Kant and the demandingness of the virtue of beneficence

European Journal of Philosophy 27 (3):625-642 (2019)
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Abstract

We discuss Kant’s conception of beneficence against the background of the overdemandingness debate. We argue that Kant’s conception of beneficence constitutes a sweet spot between overdemandingess and undemandingess. To this end we defend four key claims that together constitute a novel interpretation of Kant’s account of beneficence: 1) for the same reason that we are obligated to be beneficent to others we are permitted to be beneficent to ourselves; 2) we can prioritise our own ends; 3) it is more virtuous to do more rather than less when it comes to helping others; and 4) indifference to others is vicious. Finally, we explain how this represents a system of duties that gives our personal ends a moral standing without unacceptably moralising them.

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Author Profiles

Martin Sticker
University of Bristol
Paul Formosa
Macquarie University

Citations of this work

A Kantian approach to education for moral sensitivity.Paul Formosa - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 55 (6):1017-1028.
Obligatory Actions, Obligatory Maxims.Samuel Kahn - 2021 - Kantian Review 26 (1):1-25.
Kant on education and improvement: Themes and problems.Martin Sticker & David Bakhurst - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 55 (6):909-920.
Kant’s moral theory as a guide in philanthropy.Bojana Radovanovic - 2022 - Filozofija I Društvo 33 (3):585-600.

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References found in this work

Famine, affluence, and morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
Moral saints.Susan Wolf - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (8):419-439.
Kant’s Ethical Thought. [REVIEW]Allen W. Wood - 1999 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 62 (4):758-759.

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