Study Stuff for Final
Do we have any "natural" reason to act morally? What would Kant say?
Butler? How might Butler argue that it is at least possible that we have a reason
to be moral, even if "reason alone" does not do the job?
Kant would say that we have a single moral obligation, derived from the concept of duty,
to act moral. These moral laws are based on reason, therefore if we are rational beings
we will naturally act moral. Butler argues that people are motivated by self-love and self-
interest (affections). If we think particular affections requires us to treat ppl a certain
way, with kindness for example, it is a requirement of morality. So a desire to achieve
happiness through your affections is a reason butler gives to act moral. If we are kind to
someone, it has minimal costs to us and they will like us more, etc. Butler tries to
persuade ppl of the principle to love ones neighbor as oneself.
Mill seems to deny the thing the seems to believe (that there are more motives besides
Mill claims, in Ch. 4, that people desire nothing but happiness. Butler has an
argument to show that Mill must be wrong. What is Butler's argument? Explain.
According to Butler people do not act strictly out of self interest, a desire for happiness.
Butler believes that the human race is lucky because happiness is one of our
fundamental desires; however it is hard to find happiness.
If one only had the particular
affection of happiness it would not make sense to do one thing or another, though
happiness can be achieved through one’s other particular affections.
affections are satisfying because one can do something about them, one finds these
enjoyable in themselves, and one cares about them for their own sake.
They may be
different from happiness but each one is a good means to happiness.
It is impossible to
have only the desire for happiness and act on it successfully, one needs at least one
other desire in order to achieve happiness.
Therefore since one desires other particular
affections they have a way of achieving happiness, yet there is no pleasure at all if there
was no prior affection for doing a given task.
Pleasure is something that is derived from
doing something else, and since one’s life involves all these particular affections one
has plenty of motives of action that do not involve self love, but all lead to happiness.
The motives of kindness, benevolence, and generosity are all beneficial because they
are a lot more congenial to ones self happiness.
Explain Kant's distinction between categorical and hypothetical imperatives,
and, using that distinction, explain whether Mill's principle of right action is
categorical or hypothetical
Kant distinguishes hypothetical imperatives as things that are contingent on another