On the value of acting from the motive of duty

Philosophical Review 90 (3):359-382 (1981)
Richard Henson attempts to take the sting out of this view of Kant on moral worth by arguing (i) that attending to the phenomenon of the overdetermination of actions leads one to see that Kant might have had two distinct views of moral worth, only one of which requires the absence of cooperating inclinations, and (ii) that when Kant insists that there is moral worth only when an action is done from the motive of duty alone, he need not also hold that such a state of affairs is morally better, all things considered, than one where supporting inclination is present. Henson's proposals seem to me both serious and plausible. I do not think that either of his models, in the end, can take on the role Kant assigns to moral worth in the argument of the Groundwork. But seeing the ways Henson's account diverges from Kant's makes clearer what Kant intended in his discussion of those actions he credits with moral worth. [...] An action has moral worth if it is required by duty and has as its primary motive the motive of duty. The motive of duty need not reflect the only interest the agent has in the action (or its effect); it must, however, be the interest that determines the agent's acting as he did.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/2184978
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Nick Zangwill (2008). The Indifference Argument. Philosophical Studies 138 (1):91 - 124.
Paulina Sliwa (2015). Moral Worth and Moral Knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3).
Lea L. Ypi (2008). Statist Cosmopolitanism. Journal of Political Philosophy 16 (1):48–71.

View all 19 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

368 ( #2,099 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

27 ( #35,404 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.