Ethics and anthropology in Kant s moral philosophy in .NET Integration Data Matrix 2d barcode in .NET Ethics and anthropology in Kant s moral philosophy

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Ethics and anthropology in Kant s moral philosophy generate, create 2d data matrix barcode none in .net projects ISSN function of gs1 datamatrix barcode for .NET duty, not of virtue. Still, it is important to insist here that they are duties of virtue, i.

e. duties that have an essential relation to the virtues, and one might say that one of the criteria of success of this chapter consists in whether I am able to show why the duties of which Kant speaks in the Groundwork and the second Critique are duties of virtue. In any case, just as a science of customs is not yet a theory of virtue , so virtue is not yet morality (XXVII 300).

On the other hand, virtue is not unimportant, because it is the ability to overcome the inclination of evil on moral principles (XXVII 463). It is the moral perfection of man. To virtue we attach power, strength and authority.

It is a victory over inclination (XXVII 465). It is also the greatest worth of the person (XXIX 600). For this reason Kant claims it is important that we believe in the reality or possibility of virtue and do not simply suppose that it cannot exist.

To argue that virtue is impossible would just be misanthropic and amount to what he calls moral unbelief (XXVII 316). Still, in another passage he characterizes virtue as an idea, saying that nobody can possess true virtue and that it is just as uncommon to hear someone called virtuous as it is to hear someone called wise (XXVII 463). The claim seems to be that it is not just an idea.

To sum up: virtue is something human, perhaps even all-too-human. It is a notion that gives us a preliminary idea of morality that must be discussed in anthropological contexts. Already in his announcement of his lectures in 1765 Kant said as much when he proclaimed that he intended to make clear what his method is by historically and philosophically considering within the doctrine of virtue always what actually takes place before indicating what should happen .

The customs and virtues introduce his truly ethical concerns, which have to do with moral principles. In the terminology of his mature works this means: rst comes anthropology and then comes morality. Indeed, Kant worries as late as 1785 that morality may not be the best word for indicating what he is after, but he is sure that we cannot take virtue to do so (XXVII 300).

Put di erently, the concept of virtue does not belong among those concepts that have been su ciently cleansed of everything that may be only empirical in nature. In fact, it may belong among those that cannot be so cleansed. Being closely related to character , it also nds its rational analogue in the good will.

On the other hand, Kant s published texts do presuppose or start out from a particular kind of virtue ethics. Put di erently, his general discussion of the framework of morals is based on a certain conception of morals in which virtues played a fundamental role. The doctrine of the virtues is important in describing the common moral praxis but it is not part of the science of morals.

Only beings like us can or need be virtuous. Therefore we. manfred kuehn may hope th Visual Studio .NET gs1 datamatrix barcode at Kant s theory has some relevance for the virtues.39 However, the virtue ethics presupposed by Kant is most de nitely not Aristotelian in character.

40 Rather, it is a variety of the kind of ethics prevalent in Europe and North America during the eighteenth century. It possessed (almost inevitably) some Aristotelian features, but it was much more in uenced by Christian and Stoic doctrines and imbued with local Prussian and German convictions, such as those of Gellert, for instance. Not all of these in uences were philosophically desirable.

In any case, an investigation of the relations of Kant s moral philosophy to his minor contemporaries remains a desideratum. One of the lessons of this historical look at Kant s development should be that we must be careful when we translate Kant s metaphysics of morals into Kantian morality . Thus, Bernard Williams accusation that Kant neglected character turns out to be simply false.

Kant did not ignore it, but started out from it, even if his view of character was in important ways di erent from that of Williams because he thought, like many eighteenthcentury thinkers, that the fundamental project of any human being had to include as an important part a moral dimension. I don t think that he was wrong in this..

How could t his be otherwise in an author that wrote a book on the The Primary Metaphysical Grounds of Virtue Also, the very structure of the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals makes clear that he starts from ordinary rational knowledge of morality , goes on to a certain kind of moral philosophy and its relation to metaphysics of morals , and ends in a critique of pure practical reason. However, the description of the ordinary rational knowledge of morals covers up the importance of virtue somewhat by emphasizing will and duty . One of the tasks of the chapter will be to show that there is no real opposition between talking about will and duty while at the same time talking of virtue .

I would suggest there are also the bare beginnings of a new version of a universalist virtue ethics that would be appropriate for a cosmopolitan or a citizen of the world. The germs of it can be found in Kant s writings on history. It would not be entirely inappropriate to call these virtues of the Enlightenment .

However, Kant himself failed to develop these because he believed not in the progress of individuals but the progress of the human race. But this is the subject of another paper..

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