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Online_Lecture_241 - PHIL 4: Introduction to Ethics “ Out...

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Unformatted text preview: PHIL 4: Introduction to Ethics “ Out of t e crooked T mber of humani ¡ no s ¢ aight t ing was ever made .” — Immanuel Kan £ 1 Kant ( III ) Jonathan Bennett’s www.earlymoderntexts.com 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 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 ❖ 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 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? 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... The Problem with Acting According to Duty ❖ The desire for proFts will nearly always be enough for the shopkeeper to act according to duty. He will give correct change to shopkeeper to act according to duty....
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This note was uploaded on 06/09/2011 for the course PHIL 4 taught by Professor Chandler during the Fall '08 term at UCSB.

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Online_Lecture_241 - PHIL 4: Introduction to Ethics “ Out...

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