This paper gives an account of Kant’s concept of self-contentment
(Selbstzufriedenheit), i.e. the satisfaction involved in the performance of
moral action. This concept is vulnerable to an important objection:
if moral action is satisfying, it might only ever be performed for the sake of
this satisfaction. I explain Kant’s response to this objection and argue that
it is superior to Francis Hutcheson’s response to a similar objection.
I conclude by showing that two other notions of moral satisfaction in
Kant’s moral philosophy, namely ‘sweet merit’ and the highest good, also
avoid the objection.