The moral significance of gratitude in Kant's ethics

Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (4):295-320 (2011)

Abstract

In this essay, we examine the grounds, nature and content, status, acquisition and role, and justification of gratitude in Kant's ethical system, making use of student notes from Kant's lectures on ethics. We are especially interested in questions about the significance of gratitude in Kant's ethics. We examine Kant's claim that gratitude is a sacred duty, because it cannot be discharged, and explain how this claim is consistent with his insistence that “ought” implies “can.” We argue that for Kant a proper understanding of self-esteem is importantly related to, if not necessary for, possession of the virtue of gratitude

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Author Profiles

Houston Smit
University of Arizona
Mark Timmons
University of Arizona

References found in this work

Two Kinds of Respect.Stephen Darwall - 1977 - Ethics 88 (1):36-49.
Kant's Conception of Human Dignity.Oliver Sensen - 2009 - Kant Studien 100 (3):309-331.
Gratitude.Fred R. Berger - 1975 - Ethics 85 (4):298-309.
Gratitude and Justice.Patrick Fitzgerald - 1998 - Ethics 109 (1):119-153.

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Citations of this work

Negative Feelings of Gratitude.Tony Manela - 2016 - Journal of Value Inquiry 50 (1):129-140.
Moral Regret and Moral Feeling.Katherine Gasdaglis - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (4):424-452.
Offensive Beneficence.Adam Cureton - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (1):74--90.
Gratitude, Self-Interest, and Love.Y. Sandy Berkovski - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (3):645-664.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

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