According to Younkins, “Kant holds that the pursuit of a person’s own happiness is of no moral worth whatsoever” This is because Kant felt that in order to be truly moral a person’s actions must be absent of personal desire, gain or consideration. In that end, Kant, according to Younkins posited that in order to achieve morality the decisions to act must be 1) not meant to attain person value or goals and 2) must be constructed of categorical obligations, for example moral duties This is where Kant began to differentiate between good will, moral obligation, and happiness. Morality under Kant’s philosophy is therefore centered on the acts themselves and remains free of self-interest. Happiness according to Kant was “contingent upon conditions and factors outside of a person’s control and external to the human will”
Baron attempts to explain Kant’s position in “Acting from Duty” found in Groundwork for the Metap...
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...ion to morality. Kant’s philosophy while flexible ignores or discounts any action that can be explained as an inclination or desire achieving action. While Kant does not feel that desire or inclination for another person’s wellbeing necessarily constitutes an unmoral act it does not make an action more moral or assign the action a higher level of worth. Perhaps if Kant was living in present day his position on morality and acting from duty would accept a person feeling valued or worthy for acting on another’s behalf. It is also possible that Kant would have a better understanding of happiness from such actions. Either way Kant’s position on morality is complex and the premise of “Acting from Duty” no matter how many exceptions Kant considered suffers from the absence of human nature at least in terms of how human nature and morality would be viewed in present day.
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