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Kant Essay, Research Paper


Kant begins to claim that there is nothing in the world

that can be regarded as good without qualification except

good will. He says that qualities of temperment such as

courage can also become extremely bad and harmful if the

will is not good. Gifts such as fortune; power, riches,

honor and health make for pride and sometimes even

arrogance. A good will seems to constitute the

indispensable condition of being even worthy of happiness.

Some qualities and facilitate the wills work. But these

qualities have no intrinsic unconditional worth. Self

control, and calm deliberation are not only good in many

ways, they seem to constitute many parts of the intrinsic

worth of a person, however they are not good without

qualification. The good will is what controls these

passions and is what develops character. A good will is

only good in itself, not because it effects, or

accomplishes. If you will the goal or end, then you will

the necessary means to acompolish that end. That which is

good in the end will be produced by a good will. When a

will is considered good within itself, it should be esteemed

higher than most anything. To create a will that is

absolutely good in itself, reason is absolutely necessary.

Kant then discusses how acts and actions must be

preformed from duty. He claims that you must have duty in

your actions to have a good will. To preserve ones life is

a duty, and everyone has an inclination to do so. Some

people preserve their lives to be sure in accordance with

duty, but not from duty. If a man preserves his life

without loving it, but does it just because it is his duty

to do so, then he will have good moral content. To be

beneficent where a person can is a duty. If a man performs

and act souley because it is duty, and not for any other

inclination, then his action has genuine moral worth. Kant

explains that to secure your own happiness is a duty.

Because if you don t care about many personal conditions

about yourself, these conditions may easily become

temptations to transgress ones duties. Also, Kant describes

duties in propositions. One proposition states that an

action done from a duty has its moral worth, not in the

purpose that is to be attained by it. but in the maxim

according to which the action is determined. Kant also

explains that duty is the necessity of an action done out of

respect for the law. Only the law itself can be an object

of respect and can also be a command. Moral worth does not

lie in the effect expected from it nor in any principle of

action that needs to borrow its motive from this expected


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