DSST Business Ethics Study Guide sm

A if one performs an action by inclination then that

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a. If one performs an action by inclination, then that action, on Kant's view, has no moral worth. Thus, morality necessarily involves a struggle against our emotional inclinations. The natural love of a parent for a son or daughter has no moral worth in the Kantian sense of the term.
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b. The choices necessary to live a good life could involve actions which entail results incompatible with happiness. c. Yet, as opposed to Kant, isn't Aristotle correct in his assessment of the formation of character through habit? Isn't it better to do things from inclination? E.g., suppose an acquaintance has to struggle with himself not to start rumors about you and is successful. Should his actions be valued more than an acquaintance who is fair to you by habit? d. Or, in the same spirit, as Stace points out, "Isn't it better to do one's duty cheerfully than begrudgingly?" II. Duty is the necessity of acting out of reverence for universal law. Moral value is essentially established by the intention of the person acting. A. Maxim: a particular directive, a subjective principle of volition (a principle upon which you act). The nature of the maxim upon which an action is based is the manner in which intentions are expressed. So a maxim expresses a subjective motivation ( i.e ., a want, a wish, a desire) to act in a specific manner. 1. A maxim can be viewed implicitly as a conditional of the form, “ If I am in circumstances C 1 C n and I seek results R 1 —R n to occur then I do actions A 1 A n ,” although most are expressed much more simply than this. 2. An example of maxim that cannot be generalized is “If I am a student with a student loan and I seek to be financially better off, then I do not repay the loan.” (If this maxim were to be generalized for everyone, no student loans would be paid off, and, consequently, under those conditions, no student loans could be offered.)
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3. Kant assumes that every voluntary act is based upon a maxim of one kind or another. B. Hypothetical Imperative: a conditional command expressing a maxim based on relative means and their related ends in the everyday world. The goal sought here is not based upon pure reason alone but rather upon practical reason. The goal is willed (rather than just wished for). A maxim can be viewed implicitly as a conditional of the form, “ If I am in circumstances C 1 C n and I seek results R 1 —R n to occur, then I ought or should do actions A 1 A n . ” The result of a hypothetical imperative is not something unconditional, like, for example, a duty. Rather, e.g., "If you want to learn philosophy, then you ought to study hard." If an individual does not seek philosophical understanding, then the hypothetical imperative would simply not apply. That is, a hypothetical imperative is dependent upon contingent circumstances
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a If one performs an action by inclination then that action...

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