Heythrop Journal 50 (2):195-205 (2009)
Two philosophers, Robert Spaemann and Henri Gouhier, have identified a similarity between Fénelon and Kant in the prominence of motive in their thought: disinterestedness in Fénelon's pure love and in Kant's good will. Spaemann emphasizes their common detaching of the ethical in terms of motivation from the context of happiness. In this article I explore further similarities and differences under the topics of perfectionism, pure love, good will, happiness, and disinterestedness, as these are pertinent to their thought. On perfectionism there appears a stark contrast; on pure love over against good will, on happiness, and on disinterestedness, however, there seems a balance between likenesses and differences. Finally I point out a qualification set on pure love by Fénelon and on the good will by Kant.
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