David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 5 (3):321-337 (2002)
A central claim in Kantian ethics is that an agent is properly morally motivated just in case she acts from duty alone. Bernard Williams, Michael Stocker, and Justin Oakley claim that certain emotionally infused actions, such as lending a compassionate helping hand, can only be done from compassion and not from duty. I argue that these critics have overlooked a distinction between an action's manner, how an action is done, and its motive, the agent's reason for acting. Through a range of examples I demonstrate how an emotion can determine an action's manner without also serving as the motive. Thus, it is possible for an agent to act compassionately from duty alone. This distinction between the manner and the motive of an action not only restores a central claim in Kantian ethics but it also allows for an expanded role of emotions in moral action.
|Keywords||acting from duty emotion Kant manner motive reasons for action|
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Mari Mikkola (2011). Kant on Moral Agency and Women's Nature. Kantian Review 16 (1):89-111.
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