Essay on Kant 's Three Propositions Of Morality

Essay on Kant 's Three Propositions Of Morality

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In Foundation of the Metaphysics of Morals Immanuel Kant presents three propositions of morality. In this paper I am going to explain the first proposition of morality that Kant states. Then I will assert a possible objection to Kant’s proposition by utilizing an example he uses known as the sympathetic person. Lastly, I will show a defense Kant could use against the possible objection to his proposition.
Before I explain the first proposition of morality I first want to explain some important terms and phrases that Kant uses. Kant uses the term inclination which means desire or motive. When something is done from inclination then it is done because of a certain desire or motive to accomplish or gain something such as joy and the like. Inclination can be direct or indirect. A direct inclination is an inclination that causes you to do an action simply because you want to. For example, I have a desire to sleep, so then I go to sleep because of my desire to. On the other hand, an indirect inclination is an inclination that causes you to do an action because it will help you to achieve a certain goal. For example, I have a desire to be a doctor, so I study and try to do well in school so in the future I can be a doctor. So, an indirect inclination can be seen as doing an action for what the action can lead to in the long term while a direct inclination can be seen as doing an action for something you desire now, or in other words the action leads to a direct result of satisfaction of some sort.
Furthermore, Kant uses the phrase moral worth which he defined as a special value an action has that only deserves credit when it is done from the motive of duty, that is, when someone does an action because it is done from the motive of d...


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...st luckily desires to do things that are in accordance to duty. An action has moral worth if and only if it is done from the motive of duty because it may go against our desires, but we still ignore what we might want because we know what we must do.
Overall, I think that Kant’s first proposition to morality is a good one, it makes sense that our actions should have moral worth because we do them because they are in accordance to duty and we feel we have a duty to even if they go against our desires. I believe the sympathetic person’s actions do not have a moral worth since they do kind things from the natural qualities that they possess of kindness and compassion. People should be encouraged to help their fellow citizens and have such qualities, but doing so does not have moral worth unless it is from the motive of duty, if not it is just in accordance with duty.

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