more from Immanuel Kant

Single Idea 4344

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / D. Deontological Ethics / 6. Motivation for Duty]

Full Idea

There are many spirits of so sympathetic a temper that they find an inner pleasure in spreading happiness around them. ..I maintain that an action of this kind, however right and amiable it may be, has still no genuinely moral worth.

Gist of Idea

Actions where people spread happiness because they enjoy it have no genuine moral worth


Immanuel Kant (Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals [1785], p.66)

Book Reference

Kant,Immanuel: 'The Moral Law (Groundwork of Morals)', ed/tr. Paton,H.J. [Hutchinson 1948], p.66

A Reaction

We understand what he means (that principle is everything), but this still seems a big hole in his account, one which drives us to Aristotle's sensible views about what a nice person is really like.