altruism. Respect does not discriminate like love. One is human, and therefore, one deserves respect. Kant called it the Formula for Humanity, which remains his least controversial formulation.

II. The Subject as an End in Itself

The Critique of Pure Reason is considered the most comprehensive account in the history of determining free will. Kant spoke of freedom not as a concretely established universal law but as something of one's creation. To act virtuously simply because one fears a penalty is counterproductive.

Free will goes beyond the pessimistic view of "freedom from" external actors and becomes a "freedom to" autonomously determine and impose moral requirements. It is like Jean Jacques Rousseau's idea of freedom. When one acts according to one's desires or intuition, one works to satisfy a need. This makes one a slave to impulse, and for Kant, freedom is the opposite of necessity. Thus, his notion of freedom differs from libertarianism, which preaches that one should be free to do as one pleases.

Critics argue that autonomy creates subjectivity since different principles could have decisive authority over different people. Kant's answer is simple: rationality is universal, regardless of one's personal experiences and circumstances. If morality is derived from reason, there must be an objective sense of what is virtuous and what is not.

Module 5:  Lecture Content 2

III. Ethics in Social Work

During the 1990s, the Code of Ethics had several impactful changes focused on clients and social workers (Reamer, 2006). The profession began to emphasize the importance of maintaining professional boundaries with clients as social workers became more involved in clients' lives. The Code of Ethics also included five new principles focused on social work impairment and dual relationships. This led to a significant revision due to the profession's developing understanding of ethical issues that still needed to be addressed, resulting in the public and media paying more attention to the NASW Code of Ethics (Habermas, J. 1989).

In 2008, a major development incorporated sexual orientation, gender identity, and immigration status into the nondiscrimination standards in the Code of Ethics. This was a significant update because, over a long period, these groups of people have been heavily discriminated against in the United States and worldwide.

Social workers understand the value of the profession and its ethical standards and relevant laws and regulations that may affect practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Social workers understand ethical decision-making frameworks and how to apply critical thinking principles to those frameworks in practice, research, and policy settings. (CSWE, 2015)

· Social justice: Social workers challenge social injustice. Social work as a profession is unique in its commitment to social justice and the level of equity that exists in society. Working for social justice means striving to create a society where all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, economic status, age, or physical or mental ability, have the same basic rights and opportunities and develop to their full potential.

· Dignity and worth of the person: Social workers respect the inherent dignity and worth of the person. Respect for the uniqueness and individuality of each person is another key ethical principle for social workers. Social workers support cultural and ethnic diversity and clients' right to express their identities. Social workers must balance the individual's rights with the interests of society in a socially responsible manner.

· Importance of human relationships: Social workers recognize the central importance of human relationships. Social workers are committed to working with all forms of connections at the individual, family, group, organizational, and community levels. Change occurs both within and between people. Therefore, human relationships are central to social work practice.

· Integrity: Social workers behave in a trustworthy manner. Being a social work professional means adhering to the standards of behavior required by profession. A key standard is an integrity, which requires workers to act honestly in all endeavors and participate responsibly in their environment.

· Competence: Social workers practice within their competence areas and develop and enhance their professional expertise. After being trained and working as certified professionals, all social workers should further develop their areas of knowledge and increase their understanding of people's strengths, problems, and needs. This is a lifelong professional pursuit. It ensures that the social worker's knowledge base is current and meaningful, enhancing effectiveness in solving today's social problems Habermas, J. (1989).

· Human rights: Everyone is entitled to basic human rights such as liberty, security, privacy, an adequate standard of living, health care, and education. Social workers recognize the global interconnections of oppression, understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression, advocate for human rights and social and economic justice, and engage in practices that promote social and economic justice.

· Scientific research: "Social workers use practice experience to inform research, employ evidence-based interventions, evaluate their practice, and research findings to improve practice, policy, and social service delivery. Social workers use ethical approaches to research." The profession's core values and ethical principles form the foundation on which social workers practice. All professional social workers are expected to adhere to them. Wanting to help people is an important ingredient in good social work practice. Still, it must be supported by a commitment to social justice, individual worth, integrity, and competence. This combination of values and ethics makes social work unique among helping professions (Bauman, Z. 2002).

A. Responsibilities of Social Workers

While considering the core values and ethical principles of the profession, some of the most important ethical responsibilities for social workers are highlighted:

· Recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide practice. For example, a person may have a personal or religious value that homosexuality is morally wrong. As a professional social worker, you should not impose your religious values on clients. If you have a client who identifies as gay, you should treat them with the same dignity and respect as any client. If you cannot do so, you should refer the client to someone who can."

