Kant – Groundwork for the Metaphysic of Morals

Kant - Groundwork for the Metaphysic of Morals

how're you guys doing today more cop yeah this is it's the same kind he's a systematic thinker too I think one of the one of the real tricks to really getting a grip on Conte is recognizing that it's all kind of the same project although it's totally possible to treat this project that he's up to and the groundwork for the metaphysics of morals to just treat it separately from the sort of thing that we saw in the prolegomena and the first critique it's closer to it's much closer in fact he mentions that like this is the next step in this inquiry that he's working out here in the groundwork for the metaphysics of morals it's not just that it's not just a moral theory it's a metaphysics of morals and there's not just a metaphysics of morals it's a groundwork for the metaphysical somewhere oh you'd get some sense of like just how far back contents reaching to like do this work the yeah the companion piece from this is in fact the second critique the critique of pure practical reason third critique is or what's usually referred to as the third critique is the critique of judgment and that first critique is the critique of pure reason maybe more to kind of like situate this in the second half of the class rather than situating when we could do this we could situate the groundwork for the metaphysics of morals against the prologue aminah which we written they're gonna be maybe some moments here today and what we go through that we might kind of point especially when we're talking about the function of Reason that it would help to be able to like go back and remember what it was that Kant had to say about reason back in the prolegomena and in the first critique but again it's not necessary maybe a smarter or more effective way of situating this project it's situating it within the arc of the political philosophy that's going on throughout the early modern era starting with Hobbes and then lock and then Russo and Comte is taking some like really big cues from Rousseau there's gonna be at least one moment today where I'm going to kind of back and say like remember Russo said something almost identical to this and can't read Russo and cons definitely like identifies that Russo had a big influence on him that he's bringing a lot of these ideas firmers he cotton was a big Russo fan although whereas whereas Russo was French and kind of like spoken very poetic sorts of generalities we'll get the German treatment of those ideas from Conte and it's going to be very detail-oriented as we're kind of a customer scene another thing that's maybe worth pointing out and that I'll definitely say this a couple of times throughout today's session remember whether Russo said in the social contract that all of these ideas hang together I just can't say them all at once and there's definitely some flavor to this and there's some of this flavor in Russo's approach to the social contract that there's what makes it compelling if anything makes it compelling is this incredible coherence of everything that he's saying and it's not necessarily kind of like going step by step in an art in like the fashion of an argument first we believe this premise and then that premise leads us to this next premise then that leads us to this next step and that leads us to this next up and eventually we get to the conclusion that I want to draw no instead he's painting a picture and like understanding this picture means you kind of understand how all the various parts hang together maybe have to like necessarily have to hang together there's no way out of this some folks will accuse this of being a circular sort of reasoning but there have been a couple of moments throughout this semester where we've identified that not all circular reasoning is necessarily viciously circular this might be a kind of a virtue of circularity as well and with Contin particular we'll see he starts with like some fairly plausible ideas and then almost all of there's almost everything that we're going to do today is just kind of elaborating on one idea over and over and over and over again maybe the idea is going to be what it means to have a moral law maybe the idea is kind of mean what it means to have a good will and canta is going to show that these two things are tied up with one another inextricably and almost everything else that he's going to say is it'll just be an elaboration on what the moral law is what the idea means what the concept of the moral law is but the concept of a good will is we're gonna get some necessary what seemed like necessary at least as far as conscious concerns some necessary features of what a grounded moral theory is going to look like as a result of that so situating this within the political philosophy might kind of recognize too that this is not a political work this is a moral work the two are not completely distinct from one another though right if there are like if if we were going to say that political philosophy in moral philosophy are not exactly the same thing at the very least they're close cousins and we get really really close to this there was not a whole lot of consideration of morality so much when we were looking at Hobbes or Locke but with Rousseau it definitely this was an idea that came rushing into Rousseau as political philosophy the idea of Russo's general will the idea of like a proper functioning civil state for Rousseau is one where we become moral people and as a matter of fact a big part of Rousseau trying to sell the idea of going from the state of nature into the civil state is the gaining of moral Liberty the ability to become a moral person outside of civil society without that it's kind of difficult to see how one could become a moral person so this is the extension of that conversation we kind of like brought morality into the into the conversation and now we're going to take a deep dive into like so what is morality and we're going to get a version of morality that's going to be capable of sustaining what's pretty much the idea that most of us are operating with I would say even today of what universal rights look like universal human rights so this is the like while not explicitly political in the groundwork for the metaphysics of morals what hangs in the balance is whether or not we can articulate the concept of a universal human right an absolute human right so here's a