Single Idea 3710

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / D. Deontological Ethics / 1. Deontology]

Full Idea

It is impossible to conceive anything at all in the world, or even out of it, which can be taken as good without qualification, except a good will.

Gist of Idea

The only purely good thing is a good will


Immanuel Kant (Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals [1785], 393.1)

Book Reference

Kant,Immanuel: 'The Moral Law (Groundwork of Morals)', ed/tr. Paton,H.J. [Hutchinson 1948], p.59

A Reaction

This is precisely the thought of Epictetus, that the will is the source of goodness, because morality resides in choices (as opposed to character, or states of affairs).

Related Idea

Idea 23328 The essences of good and evil are in dispositions to choose [Epictetus]