Inherent Value Of Good Will Essay

867 Words4 Pages
Introduction The Inherent Value of a Good Will Kant’s moral philosophy is an a priori theory, which presents itself as absolutely necessary. He writes that an a posteriori method can provide an account of the “is” – a factual description of what we actually do – but cannot provide an account of the “ought” – a command we must follow in any given situation. Kant draws a distinction between conditional goods and unconditional goods. Conditional goods depend on the existence of another fact for their goodness, while unconditional goods hold independently of other facts. Money and happiness are two examples of conditional goods, which Kant provides. Money can be used to provide assistance to the poor, but it can be also used to control and manipulate other people. As the former use is intuitively good, and the latter use is intuitively bad or neutral; the goodness of money depends on how it is used, and its possession does not - in itself – make a person morally good. In contrast to the…show more content…
It is not sufficient that an action accidently coincides with the requirements of the moral law. Kant writes, “it is not sufficient to do that which should be morally good that it conform to the law; it must be done for the sake of the law”. For example, where a shopkeeper forebears from over-charging a child, he does what is provided for by the moral law, however, Kant would still want to know whether the action was caused by an impulsive response or a natural inclination towards kindness, or whether it was done through a desire to appear honest to his customers. In any of these circumstances the actions are not the result of a good will. On the other hand, if the shopkeeper acted out of a conscious respect for the principle of honesty, his actions were caused by a good will. Kant writes, “It is not the actions one sees, but their inner principles, which one does not see [that are of fundamental
Open Document