Handout (Kant).docx - Kant Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals Section 1 Transition from the ordinary rational knowledge of morality to the

Handout (Kant).docx - Kant Grounding for the Metaphysics of...

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Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals . Section 1. Transition from the ordinary rational knowledge of morality to the philosophical . *Deontology: deon (duty), command, categorical imperative, universality and necessity of moral laws. 1. Good will (393-395) Good will is good only through its willing, i.e., it is good in itself; good without qualification which is absolute, unconditional. Good will is good not because of what it produces(usefulness/fruitfulness), nor because of its fitness to attainment of an end(purposiveness) Intelligence can become extremely bad when the will is bad; power, riches, honor, etc. can make people arrogance if their will is not good. Virtues are conductive to the good will and facilitate its work; but they have no intrinsic unconditional worth, but they presuppose a good will. Absolute value of a good will (has nothing to do with any useful result) Is this idea not merely some high- flown fantasy? Do we not misunderstand the purpose of nature in assigning to reason the governing of our will? We need to examine the idea ! 2. Wisdom of Nature (395-396) Nature does nothing superfluous and is not wasteful in the use of means to its ends. If preservation of life (welfare and happiness) were the ultimate purpose of a living being with reason and will (human beings), nature would be wrong in its assigning to human beings reason and will. For one can achieve preservation, welfare, and happiness by instinct. If surviving were the purpose, reason would not have to have a practical use; reason would serve only to find out appropriate means to achieve a goal (calculative reason). Reason is not competent enough to guide the will safely as regards the satisfaction of all our needs: when it comes to surviving nature, natural instinct is better than reason. It is certain that reason has a practical use; its proper function is to produce a will which is not merely good as a means to some further end, but is good in itself. Wisdom of nature: the first purpose is cultivation of (practical) reason and the second purpose is happiness. The good will is unconditional and absolute; happiness is conditioned. *Good will already dwells in the natural sound understanding and needs not so much to be taught as merely to be elucidated. It always holds first place in estimating the total worth of our actions and constitutes the condition of all the rest (397).
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