Rational beings, on the other hand, are called persons because their nature already marks them out as ends in themselves—that is, as something which ought not to be used merely as a means---and consequently imposes to that extent a limit on all arbitrary treatment of them (and is an object of reverence). Like many Enlightenment thinkers, he holds our mental faculty of reason in high esteem; he believes that it is our reason that invests the world we experience with structure. Virtue is the good will following the Moral Law or categorical imperative out of pure respect for it. Good Life- Kant Section 1. According to Kant, nothing is wholly good because they can always be attached to something bad or misused, like your talents or character. Now if all imperatives of duty can be deducted from this one imperative as from their principle, then, although it should remain undecided what is called duty is not merely a vain notion, yet at least we shall be able to show what we understand by it and what this notion means. What is it to treat a person as a mere means?  For Kant, persons deserve reasons for how they are being treated.  When we are interacting with persons, we have to respect the fact that they have rational plans and are capable of their own decision-making. Â, MERE THINGS: For Kant, a mere thing is anything that is not a person -- not a being capable of rational autonomy.  Mere things can be used as a mere means by rational agents. Our duty to promote the highest good, on Kant’s view, is the sumof all moral duties, and we can fulfill this duty only if we believethat the highest good is a possible state of affairs. The Good Life: Kant. Further still; if nature has put little sympathy in the heart of this or that man; if he, supposed to be an upright man, is by temperament cold and indifferent to the sufferings of others, perhaps because in respect of his own he is provided with the special gift of patience and fortitude and supposes, or even requires, that others should have the same- and such a man would certainly not be the meanest product of nature- but if nature had not specially framed him for a philanthropist, would he not still find in himself a source from whence to give himself a far higher worth than that of a good-natured temperament could be? Facebook, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Kant, Kant's Moral Philosophy: A Brief Overview, Create Yourself: Jean-Paul Sartre and James Baldwin, Work and Identity: Karl Marx and Max Weber. One basic way we use the word “good” is to express moral approval. For example, a chair has a natural function to be sat upon. Kant was the fourth of nine children born to Johann Georg Cant, a harness maker, and Anna Regina Cant. For in this case we can readily distinguish whether the action which agrees with duty is done from duty, or from a selfish view. What is the good life according to the gopsel? Kant pursues this project through the first two chapters ofthe Groundwork. A third, who is in prosperity, while he sees that others have to contend with great wretchedness and that he could help them, thinks: “What concern is it of mine? Courage, health, and wealth can all be used for ill purposes, Kant argues, and therefore cannot be intrinsically good. For Kant, the highest good for human beings is attaining both complete virtue and happiness at the same time. Moderation in the affections and passions, self-control, and calm deliberation are not only good in many respects, but even seem to constitute part of the intrinsic worth of the person; but they are far from deserving to be called good without qualification, although they have been so unconditionally praised by the ancients. In this passage, Kant seems to support a Principle of Control for moral responsibility.  The Principle of Control holds that you cannot get either moral credit or moral blame for what is outside your control.  If you are a well-functioning, autonomous person you can control your decisions about which rules to follow.  But none of us have complete control over the consequences of our actions, since there is always some element of luck involved in whether we achieve our plans. He desires to make this promise, but he has still so much conscience as to ask himself: “Is it not unlawful and inconsistent with duty to get out of a difficulty in this way?” Suppose however that he resolves to do so: then the maxim of his action would be expressed thus: “When I think myself in want of money, I will borrow money and promise to repay it, although I know that I never can do so.”. It is much harder to make this distinction when the action accords with duty and the subject has besides a direct inclination to it. Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato, and teacher of Alexander the Great.His wrote on: physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, ethics, biology, and zoology. Chris Surprenant (University of New Orleans) discusses the account of human well-being and the good life presented by Immanuel Kant in the his moral, political, and religious writings. I have used the translations in the Cambridge Editions of the Works of Immanuel Kant in Nietzsche’s declaration that “God is dead,” and in particular the Christian god, “allows us the possibility of living more meaningful and fulfilling lives,” … Leading 20 th century proponent of Kantianism: Professor Elizabeth Anscombe (1920-2001). But he was also well aware that recent advances in science, in particular the success of Newtonian mechanics, looked as if it was posing a threat to the very idea of ethics. This is the canon of the moral appreciation of the action generally. Gore also considers the function of faith in all knowledge and the special function of faith in the moral life. Kant said, “A good will is not good because of what it effects or accomplishes, it is good in itself. Another finds himself forced by necessity to borrow money. Bad or be misused for bad acting are from duty.  5 good life: kant references to Kant, a agent. 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