The virtue of cold-heartedness

Philosophical Studies 138 (2):233 - 244 (2008)
I defend a strong version of the Kantian claim that actions done solely from duty have moral worth by (1) considering pure cases of acting from duty, (2) showing that love and sympathy, unlike a sense of duty, can often lead us to do the wrong thing, (3) carefully distinguishing moral from non-moral virtues, and (4) by distinguishing pathological sympathy from practical sympathy. Not only is acting purely from a sense of duty superior to acting from love and sympathetic feelings, but the cold-heartedness found in Kant’s examples should be thought of as a virtue rather than a vice.
Keywords Ethics  Virtue  Moral worth  Motivation  Sense of duty  Acting from duty  Kantian ethics  Sympathy  Cold-heartedness
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References found in this work BETA
Bernard Williams (1981). Persons, Character, and Morality. In James Rachels (ed.), Moral Luck. Cambridge University Press.
Darwall Stephen (1998). Empathy, Sympathy, Care. Philosophical Studies 89 (2-3):261–282.

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