· Respect and promote a client's right to self-determination. A client's right to self-determination should only be limited by actions or potential actions that may cause imminent harm to the client or others. When working with children, the principle of self-determination is more complicated.

Respect a client's right to privacy and confidentiality. Only disclose confidential information with the client's permission. As with self-determination, confidentiality should only be breached when a client is in imminent danger. Particularly in the world of social networking and instant messaging.

Module 5:  Lecture Content 3

IV. Social Policies and the Promotion of Social Peace

Bauman Z. (2002) states, "Social Policy is related to the study of social services and the welfare state. It developed in the early part of the 20th century to complement social work studies aimed at people who would be professionally involved in welfare administration. Over the last forty years, the scope and breadth of the subject have developed. The main areas relate to

· Regulatory and administrative practice in social services, including the administration of health, social security, education, employment services, community care, and housing policy

· Social problems, including crime, disability, unemployment, mental health, learning disability, and old age

· Social disadvantage issues include race, gender, poverty, work, and economics.

· The range of collective social responses to these conditions

Social policy is a subject area, not a discipline; it borrows from other social science disciplines to develop scholarship. Contributing disciplines include sociology, social work, psychology, economics, political science, management, history, philosophy, and law.

A. The Role of Social Work in Institution Building, Dialogue, and Reconciliation.

"The main causes of war and conflict in societies are many, including inequalities, injustice, and deteriorating human relations. Often, societies are vulnerable to conflict and insecurity when local institutions cannot provide equitable access to justice and economic opportunities. It can be argued that poverty and lack of access to the necessities of life are among the main drivers of conflict." This means that societies affected by violent conflict are more likely to fail to meet their people's basic life requirements. Similarly, low-income countries are at high risk of experiencing conflict (World Bank, 2011). The effects of conflict can reverse all development efforts, resulting in underdevelopment and high poverty levels.

The World Bank emphasizes the promotion of stable and peaceful societies as a basis for achieving development. This is supposed to enable countries to meet the needs of the population. Considering the link between peace and development, building peaceful societies is vital for development to occur. It is in peaceful societies that human rights can be respected and protected. In the world of violent conflict, various professions can promote peace differently. This being a human service-oriented profession, the peacebuilding and development agenda is inherent in the values and goals of the social work profession. Like other professionals, social workers can play a critical role in promoting peace, human rights, and development by advocating for human worth, dignity, and worthiness. However, although the 1980s marked a period of heightened professional concerns with issues of war and peace, the literature revealed that the profession was primarily absorbed in the psychological, social, and economic effects of war and less engaged in advancing a conceptual framework to inform a social work approach to positive peace (Yesufu, 2009).

As a result, some substantive issues related to social action to promote peace and human rights have yet to be addressed, making the profession less effective, given the link between peace, human rights, and development. Development implies change for the betterment of the individual, the society in which the individual exists, and the world. Underdevelopment has to do with poverty, malnutrition, hunger, disease, denials of human rights, and all such indignities on an individual (Young, 1993). However, social work practitioners can contribute to peacebuilding and development by empowering clients and fighting for human rights and social justice. "Peace-oriented social work would also reduce hatred and violence and thus promote institution building, dialogue, and reconciliation, which is fundamental to development. Social work is a profession that aims to help those who cannot help themselves. Being a caring professional, the social worker must find out the root cause of the client's vulnerability."

The social work profession strives to promote the dignity and worth of all people, regardless of their political and economic status and religious affiliation. The profession is committed to improving the quality of life and developing clients' full potential by addressing the barriers, inequalities, and injustices that exist in society. Human rights and social justice principles are fundamental to social work. Considering the nature of social problems faced by most countries and being fully aware of the importance of peace in social work practice, several scholars, Mehta (1997), Mullaly (1997), and Yesufu (2009), have called for the involvement of the social work profession in peacebuilding. Suppose it is a meaningful and viable profession in promoting development on the continent, particularly in war-torn countries. For example, Mullaly (1997) called for peace consciousness for social workers, while Yesufu (2009) suggested the integration of a peace paradigm into social work practices.

"Social work can play a critical role in building resilience, support, and constructive social relationships at the individual and institutional levels to develop peaceful communities. Social workers can support welfare institutions to combat the inequality that can cause poverty among disadvantaged groups.

In cases where there is a severe reduction in welfare services, which may result in increased inequalities between the haves and have-nots, social workers can refocus their emphasis to advocate for marginalized groups to maintain peace in society." Advocacy can also help strengthen institutions involved in the struggle for human rights. The revised curriculum would prepare social workers to work with vulnerable groups, such as women's movement organizations for people living with disabilities, to promote human rights and social justice (Morgaine, 2014). This is critical for the equitable distribution of resources and poverty alleviation.

