Kant’s Foundations of Ethics:
- Ethics founded in reason:
o Ethics and obligations grounded in reason, not empiricism or nature of persona.
Kant wants to ensure absolute necessity of directions of actions.
o Experience and judgement necessary for practical rules and applying law
Not a theory of value; what kind of action is right: the right action is
motivated by the right reason.
- The Good Will
o Good will is the only thing with intrinsic, unconditional value – the faculty of
Choosing the right thing for the right reasons
o What about intelligence, courage, moderation etc.
Can be bad/harmful: can’t count on developing these character traits
Self control: a villain with self control could be more dangerous than
a non controlled villain.
o What about happiness?
If it was the true end of human nature, then why would we have reason and
not only instinct?
Happiness is a part, but should not be the ground of our moral
- Kantian Agency:
o Rational persons act from reasons (derived from principles