A defense of acting from duty

Journal of Value Inquiry 32 (1):61–74 (1998)
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Abstract

Philosophers who, in the light of these attacks, have attempted to vindicate the motive of duty have done so in a half-hearted way, by stressing the motive of duty’s function as a secondary or limiting motivation, or by denying “that acting from duty primarily concerns isolated actions.” I will defend duty as a primary motive with respect to isolated actions. Critics of acting from duty and philosophers who have attempted to respond to them have done little work spelling out exactly what it is for an agent to act from duty. To act explicitly on moral principle is to act from a type of concern for persons that is no less morally good than concern expressed in direct emotional responses. Concern mediated by moral principles is, in certain ways, morally superior to that expressed in direct emotional responses, even when the object of concern is an intimate such as a friend or loved one

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Diane Jeske
University of Iowa

Citations of this work

Kant on Moral Agency and Women's Nature.Mari Mikkola - 2011 - Kantian Review 16 (1):89-111.
Moral Worth and Doing the Right Thing by Accident.Jessica Isserow - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):251-264.
Kant on the motive of (imperfect) duty.Jennifer Ryan Lockhart - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (6):569-603.
The virtue of cold-heartedness.C. D. Meyers - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 138 (2):233 - 244.

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References found in this work

Persons, Character, and Morality.Bernard Williams - 1976 - In James Rachels (ed.), Moral Luck: Philosophical Papers 1973–1980. Cambridge University Press.
The schizophrenia of modern ethical theories.Michael Stocker - 1976 - Journal of Philosophy 73 (14):453-466.
Cognitivism in the theory of emotions.John Deigh - 1994 - Ethics 104 (4):824-54.
On the value of acting from the motive of duty.Barbara Herman - 1981 - Philosophical Review 90 (3):359-382.

View all 7 references / Add more references