here's as good a place to start this conversation as any slavery bad right if you had to if you had to take a position on slavery would be like frowny face thumbs down always bad are there perhaps some versions of slavery that are like yeah but maybe that one could be good what about a form of slavery where oh I don't know a very small number of people were enslaved but a much larger number of people were benefited greatly from that slavery does that one okay because in conversations that I've had with not just students with all kinds of people conversations they had with my family this weekend about morality an awful lot of people in ears I can tell today are operating most of the time on an idea of morality that is consequentialist that is you know basically utilitarian that says here's what how you determine what the right thing to do is the right thing to do is whatever yields the most beneficial consequences or whatever avoids the most harmful consequences is that about right if I gave you like a scenario classic trolley problem scenario and I was just kind of like here's the tracks and then the tracks split and like if you don't do anything the Train is going to go and it's going to kill these five people but if you throw the switch the train will get diverted and it's only gonna kill one person and these five people will live what should you do should you throw the switch Jack says nah just just just for yucks now or like for really real yeah yeah see that's not what I would say is like a super like morally respectable response it's like I don't really care anyway and like probably everything's gonna turn out okay like the way that we usually kind of rig this thought experiment by the way is that like it will definitely heal the five people you're not gonna get bailed out at the end and angels not gonna swoop down from heaven and like pick the train up and everybody lives I know it's like you it the the consequences of this action are in your hands whether the switch gets thrown or not and most people in this kind of scenario would say if you can save five lives for the price of one this is better than saving one life for the price of five because it's about maximizing beneficial consequences and this is so deeply ingrained in our thinking that it becomes sometimes very difficult to understand what somebody like conscience talking about because he is not doing that at all what we're looking for here are absolute moral laws moral laws with no exceptions certainly not exceptions that say like wow you can break that moral law so long as more people benefit or so if we were to say something like it's slavery wrong it seems like a utilitarian would be kind of shackled to this idea that like they can't say no absolutely is lying wrong and stealing wrong is murdering people wrong and anybody who says we're what we're trying to do the difference between right and wrong is whatever maximizes beneficial consequences it seems like they're going to have to say like I can't completely rule out the prospect of a moral form of slavery if there was greater benefit than there was harm in this particular form of slavery or if this was a way to maximize benefit then we would have to say that this is not only an allowable form of slavery perhaps this may be an obligatory form of slavery to instantiate so how is it that we can get certain sorts of like absolute moral laws do it we might even wonder like do we even want them some folks might be skeptical of the prospect of absolute moral laws those of you with maybe more religious sensibilities might say like well there's at least 10 right there are at least 10 absolute moral laws like – al not whatever right yeah like thou shalt not steal doesn't come with like an asterisks on this unlike the stone tablets that says like on the back it says unless utility could be maximized by stealing in which case like you got to do it right like no these are these are what's that don't think you could possibly work so you should not you should not are you saying absolutely you should not operate according to absolute rules that's a trap that's traveling don't don't don't take it might there be some absolute morals it might be this question of like oh it might just be hard to like find those absolute moral rules we also might find that like when we have candidates for these absolute moral rules and we're looking at it we might say like ah some of those or some of those absolute moral rules I don't want to follow them in certain situations because like it feels bad or it seems wrong to me but why why do we trust our intuition on this why would I say like oh so thou shalt not lie let's try that that's actually if we have time we're gonna get around to saying like thou shalt not lie like ever ever ever ever ever how's this gonna work it's gonna be something that falls right out of conversation with the categorical imperative and sometimes folks will be like gabot like never like surely there are some situations under which it's at least permissible to lie as a matter of fact here we go like in the the Hackett version of Kant's groundwork for the metaphysics of morals we'll see that there's a little essay because Hackett is all about value here it's a little essay that comes along for the ride at the end called on us suppose it right to lie from philanthropic concerns and guess what can't stake on this supposed right to lie from philanthropic philanthropic concerns is he says well it's just I suppose it right it's not actually there like if lying is wrong it's like completely wrong that's what it would mean to say like mine is wrong so even if we imagine some scenario where it's kind of like it's Holland 1945 and they get stopped of knocks on your door and they say like hey do you have an Frank and her whole family in your attic and you totally do kontin would say like still can't lie okay it can't be a moral action that leads to lie and we'll get some sense of this too as as like all of this unfolds so you might be skeptical about it it might not sit well with you but keep in mind Conte is gonna say if we're talking about absolute moral laws and we might get a sense like pretty early on like why they might have why we might have to have at least some absolute moral laws it doesn't really matter how you feel about them you don't have to like your duty you don't have to like your moral duty you don't have to like them or Allah you just have to recognize