The moral argument against happiness in the grounding a book by immanuel kant

But only a rational being can recognize a general moral law and act out of respect for it. This essay displays many of the virtues of the collection as a whole -- it weaves historical information about Kant and his contemporaries together with a close look at his writings taken as a whole.

There are eleven essays in total.

When someone undertakes an action with no other motivation than a sense of duty, they are doing so because they have recognized a moral principle that is valid a priori. Why do human beings not have a direct duty to respect them?

In other words, our idea of freedom depends not on our notion of morality, but it results from our partaking in the intelligible world. A Critical Guide Published: Even if dignity is understood as relational, as Sensen argues it should be, the fact remains that everything else in the world should be valued only as a means for rational nature.

It is a principle of the composition of natural organisms that each of their purposes is served by the organ or faculty most appropriate to that purpose. The will which is a causality of rational beings is free when it is autonomous, therefore not conditioned by alien causes while natural necessity is that causality of irrational beings typically influenced by alien causes.

Chapter 1 Summary The one thing in the world that is unambiguously good is the "good will. The idea seems to be that non-rational beings do not possess freedom, and are therefore mere playthings of nature. The consequence of this presupposition is the awareness that subjective or particular principles need to be adopted so that they can be valid objectively or universally.

This principle is similar to the first. Now the concept of cause calls for that of effect: Similarly, all people have a duty to help others in distress, yet many people may help others not out of a sense of duty, but rather because it gives them pleasure to spread happiness to other people.

For instance, a grocer has a duty to offer a fair price to all customers, yet grocers abide by this duty not solely out of a sense of duty, but rather because the competition of other grocers compels them to offer the lowest possible price.

By contrast, a good will is intrinsically good--even if its efforts fail to bring about positive results. By contrast, if they undertake an action in order to bring about a particular result, then they have a motivation beyond mere duty.

Striking a nice balance of interpretive and normative concerns, each essay draws on a wide variety of sources, including not only Kant, but also his sympathetic commentators and his detractors. In order to clarify the idea of what freewill entails in terms of morality we need to prove that freedom is the property of the will for rational beings.

The fact is that reason serves purposes that are higher than individual survival and private happiness. An agent is either interested in the realization of an object because he is interested in the action itself, which is directly commanded by the moral law; or because he is interested in acting in a certain manner for the sake of bringing about an object that appeals to him … Kant is systematically developing the theme of the incorruptible, sturdy, and self-reliant nature of morality, grounded solely in practical reason, as opposed to the fickle and unpredictable support actions that accord with duty may hope to receive from inclination.

In other words, freewill is equal to a will that is subject to moral law. Basing on the above consideration one can see that morality is conjugated to freedom, even though freedom as a property of human nature cannot be proved but only presupposed.

What is the difference between a "perfect" and an "imperfect" duty?acting could themselves be principles of the will. Moral action, it turns out, is in a very deep sense principled action -- action done on the basis of considerations that could themselves stand as principles.

() With this view in mind, Kant offers an example of a person considering whether or not to make a false promise. The "reverence" for law that such a being exhibits (this is explained in Kant's footnote) is not an emotional feeling of respect for the greatness of the law.

Rather, it is the moral motivation of a person who recognizes that the law is an imperative of reason that transcends all other concerns and interests. Groundwork Immanuel Kant Preface Groundwork Immanuel Kant Preface norm for making correct moral judgments, morality itself will be subject to all kinds of corruption.

works against morality’s own purposes. I am pointing to the need for an entirely new field of. inextricably linked to happiness.

Discussion on Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals (Kant)

Kant does not discuss happiness much because happiness is not the basis of his system of ethics, in contrast to most ethical theories which make happiness the aim of morality. However, happiness stills has a role to play in his ethics. In this essay I will discuss how happiness fits into Kant’s ethics.

Included are interpretive and critical essays concerning Kant's conception of character, the role of happiness and inclination in Kant's arguments, Kant's rejection of earlier moral theories, how to understand "dignity" in the humanity formulation of the categorical imperative, and the metaphysical arguments (or lack thereof) in the arguments of the.

The nineteenth-century philosopher Hegel is generally credited with developing this argument against Kant. Hegel argued that our thinking is structured by the beliefs, institutions, and traditions of the society in which we live.

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The moral argument against happiness in the grounding a book by immanuel kant
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