Immanuel Kant Duty

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Immanuel Kant’s Classic Work Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals “outlines a rationalist ethical system centered in the notion of the categorical imperative as the fundamental principle of action” (Pojman and Tramel 218). The excerpt we read The Foundation of Ethics focuses on what gives an action moral worth, Kant argues that only if we act out of a sense of duty do we find a true sense of moral worth. I find this claim to be a very interesting one because I have never thought about how duty not in the sense that everyone thinks of duty but in the way that Kant defines it, gives us our sense of moral worth or moral credit for an action that is performed. I always look at it as we preformed based on the values that were instilled on us …show more content…
His first proposition is that an action must be done from a sense of duty to have moral worth. He proposes within this proposition that we may act on a principle of duty but that we may act on it out of selfish regards. He offers an example of a dealer, the dealer he says “Should not over charge an inexperienced purchaser certainly accords with duty; and where there is much commerce, the prudent merchant does not over charge but keeps to a fixed price for everyone in general, so that a child may buy from him just as well as everyone else may” (Pojman and Tramel 222). This certainly would line up with this sense of duty or the duty that the merchant should offer fair prices, but he can ultimately act on this for selfish reasons. He says that “He cannot, however, be assumed to have in addition an immediate inclination toward his buyer, causing him, as it were, out of love to give no one as far as price is concerned any advantage over another. Hence the action was done neither from duty nor from immediate inclination, but merely for the selfish purpose.” (Pojman and Tramel 222). He also offers in his first proposition that securing our own happiness is a duty. He says that if universal inclination to happiness and health didn’t maintain a role in this calculation, then “there still remains here, as in …show more content…
He says that we should find moral worth based solely on law, but all laws aren’t going to be morally okay with everyone. A prime example is the thought on abortion between the two political parties. The republicans feel like abortion should be regulated and many don’t view abortion as morally okay and the democrats say it’s the women’s body let her do with it what she wants, there isn’t a law dictating or governing abortions. So how are we supposed to look toward laws for things that don’t presently have a law imposing them. It’s a catch 22 in that sense because how do we find moral worth in a situation like that. Additionally, he says that we can’t act out of selfish regards or otherwise we are no longer preforming a duty and we won’t find moral worth. I disagree to an extent with that because I think that we have to be selfish to find that sense on worth, especially in the society that we live in today that’s so money driven it’s hard to not be selfish. Yes, obviously, you can help the needy and find that you feel a huge sense of moral worth but aren’t you being selfish looking for things to make yourself feel morally worthy? It’s kind of the sharp edge of a sword and a very on the line concept that he proposes makes an action morally worth

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