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Online_Lecture_241 - PHIL 4 Introduction to Ethics Out of e...

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PHIL 4: Introduction to Ethics Out of e crooked mber of humani no s aight ing was ever made .” Immanuel Kan t 1 Kant ( III )
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Jonathan Bennett’s www.earlymoderntexts.com
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From Last Time What is will? The rational setting of aims or goals What makes for a good wi ! ? Respect for the moral law Acting in accord with duty vs. " o m duty The Shopkeeper Cases The Suicide Case The Charity Case
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Recap of Cases 1. Acts done contrary to duty Shopkeeper swindles kid; man commits suicide; you fail to volunteer or give any money this holiday season 2. Act done in accordanc e with duty ( for an ulterior non - moral motive ) Shopkeeper gives correct change for the sake of good business; you volunteer at a shelter to impress you boyfriend 3. Acts done in accordanc e with duty ( from “immediate inclination” ) Shopkeeper gives correct change because he loves kids; man does not commit suicide because he loves life; you volunteer at the shelter because you love to bring a smile to someone’s face 4. Acts done " om duty ( out of respect for the moral law ) Shopkeeper gives correct change because it is the right thing to do; man does not commit suicide out of respect for the moral law; you volunteer at the shelter over Thanksgiving break out of duty
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Kant makes an interesting side point about the biblical command to love your enemy Kant asks, How can we have control over how we feel toward someone? And how can one be commanded to do what one has no direct control over? Kant divides love into two kinds: Practical lov e “lies in the will and in principles of action” whereas pathological lov e “lies in the direction the person’s feelings and...sympathies take.” Feelings and sympathies cannot be commanded, but the will can. So you ought to be kind to your enemy “even when you naturally and unconquerably hat e doing it” Love Thine Enemy
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We can see from the cases what Kant is getting at, but we might still ask... Why exactly does acting ( merely ) in accordance with duty no t have moral worth?
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7 [The cases] suggest why Kant thought that there was something the matter with a dutiful action performed from a nonmoral motive: nonmoral motives may well lead to dutiful actions, and may do this with a [a] degree of regularity...[But] the problem is that the dutiful actions are the product of a fortuitous alignment of motives and circumstances. People who act according to duty from such motives may nonetheless remain morally indifferent ( The Practice of Moral Judgment ). Nonmoral motives make performing one’s duty a matter of luc k Your interests, or moods, or natural sympathies just happe n to lead you to act according to duty Let’s look at two examples...
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The Problem with Acting According to Duty The desire for profits will nearly always be enough for the shopkeeper to act according to duty. He will give correct change to
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