The Moral Good and the Natural Good in Kant's Ethics

Review of Metaphysics 36 (2):397 - 437 (1982)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

THE heterogeneity of the good--its division into the moral good, as virtue, and the natural good, as happiness--is central to Kant's philosophy. In order to clarify and sustain this division, Kant was compelled to specify the valuational characteristics of each kind of good and their relation to one another. But in trying to analyze the good in its heterogeneity Kant faced a terminological difficulty. He could no longer speak simply of "the good" without speaking ambiguously. To avoid this ambiguity Kant decided to refer to the moral good by the term "das Gute," and to the natural good by the term "das Wohl," to moral evil by the term "das Böse," and to natural evil by the term "das Übel." This attempt at linguistic reform was not successful, however, for at least two reasons. First, Kant did not carry his reform of the language far enough. And second, Kant seriously underestimated and quickly fell victim to the power of common usage. The force of linguistic habit, both personal and social, and the wisdom inherent in common usage opposed the adoption of his terminology.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,261

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Autonomy and the highest good.Lara Denis - 2005 - Kantian Review 10:33-59.
The Good Will.Allen Wood - 2003 - Philosophical Topics 31 (1/2):457-484.
The Relation of Moral Worth to the Good Will in Kant’s Ethics.Walter E. Schaller - 1992 - Journal of Philosophical Research 17:351-382.
Essays on the history of moral philosophy.J. B. Schneewind - 2010 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Good will and the moral worth of acting from duty.Robert N. Johnson - 2009 - In Thomas E. Hill (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Kant's Ethics. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 17–51.
Community and Progress in Kant's Moral Philosophy.Kate A. Moran - 2012 - Catholic University of America Press.
The natural moral law: the good after modernity.Owen J. Anderson - 2012 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
The Moral Argument for the Existence of God and Immortality.Roe Fremstedal - 2013 - Journal of Religious Ethics 41 (1):50-78.
Moral law and the highest good: a study of Kant's doctrine of the highest good.Edmund Morris Miller - 1928 - Melbourne,: Macmillan & co. ltd. in association with the Melbourne University Press.
The Good life and the human good.Ellen Frankel Paul, Fred Dycus Miller & Jeffrey Paul (eds.) - 1992 - New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.
Law, ethics and the biopolitical.Amy Swiffen - 2011 - New York, N.Y.: Routledge.
Kant on Human Nature and Radical Evil.Camille Atkinson - 2007 - Philosophy and Theology 19 (1-2):215-224.

Analytics

Added to PP
2011-05-29

Downloads
35 (#459,020)

6 months
8 (#370,225)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references