ethics paper#2

ethics paper#2 - Gable Parigian Phil 4 Ethics Paper#2...

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Gable Parigian Phil 4- Ethics Paper #2 quest. #1 12-5-07 Kant’s View of Duty According to Kant an action truly displays moral worth when it acts from duty and to better understand this concept of duty we must examine how this concept contains this idea of “the good will” which Kant explains is the only thing that’s good without limitation. Kant argues that “the good will” is the one and only thing in the world that has intrinsic value, which is something that has value in and of itself and which produces nothing distinct from itself. He suggests that “the good will” is the making of plans and decisions, the adoption of policies, or in Kant’s words the “setting of ends”. Nothing else can be good without limitation because they can be used for evil. For example, wealth can be used to take jobs away from people when say a wealthy man starts up a large company that makes many other smaller companies go out of business, thus, making many people unemployed and of course this can’t be good. Furthermore, even happiness is not good without limitation, thus, it’s merely an instrumental value in Kant’s view, due to the fact that happiness can lead to arrogance and that isn’t good when that happens and that when a bad person is happy that isn’t good either. Kant even suggests that the goal of human life can’t be happiness because people as a whole are not very happy and struggle trying to be, whereas we are better wired or programmed to reason about things. So, the good will is the only will that is good without limitation. Kant shows how there are four kinds of willings and yet only the good will truly displays moral worth because it’s the only one that acts from duty and a will that’s good is one that must act from duty and not merely in accordance with duty. The first act which Kant introduces is not good is an act that’s done contrary to duty. This is obviously not good because it shows that the person is knowingly acting in a way where he or she has gone in the complete opposite direction of what can be considered the right thing to do. An example might be a teacher giving a student a
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Fail on a paper when they obviously deserved an “A” due to the paper covering the topic exceptionally well and being turned in on time and such. Furthermore, the second act which Kant
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This essay was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PHIL 4 taught by Professor Chandler during the Fall '08 term at UCSB.

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ethics paper#2 - Gable Parigian Phil 4 Ethics Paper#2...

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