Share
Explore BrainMass

Kant's grounding - 'good will' and 'duty'

What is the "good will" of which Kant speaks in the First Section of the GROUNDING, and why is it the ONLY thing that he is prepared to say is "good without qualification"?

What is "duty", as Kant uses the word, how does it differ from "inclination", and why does Kant think that moral principles (which stipulate what our duties are) must be strictly "A PRIORI" in character?

Solution Preview

Dear student

Here is my response to your questions. These are my own interpretations of the concepts of good will, duty and inclination as discussed by Kant in this particular text. I encourage you to do further research to build on these ideas. Kant is quite a thorough philosopher and makes a valuable contribution to moral philosophy.

I wish you every success in you studies - may your interest in philosophy flourish.

Best regards

What is the "good will" of which Kant speaks in the First Section of the GROUNDING, and why is it the ONLY thing that he is prepared to say is "good without qualification"?

"Nothing can possibly be conceived in the world, or even out of it, which can be called good, without qualification, except a good will. Intelligence, wit, judgement, and the other talents of the mind, however they may be named, or courage, resolution, perseverance, as qualities of temperament, are undoubtedly good and desirable in many respects; but these gifts of nature may also become extremely bad and mischievous if the will which is to make use of them, and which, therefore, constitutes what is called character, is not good." (Kant)

Kant regards good will as a fundamental principle that is what it is without qualification, which means it cannot be otherwise. By this Kant ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses Kant's distinction that he makes between 'duty' and 'inclination' and the nature of 'good will' - key concepts inherent to his moral theories as delineated in "Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals"

$2.19