Class Notes (838,213)
Canada (510,762)
Philosophy (1,521)
PHL100Y1 (465)
Peter King (114)

PHL lecture, feb. 7.doc

3 Pages
Unlock Document

Peter King

Kant: Morality and Duty • Kant attempts to straighten out what morality is concerned with and to discover the fundamentals of morality o The rational core of morality o There are fundamental rules that form moral thoughts  Doesn’t matter where you are, killing someone for no reason is wrong o Finds this interesting • Kant claims that the only thing conceivable thing that is “good without qualification” is a good will. o What does this mean? o Distinguish agents, actions and events  Actions are events that are brought about (performed by) agents  This matters when wee try to get a handle on the scope of ethics- we can say that ethics is concerned with actions rather than events, and with the agents behind the actions • Ethics is not concerned with events as such, only with actions o We don’t hold events that are not somehow the product of voluntary choice to be morally good or evil  Earthquakes are deplorable and they cause suffering, but they are not in themselves evil o Instead we are interested in actions, that is, in events starring agents • No actions, or types of actions, are good or bad in themselves o Any action can be ‘contextualized’ so that is good in one set of circumstances, bad in another  The goodness of an action does not depend on the kind of action it is  NOTE: this flies In the face of traditional moral codes • The goodness or badness of an action is not due solely to its consequences o Think of failures to accomplish an action, or unforeseen consequences, or the impossibility of taking all the consequences into account o Upshot: we should not try to explicate goodness or badness in terms of actions, but rather in terms of the sources of actions: the agent’s intentions, aims or motives o Kant’s move • We can support Kant’s move by noting that often the motive of an action has a lot to do with how we evaluate the action o A putatively good action can be vitiated when we learn that the motive is to impress other people rather than helping someone in need • The motive of an action is why the agent performs the action • The intention is what the agent takes herself to be doing • The aim is the purpose or sake for which the action is performed • We choose to act the way we do o May not be in control of the motives but we need not act on them
More Less

Related notes for PHL100Y1

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.