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Philosophy 2-7.docx

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 1070
Professor
Robert Mc Gill
Semester
Spring

Description
Philosophy 02/07/2014 Kant Background th One of the greatest philosophers of the 18  Century Comes at the end of the Modern Period that began with Descartes Starting Question: What is morally good without qualification? The highest good must not only be good in itself, it must be good without qualification. There can be no situations in which adding the highest good makes the situation morally worse. Adding pleasure/happiness to some situations makes the situation morally worse (Sadism). So, happiness can’t be the highest good. Why Kant was NOT a Utilitarian He thought it makes moral agents dependent on that which they cannot control – the future outcomes  of their actions. But, people CAN control their intentions, or their “will” – the faculty behind voluntary choice. So, Kant makes ethics dependent on “Good Will,” i.e. tintention  to do the right thing The Good Will Absolutely and unconditionally good A kind of ultimate good We cannot think of a situation in which we’d find it desirable to give up our good will (= our moral  worthiness) in exchange for something else. So, a good will imore worth having  than anything else. Question: What MAKES someone’s will morally good? Kant’s Answer: A Good Will is A WILL CONTROLLED BY REASON Why? Each of our faculties has a unique function or purpose. The purpose of PRACTICAL REASON is to control volition. Reason can stop us before we act as we please. When does someone exhibit a good will? When their will is controlled by reason When they act from duty To act from duty = to do somethinbecause duty requires  it, not because 
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