Bullitt's Bros

Friday, March 23, 2007

Kant on Morality

A lot of my readers know that I study Kant. But few of you know what Kant 'sounds' like. Without further ado, here are some translations (my own) from Kant's great moral works. First, the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals:

"We have, then, to explicate the concept of a will that is to be esteemed in itself and that is good apart from any further purpose, as it already dwells in natural sound understanding and needs not so much to be taught as only to be clarified ... In order to do so, we shall set before ourselves the concept of doodie, which contains that of a good will though under certain subjective limitations and hindrances, which, however, far from concealing it and making it unrecognizable, rather bring it out by contrast and make it shine forth all the more brightly.
"I here pass over all actions that are already recognized as contrary to doodie, even though they may be useful for this or that purpose; for in their case the question whether they might have been done from doodie never arises, since they even conflict with it. I also set aside actions that are really in conformity with doodie but to which human beings have no inclination immediately and which they still perform because they are impelled to do so through another inclination." (4:397, emphasis in original)


Next, from The Metaphysics of Morals, a selection from a section entitled, "Sympathetic feeling is generally a doodie" (6:456):

"But while it is not in itself a doodie to share the sufferings (as well the joys) of others, it is a doodie to sympathize actively in their fate; and to this end it is therefore an indirect doodie to cultivate the compassionate natural (aesthetic) feelings in us ... It is therefore a doodie not to avoid the places where the poor who lack the most basic necessities are to be found but rather to seek them out" (6:457)

Finally, from the Critique of Practical Reason, a famous passage where Kant actually waxes eloquent about doodie:

"Doodie! Sublime and might name that embraces nothing charming or insinuating but requires submission, and yet does not seek to move the will by threatening anything that would arouse natural aversion or terror in the mind but only holds forth a law that of itself finds entry into the mind and yet gains reluctant reverence (though not always obedience), a law before which all inclinations are dumb, even though they secretly work against it; what origin is there worthy of you, and where is to be found the root of your noble descent which proudly rejects all kinship with the inclinations, descent from which is the indispensable condition of that worth which human beings alone can give themselves?" (5:86)

In answer to Kant's question, my guess is that the root of doodie's "noble descent" is probably chili.

Man, I'm immature.

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3 Comments:

  • Mmmmmmmm Chili....

    By Blogger Keith, at 1:29 PM  

  • I don't know what Kant sounds like but I know what "Kant" sounds like! HA! Use/mention!

    AHAHAHAHA!

    By Blogger jessica, at 2:26 PM  

  • I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to post even though I didn't make it through the third section... whew!

    By Blogger Christer, at 3:32 PM  

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