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Kant against the spurious principles of morality use none none maker toproduce none on nonecreate upc morality. If the e none for none goist thinks that morality as Kant has identi ed it is just a phantom (G IV 445) then she must wait until Section III of the Groundwork for an answer. But taken just as showing that egoism is a bad theory about the distinctive practice we call morality , the objections are e ective.

The next objection, H5, is that happiness cannot be a stable and useable goal. We cannot derive speci c directives by reasoning from it. But Kant himself points to part of a reply to this objection.

The utilitarian can say that what we ought to do is help people satisfy their legitimate desires. Even if these change, there are general principles to guide us in o ering help. Kant even o ers one: never foist o your own conception of a good desire on the person you want to help.

Liberalism enshrines this principle, and Kant s objection to uctuations in conceptions of happiness does not harm it. Utilitarians have, of course, said much more to show how their principle can give guidance, not least on large-scale social and political problems. Kant s criticism is not e ective.

The next objection, H6, is that because we cannot easily know what brings happiness, but can easily know what morality requires, the two cannot be the same. Kant here makes a point that is far more important than it seems. It involves rejecting technical expertise as having the last word in morality.

Christian Wol explicitly declared that ordinary people need the kind of guidance that only learned folk, like himself, could give. Against such pundits, Kant is defending the ability of ordinary people to gure out for themselves what morality asks of them. John Stuart Mill went to great lengths to show how utilitarian theory could accommodate this point.

He agreed with Kant that no moral theory requiring an elite of learned or technically trained leaders to settle moral issues could be acceptable. Most ancient moral philosophers would plainly not have taken this position. The Stoics, to be sure, would have agreed with Kant in principle.

They held that even a slave or a woman could acquire the knowledge needed to live wisely. But they also held that almost no one had in fact achieved the ideal, and Kant thinks it is a common ability. The emergence of belief in the equal ability of normal adults to guide their own moral lives is a major feature of modern moral philosophy.

It marks a decisive di erence between ancient and modern morality. Kant is one of the rst and most articulate of its proponents. It is still controversial.

A decision about the e ectiveness of H6 requires a decision on this matter.10. barcode pdf417 For a recent impor tant discussion of this matter, tying it to debates about internal and external reasons, see John Skorupski, Internal Reasons and the Scope of Blame in Alan Thomas (ed.), Bernard Williams (Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 73 103 especially pp.

97 102.. j. b. schneewind Finally, H7 says t hat we can always do what morality requires but we cannot always bring about happiness. Hence the two cannot be the same. A ready answer here is that we can always try to bring about happiness, our own or that of others; and that morally speaking trying is what counts.

The objection seems quite weak. Among the objections to moral sense theory, MS1 and MS2 are like H1, H2 and H3. They point out that there are aspects of the morality we are trying to explain that the moral sense theory cannot handle.

Moral judgements are not like judgements of taste or feeling. Some people like pink wallpaper and polkadot shirts, others don t. We just say: everyone to his taste.

But we don t say that about those who like child abuse. And mere feeling isn t enough to explain the di erence. There is a large literature on this topic.

I think Kant points in the direction of valid objections to this kind of theory, but a detailed discussion would be needed to take into account all the ways in which moral sense theorists and their modern descendants could defend their views.11 MS3 and MS4 both tell us that moral sense theories are after all variants of egoism as a psychological theory. If we act because we take pleasure in the thought that we are acting rightly or helping others, we are really acting to increase our own enjoyment.

These objections point to a serious weakness, or at least a grave wavering, in Kant s own psychology. He sometimes as here talks as if aside from acting from duty, anything one does willingly one does for the sake of the pleasure one takes in doing it. Bishop Butler worked out powerful objections to this view, which Kant seems not to have known.

Butler pointed out that sometimes we simply desire something with no thought of our own pleasure or good. When we are hungry, what we want is food, not the pleasure of eating. Indeed, if we didn t want food we would take no pleasure in eating.

So there must be simple, direct desires for something other than enjoyable states of yourself. And if so, a direct desire for the good of another is also possible.12 Kant himself sometimes seems to admit the possibility of this desire; if he allows it, then even on his own view these objections fail.

Against the form of perfectionism Kant knew, objection P1 amounts to the charge that it always involves heteronomy. If so, Kant begs the question by supposing that autonomy is basic. Perfectionism, Kant says, does not tell us how to choose between di erent sorts of perfect things unless we want one but not the others.

A Wol an might reply to the charge that the. 11 12. For one of the bes t of these, see Allan Gibbard, Wise Choices, Apt Feelings (Harvard University Press, 1990). Joseph Butler, Sermons (J. H.

Bernard (ed.), London, 1900), especially I, fn. 7.

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