Punishment, Conscience, and Moral Worth

Thomas E. Hill

in Human Welfare and Moral Worth

Published in print July 2002 | ISBN: 9780199252633
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597695 | DOI:
Punishment, Conscience, and Moral Worth

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Reviews briefly Kant's conceptions of punishment and conscience and then considers the role of punishment and conscience as motives in a moral life. From a Kantian perspective, both motives seem to lack moral worth. We note, however, that some motives, such as anticipation of grief and a desire to do worthy deeds, can be interpreted in two ways, one commendable and the other less so. By analogy, the essay argues that anticipation of punishment and pangs of conscience can motivate us in two different ways, one morally worthy and the other not.

Keywords: conscience; grief; Kantian; moral worthy; motives; punishment

Chapter.  10008 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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