Kant on moral satisfaction
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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.
Walschots , M 2017 , ' Kant on moral satisfaction ' Kantian Review , vol 22 , no. 2 , pp. 281-303 . DOI: 10.1017/S136941541700005X
© Kantian Review 2017. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work will be available at https://doi.org/10.1017/S136941541700005X
The author thanks the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the German Academic Exchange Service, as well as the Interdisciplinary Centre for European Enlightenment Studies in Halle for their generous financial support that made research on this paper possible.
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