Kant's moral philosophy and the role of the highest good Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 21, 2019
Creator
  • Bhardwaj, Kiran
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy
Abstract
  • Described as the union of complete virtue and complete happiness in accordance with such virtue, the concept of the highest good draws together Kant's account of moral virtue with special features of humans: our need for happiness and hopes for justice. However, the highest good fails to perform its function in Kant's theory if either of two strong criticisms holds: if it is inconsistent with Kant's account of moral motivation, or if it is unimportant in moral action. I argue that a historical survey of Kant's explanation of the highest good shows how improved argumentation in the later works helps Kant to resolve any apparent inconsistency. And while the highest good is not important in everyday moral action, I conclude that we should use it to resolve worries about the futility of moral action. As a result, the highest good has an undeniably central role in Kant's ethics.
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  • In Copyright
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  • ... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in the Department of Philosophy.
Advisor
  • Hill, Thomas E.
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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