4.2 Social work, dialogue, and reconciliation. The functions of social work practice include strengthening human relationships, mediation, consensus, collaboration, and team spirit. However, there are cases where such approaches do not meet people's needs (Yesufu, 2009).


 Module 5:  Lecture Content 4

X. Max Weber and the Rationalization of the Modern World

Arguably the leading social theorist of the twentieth century, Max Weber is the principal architect of modern social science, and Karl Marx and Emil Durkheim. Max Weber's influence was far-reaching through the wide range of disciplinary, methodological, ideological, and philosophical reflections that are still current. Weber's wide-ranging contributions gave critical impetus to the birth of new academic disciplines, such as sociology, and significant reorientation in law, economics, political science, and religious studies. His methodological writings were instrumental in establishing the self-identity of modern social science as a distinct field of inquiry. Moreover, Weber's two most celebrated contributions were the "rationalization thesis," a major metahistorical analysis of the dominance of the West in modern times, and the "Protestant ethics thesis," a non-Marxist genealogy of modern capitalism. Together, these two theses helped recognize him as one of the founding theorists of modernity. Moreover, his avid interest and involvement in politics led to a unique stream of political realism comparable to that of Machiavelli and Hobbes.

"Max Weber pioneered and introduced the theory of rationalization. Rationalization refers to formal rules of regulation and procedures. He believed societies evolve due to the advancement of science, technology, spending capitalism, bureaucratization, and advancements such as these due to rationalization. Traditional societies are transformed into modern societies because intellectual or rational rules and procedures within social institutions replace traditions. He argued that, due to the advent of rational rules and procedures, all incalculable forces are eliminated from the economic structure of modern societies." The means and production procedures are systematically adjusted to obtain and maximize profit. In addition to the predictability of results and the maximization of efficiency, individuals become professional and organized within modern societies. However, rational rules are only concerned with efficiency maximization without considering the concerns of individuals. It does not matter if these rules and procedures are tedious or exhausting for individuals.

Weber recognizes that rationalization is undoubtedly responsible for many social advances, but it will become a bad thing over time. When rationalization increases within a given society, individuals will feel trapped in the cage of formal rules and procedures (Bauman, Z. 2002).

Long-term rationalization processes are rooted in values rather than interests. The predominance of practical, theoretical, and formal rationalization processes in modern Western societies implies immense consequences for the type of person likely to live in these societies. Although "rationality" and its various manifestations in historical rationalization processes have been universally recognized as an important and perhaps the main theme in Weber's work, only a few commentators have endeavored to investigate this theme or relate the various types of rationality to each other.

A. General Characteristics of Weber's Types of Rationality and Rationalization

"Weber's fourfold typology of social action is presented as affective, traditional, and valuational rational action and refers to universal capacities of human beings. Instead of depending for their existence on social, cultural, or historical constellations, these types of social action are found 'outside history' as anthropological features of a man."

B. Max Weber's Types of Rationality: Practical, Theoretical, Substantive, and Formal

Examining types of rationality is intended to demonstrate the multiform character of "rationality" in Weber's work. The Weberian maxim that very different patterns of action and ways of life can be "rational" will be repeatedly stressed.

1. Practical Rationality

Weber designates all life forms that view and judge worldly activity concerning the individual's purely pragmatic and selfish interests as practical rational (1930). Instead of involving patterns of action that, for example, actively manipulate the given routines of everyday life in the name of a whole value system, the apathetic rational way of life accepts given realities. It calculates the most expedient means of dealing with their difficulties." Pragmatic action in everyday interests is bottom-up, and given practical ends are achieved by careful weighing and increasingly precise calculation of the most suitable means (1946). Therefore, this type of rationality manifests man's capacity for rational action of means and ends.

2. Theoretical Rationality

This type of rationality involves a conscious mastery of reality by constructing increasingly precise abstract concepts rather than through action. Since a cognitive confrontation with one's experience prevails here, thought processes such as logical deduction and induction, attribution of causality, and the formation of symbolic "meanings" are typical. More generally, all abstract cognitive processes denote theoretical rationality in their expansive active forms (Bauman, Z. (2002).

3. Substantive Rationality

Like practical rationality, though, unlike theoretical rationality, substantive rationality directly orders action into patterns. However, it is not based on a purely means-ends calculus of solutions to routine problems but concerning a past, present, or potential "value postulate" (1968). Not simply a single value, such as the positive evaluation of wealth or the performance of duty, a value postulate involves whole groups of values that vary in completeness, internal consistency, and content. Therefore, this type of rationality manifests man's inherent capacity for rational action of value.

