Do you agree with Kant that the presence or absence of a natural inclination cannot affect the moral quality of actions done from duty?
“Length: Minimum 6 (full) pages, double-spaced, normal margins, normal size font, etc. (I assign points based on quality, not the number of pages you write. However, you should be aware that it is very difficult to write a good paper on these topics in fewer than 6 pages. It may easily take you more.)
Choose one of the following topics for your paper.
[Please note: The questions that I ask in these prompts are very specific, and your paper must address those questions. This is not an opportunity to write broadly or vaguely about Kant or how you feel about his view. You must make sure that you carefully and thoroughly discuss and debate the specific questions asked in the prompt you choose to respond to.]
1. In Chapter One of the Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant contrasts a person who preserves his life because he is naturally inclined to with a person who preserves his life from the motive of duty; or a person who is charitable toward others out of natural sympathy with a person who lacks sympathy but is charitable from the motive of duty. Explain how Kant characterizes the difference between these people (you can use either example, or both, or others as you choose), and why he claims that only actions done from duty have genuine moral worth. Do you agree with the claim that only actions done from duty have genuine moral worth? Do you agree with Kant that the presence or absence of a natural inclination cannot affect the moral quality of actions done from duty (for example, that being sympathetic cannot make an action more moral, and being unsympathetic cannot make an action less moral)? Argue thoroughly and carefully for your position.
2. In Chapter Two of the Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant claims that there is only one categorical imperative—and then proceeds to state it in three different ways which don’t, on the surface, seem to say the same thing at all. Do you think that the different formulations of the categorical imperative in fact all express one-and-the-same principle, as Kant claims they do? If so, construct a thorough and careful argument explaining how each formulation of the categorical imperative is just another way of expressing the same fundamental ethical principle. If not, construct a thorough and careful argument explaining why not. Whatever position you take, you must also answer this further question: Does it ultimately matter whether the different formulations of the categorical imperative express a single moral principle, or not? That is, do you think Kantianism, as a viable ethical theory, would crumble if the different formulations of the categorical imperative expressed somewhat different moral principles (and, so, there was more than one categorical imperative)? Explain your answer carefully and thoroughly.
And please note that in addition to following the general guidelines for good philosophical writing, it is essential that your paper have:
An introductory paragraph that briefly explains what the paper will be about and ends with:
A thesis statement telling me exactly what you will be arguing for (i.e., your conclusion).
Each of which starts with a topic sentence that tells me what the paragraph is going
to be about,
With distinct paragraphs for distinct parts of your argument (premises, objection,
A concluding paragraph that briefly summarizes what your paper has just shown.”
Once topic is chosen I will send book chapters.