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Meetesh Patel Philosophy Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant is one of the most influential philosophers in the history of western philosophy His contributions to metaphysics epistemology ethics and aesthetics have had a profound impact on almost every philosophical movement that followed him Immanuel Kants moral philosophy centers around the notion of the good will Kant believes the good will is the faculty of acting according to a conception of law He believes we control however what is the will behind the action He uses his three principles to support his belief Kants three principles of Morality are 1 An action has moral worth or value that is is good if it is not merely in agreement with duty but also for the sake of duty 2An actions moral worth originates in the form of the maxim that guides the action 3Duty is the necessity of an action executed out of respect for the law The morality of an action therefore must be assessed in terms of the motivation behind it For example If two people Smith and Jill perform the same act from the same conception of the law but events beyond Smiths control prevent her from achieving her goal Smith is not less praiseworthy for not succeeding We must consider them on equal moral ground in terms of the will behind their actions He believes the only thing that is good without qualification is the good will In his eyes happiness is not essentially good because even being worthy of happiness Kant says requires that one possess a good will The good will is the only unconditional good despite all encroachments Kants shopkeeper example is an easy way to understand this A shopkeeper Kant says might do what is in accord with duty and not overcharge a child Kant argues it is not sufficient to do that which should be morally good that it conform
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