Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals

“In the case of what it is to be morally good, it is not enough that it conform to the moral law but it must be done for the sake of the moral law.” Emmanuel Kant posited the above in his preface to the Groundwork, as well as countless additional times all through his moral works. Kant believed that only the motivation or the reason of duty circumvents leading by sheer accident to the performance of deeds which are dutiful. Kant held that a morally good deed ought to have a motivation that does not generate dutiful deeds by mere coincident. As such, according to Kant, only deeds from obligation are morally good. Accordingly, Kant posits that it is a stipulation of a deed’s being morally good that its motivation does not cause dutiful deeds by coincidence or accident ( Miller 454).

Emanuel Kant’s renowned outlook that dutiful deeds that originate only from duty have moral merit seems to be based partially on the assertion that only the motivation of duty satisfies this condition. To paraphrase Kant, the moral merit of a deed is not to be found on the consequence anticipated from it, or in any law of action which calls for borrowing its motive from this anticipated consequence. As such, in contrast to whichever consequentialist theory, Kant posits that it is wrong to try to find the moral value of a deed in its consequences. This is due to the reason that anticipated outcomes or consequences of deeds, for example advancing one’s personal state, as it is in egoism, or rising the pleasure or happiness of everybody that is likely to be imp[acted by the deed, as it is in utilitarianism, Kant put forward, may possibly have been produced by some other causes. According to Kant, if that was the case, it would be that there would have been no necessitate of the will of a human being.

It is important to remember that for Emmanuel for Kant, it is in this motivation or will only that the highest or ultimate and absolute good can be originated. In addition, for him, if that is where the highest and absolute good is to be seen or originated, then the same is not be originated or seen in the outcomes of a deed, regardless of whether those outcomes presents an improved life for a person, as is the case in egoism, or in an improved life for everybody impacted by the deed, as is the case in utilitarianism. Towards that ending, according to Kant, the most excellent good which we all term as moral can as a result be inclusive of nothing else other than the formation of law in itself, which unquestionably is achievable singly in the thinking human being, for as long as this formation, and not the anticipated outcome, establish the will.

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