4. Formal Rationality

In contrast to the inter-civilizational and epochal transcendental character of practical, theoretical, and substantive types of rationality, formal rationality generally relates to spheres of life and a structure of domination that acquired specific and delineated boundaries only with industrialization: most significantly, the economic, legal, and scientific spheres, and the bureaucratic form of domination. While practical rationality always indicates a diffuse tendency to calculate and solve routine problems through rational patterns of means-ends action by pragmatic self-interest, formal rationality legitimizes a similar rational calculation of means and ends by referencing universally applied rules and laws or regulations.

C. Rationalization Processes in General and Rationalization in Modern Societies

For Weber, a purely analytical discussion of the potential of different types of rationality to introduce methodical rational ways of life has little bearing on whether this potential was realized in societies. On the battlefield of history, interests have fought against interests, and values and "ideas," regardless of the clarity of their formulation or their specific integrity, have died a sudden death unless securely anchored within social and economic matrices. Likewise, whether they were based on practical, theoretical, formal, or substantive rationality, rationalization processes have been set in motion as significant socio-cultural developments only when firmly rooted social strata have emerged as their "carriers."

Substantive rationality is primarily responsible for constituting the fundamental concepts in its analysis. Only ethical rationalities can permanently suppress the practical rational regularities of action or, just as importantly, intensify them by transforming them into practical ethical steps.

Moreover, only ethical rationalities fully possess the analytical vigor to subdue formal rationalization processes. Finally, only ethical rationalities provide valuable content for theoretical rationalization processes, set them in motion in specific directions as value rationalization processes, and give rise to comprehensive and internally unified value configurations. Although for Weber, these value constellations are largely manifestations of "irrational" (1946) historical, economic, political, domination, and even geographical forces, they constitute rationally consistent worldviews to which individuals can orient their actions in all spheres of life. Whenever these worldviews acquire the social and economical anchorage necessary for their diffusion throughout a civilization, they establish the "tracks" (Gleise) or boundaries within which everyday altercations occur between economic, political, and other interests.

 Module 5:  Lecture Content 5

VI. The Social Worker and his Intervention as a Bureaucrat

In 1765, Baudeau stated that the social work profession consists of collective values that reflect the responsibility implicit in the role of social work in society (Levy, 1973). Bureaucracy is an administrative structure with well-defined offices or functions and a hierarchical relationship between functions (Kirst-Ashman and Hull, 2012). An agency within the bureaucracy has defined duties, rights, and responsibilities. Sometimes this type of system makes it challenging to implement change."

Service is valued in the social work profession (NASW, 2008). Social workers have a substantial influence on the worker-client relationship, which places them in a position of accountability to their clients because of their professional skills and knowledge. At the same time, social workers indeed want to serve their clients to the best of their ability. To serve their client to the best of their ability, the social worker must constantly be aware of how well social service organizations serve their clients. The NASW Code of Ethics supports this under section 1.05 (b), which states that "social workers should have a knowledge base of their clients' cultures and be able to demonstrate competence in providing services that are sensitive to clients' cultures and differences among individuals and cultural groups (Baudeau).

Just as social workers can advocate for an individual client, they can also join with client groups, other social workers, and allied professionals to advocate for legislation and social policies to provide needed resources and improve social literacy. Social workers may also be advocates within their agencies when a gap or lack of services is recognized within an agency.

In small communities and rural areas that lack access to community planners, direct practitioners may need a planning role, usually in conjunction with individuals in positions with access to monetary resources and social power. In this role, the practitioner works formally and informally with department directors and managers to plan programs responding to unmet and emerging needs. Such needs might include childcare programs, transportation for the elderly and disabled, and recreational and health care programs, to name just a few. Planners have insider perspectives on financial parameters, local and national policies, expressed community needs and concerns, and dependency parameters surrounding creating new services and maintaining current ones.

The involvement of direct practitioners in policies and procedures is generally limited to agencies that provide direct services to clients. The management style primarily determines the degree of participation in such activities within a given agency. Capable administrators generally solicit and invite feedback from professional staff on how the agency can respond more effectively to its service users. Because caseworkers serve on the front line, they are strategically positioned to assess client's needs and evaluate how policies and procedures serve or fail to serve clients' best interests. For these reasons, social workers should be actively involved in decision-making processes related to policies and procedures. In rural areas and small communities, direct practitioners are often involved in developing policies that address a broad community's needs rather than a circumscribed target group. In such cases, social workers must draw on knowledge and skills acquired in social welfare policy, services, and community planning courses.


Module 5:  Lecture Content 6

VII. Tensions Between the Scientist and the Politician

Some scientists hesitate to acknowledge the fact that science is political. This argument is held up as the gold standard of objectiv

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