Immanuel Kant's Duty Of Self-Knowledge

Improved Essays
The Duty of Self-Knowledge
Moral self-knowledge is a key to understanding the self. More importantly, the moral self is what benefits from moral self-knowledge. The benefits stem fromIt benefits due to knowledge which contributes to understanding one’s current mental state. This knowledge is not for evaluating ourselves but rather to decide what actions are right. “The value of self-knowledge does not lie in a determination of why I did what I did—whether or not the motive I ultimately acted on was pure” (O’Hagen #?). Our moral selvesf develops once we appreciate that value. Practical knowledge of ourselves through consistent observation of our actions leads to a better understanding of moral objectivity. Moral objectivity is an objective
…show more content…
Deontology is ethics in regardsrelating to duty, moral obligation and right action. The duty of moral self-knowledge is present in ?. The ability to know yourself is a pressing issue that moral agents accessible by abiding duty. Specifically, our inclinations to act are either good or evil. We are obligated to develop knowledge of ourselves. Is our morality in line with what Kant demands in the best interest for humanity as a whole? Kant is widely known for claiming that we cannot know our moral dispositions. At the same time, he is known to declare the first duty of the self from his Metaphysics of Morals is to “Know thyself”. These terms are contrary to one another and therefore must be reconciled. Owen Ware’s paper titled, “Duty of Self-Knowledge” is an exposition of this problem posed by Kant in his writings. Ware solves the puzzle of self-knowledge by reconciling both of Kant’s stated claims. I will reconstruct Ware’s argument detailing the duty of self-knowledge. Next, I will raise two objections to his argument. Also, I will consider a potential reply by Ware. Our moral dedication to understanding ourselves with knowledge is crucial to everyone and therefore, must be properly understood by all. The puzzle of self-knowledge could be solved by disciplining our motivations and maxims to choose actions that uphold duty which are in accordance with

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Kantian ethics, the moral philosophy established by Immanual Kant in his work Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals, is centered around the idea of the “categorical imperative”, the principle that certain actions are strictly prohibited, despite the potential for the prohibited action to bring about more good than the alternative. Kant believed that since humans have the ability to reason, they must use their rationale to determine what these unwavering truths, or moral duties, are. For Kant, if humans act in accordance with these moral duties, and not out of preference, instinct or desire, they are in turn acting with moral worth. This ethical outline can be applied to the case of Ben and Tyler, two buddies whose friendship is…

    • 905 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Rationality meaning one 's judge of values and one 's guide to action.“Settle, for sure and universally, what conduct will promote the happiness of a rational being.”( Kant) Kant first starts by arguing that we are indeed responsible for what we do. The actions that we take are not just a set of events that we have no control over. Other philosophers believe that they are just another set of events that are determined by the things we cannot control. He also bases morality as a matter of duty that is common sense. Whether we feel against or not we know the morally right thing and it’s our duty to care out our action.…

    • 881 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The morality can be determined prior to the action. 2. Categorical imperative as used in Kant’s ethical theory is the tool which tries to eliminate the use of self-interest in deriving what we perceive to be moral. According to the categorical imperative, only actions which are done in fulfillment of duty are regarded to be moral but not action done from the motive of self-interest. From his view, any action done from self-interest are taken to be prudent rather than moral.…

    • 1177 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In this paper I intend to support the claim that reason is the best guide in determining right from wrong. I intend to demonstrate that reason is important as it helps us defend our beliefs and judgements of right from wrong. Having reasons guide us will help answer our moral questions about right and wrong. With logical reasoning, we are able to use our hard thinking to lead us to making our choice of right from wrong. As individuals we make judgements about different action if whether they’re right or wrong.…

    • 774 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Is it the golden rule of treating others the way you would want to be treated? Acting on impulse because it feels good? Or doing your duty because it is your “job” to do so? One cannot determine what is "right" and what is "wrong"; it must be taught or shown to us by means of common sense and unified agreement. At the same time, influence of the self- its own interests, wants and needs- play a bigger role in what creates ones ' moral standpoint.…

    • 1398 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Therefore, the categorical imperative is considered the right thing to do because the action commanded by it is led by reason rather than desire. Due to its nature, the CI is not subjectively binding and it does not simply apply to one individual. Returning to the original definition of the categorical imperative, one must also consider the apodictic principle. This principle describes how the action is attained and bound by…

    • 1228 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Therefore, we ought to be Ethical Egoists. 1.2.3 Ethical Egoism as Compatible with Commonsense Morality 1. There is a set of beliefs that we unknowingly take to be our moral beliefs. 2. The specific beliefs we have in this set are much directed and so need to be explained, e.g.…

    • 737 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    346), these goals act as a means to guide society as a whole to the same general good. Moral Value of Actions The ability for a moral agent to act rests on their possession of free will, this involves having a will to do something that is exempt from rules or regulations (Campbell, 1951, p. 442); these rules and regulations comprise of prescriptive and descriptive law; that which is imposed by the civil authority and that which the sciences intend to invent in order to understand daily events. In order to determine whether a moral agent has free will, it must be questioned if a personal desire can be translated into an action (Campbell, 1951, p. 445); sometimes a moral agent is in a position where they can make this translation and sometimes they can’t. Objective beliefs are completely independent of an individuals belief system and personal preferences (Lawandbioethics.com, 2015); both moral and non-moral standards are objective based on the viewer’s observation of the circumstances. These preferences and standards affect the moral worth of an action only if it is done from a place of duty (Rickless, 2004), and a sense of duty derives from an agent’s respect for the…

    • 1477 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This statement enclosed the justification and the base of the ethical egoism theory, therefore the pursuit of the well- being is the main purpose. Ethical egoism is a controversial moral theory, because it says that we should embrace the self- interest idea. That is whatever we do we should do in the pursuit of our own interest it does not matter if in the process of doing it we harm others. If we fail to do as the…

    • 761 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This is why Kant thinks you cannot measure the morality of an action by its outcome. He believed that the good intentions we have to execute an action is what really matters. In his theory he stated that we should treat…

    • 3463 Words
    • 14 Pages
    Improved Essays