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moral motivation


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In some moral systems, notably that of Kant, real moral worth comes only with acting rightly because it is right. If you do what you should but from some other motive, such as fear or prudence, no moral merit accrues to you. Yet that in turn seems to discount other admirable motivations, such as acting from sheer benevolence or sympathy. The question is how to balance these opposing ideas, and also how to understand acting from a sense of obligation without duty or rightness beginning to seem a kind of fetish.

Subjects: Philosophy.


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