Journal of Moral Philosophy 11 (2):245-248 (2014)

James Mahon
Lehman College (CUNY)
In this review I argue that there are three 'tests' for maxims in Kant: the Categorical Imperative test; what I call the 'Esteem' test; and what I call the 'Temptation' test. The first test is a test for what Kant calls "legality", but what we may call the moral permissibility of acting on a maxim. The second test is a test for what Kant calls "morality", but what we may call the presence of a "good will," or the motive of duty, which is the only motive that elicits our esteem. The third test - which is the subject of this book - is a test for the presence of "virtue," or a lack of conflict between my sensible inclinations and the motive of duty. If there is a conflict and I nevertheless act from the motive of duty, I have strength of will (enkrateia). If there is no conflict, and I act from the motive of duty, then I have virtue. God, who has an "infinite holy will" and who is not subject to sensible inclinations, and Jesus Christ, embodied angels, and possibly other rational finite beings in the universe, who have a "finite holy will" and who lack the propensity to subordinate respect for humanity to sensible inclinations, do not have virtue.
Keywords Kant  Virtue  Motive of duty  Finite holy will  Infinite holy will  Baxley  enkrateia  morality  immorality  autocracy
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DOI 10.1163/17455243-01102004
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