more from Immanuel Kant

Single Idea 4345

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

Full Idea

Kant, we may suppose, would say that if a man were 'cold in temperament and indifferent to the sufferings of others', he would still find in himself a source that would enable him to do what is benevolent.

Gist of Idea

For Kant, even a person who lacks all sympathy for others still has a motive for benevolence


report of Immanuel Kant (Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals [1785]) by Rosalind Hursthouse - On Virtue Ethics Ch.4

Book Reference

Hursthouse,Rosalind: 'On Virtue Ethics' [OUP 2001], p.101

A Reaction

This identifies a strong appeal of Kant's theory - that whether we are morally good should not be a matter of luck in our upbringing or natural temperament. How is the vicious person to be saved, if not by reason?