it and obey it this is perhaps one of the reasons why we don't just let people go around doing whatever seems right to them we say like no no like that's that's not a very reliable source of morality so that's one of the things that is gonna hang the balance and if you like the idea of universal rights such that like anytime they're violated something bad has happened for example like our right to Liberty that's grounded in a moral obligation to respect people's Liberty not just in a kind of like this is the only way we hypothesize to get out of the state of nature and into civil society but something that's grounded in a moral obligation in a moral duty then there's at least one part of you that is I would say passingly interested in the prospect of absolute moral laws you would want that one at least here's another another before we kind of get started like going step by step through the groundwork here's another scenario that I'll just kind of float and ask what your intuitions on this are let's say I'm a let's say I'm walking down the street not down the street because that's dangerous hey I'm walking down the sidewalk next to the street walking down and then as I'm walking there's a little crack in the sidewalk but I don't see it cuz I'm like thinking about Conte and I like trip over at and as I trip and I go kind of stumbling forward my hands go out to study myself and then okay now let's cut that story real rewind to like about 30 seconds before up above the sidewalk on like the fourth floor of the building that I'm walking next to a small baby is like gone up next to a big window and is looking out the window and the small baby like pushes on the window and the window opens and the small baby then kind of like starts climbing up on the windowsill and nobody's watching and the small baby like goes crawling out the window and start stumbling all right cut back to me who's like stumbled and rock this is where we left me right the baby comes falling out of the sky hits me like right in the crook of my elbow and I just I don't even to say that I caught the baby is maybe even giving me too much credit my arms just kind of automatically fold up over the baby and everybody standing around just like looks at me as like he's a hero my hero did I do anything good did I do anything morally praiseworthy morally respectable now the consequences turned out nice baby got saved I suppose maybe got saved by landing on you but I didn't do anything on purpose here's another version of the same sort of thing but instead of like something supposedly maybe praiseworthy I don't know let's try this the other way around let's try something like okay it's an accident let's make that I was trying to do something it's actually pretty bad let's say I'm a mad scientist and I devised a weather machine and I'm gonna use this weather machine to control the weather and then I'm gonna extort people all over the world and say like give me money or I'll bring tornadoes to your door and if they don't give me the money then I'm gonna I'm gonna mess their up big-time they do give me the money then and this is what my plan is but because I'm well like bad mad scientist but because like in mad scientist ain't easy like whether machines are not like the most straightforward things in the world to invent it turns out that the machine that I made just makes the weather beautiful all the time everywhere like I push the button it starts like malfunctioning and then smoke comes up and lights are flashing and sparks and fire and then we look out the window and like suddenly every place everywhere at all times has beautiful weather and I know some of you might be thinking like don't you sometimes but it's it's gonna rain but it's always gonna be like the best kinda rain but it's not like bringing me down like this is like the plants needed it and it's like sunny while it rains and you're just like you go outside oh it's wonderful this is the rain that happens there's never a blizzard that like kills a bunch of old people there's never a drought there's never any of this stuff every place always gets exactly the weather that it needs at that time I'm a hero right no for the same reason as before though right maybe even a stronger intuition here I was trying to do something bad I was trying to harm people I was trying to exploit people for my own personal gain and only accidentally did I do this good thing the thing that like maybe the take away from this is that when we're talking about like moral value and we're talking about whether or not like there's morally praiseworthy content to somebody's actions motives matter I notice this about motives they're very very different from consequences consequences come after an action motives come before this is like probably the easiest way to make a distinction between consequences and motives the consequences come after and motives come before an action so conscious looking to if we just kind of like want to situate this in like what might be does terrible in this project we'll know that like he's interested expected absolute moral laws and I'll even kind of folks like Benjamin might be saying like I'm skeptical of the prospect of like the possibility of an absolute moral law but can we at least agree with this if there were genuine absolute moral laws it would be nice to know about him we would really want to know about him by the time we get through the preface in Chapter one I don't know if you guys noticed this contest never once made a claim that there are any Universal absolute moral laws he's just said that there was an idea of them and he's just kind of unpacking what that idea is it's not going to be until and we might get it at the if we have time which is not looking good so far cuz I'm just like blah blah blah blah babies and whether machines if we have some time I'll give us one that like maybe this is an absolute moral law like don't lie don't ever lie but what about it frankly no still don't lie which isn't to say give up Anne Frank and her family but maybe like you just shut the door on the Gestapo you're like do you have an Frank like that probably won't work as well but maybe invite them in and say like you I'm not going to answer your question but I have questions of my own what led you to this place in your life how did you what kinds of decisions brought you to the point where you're like hunting and Frank and her family what did they ever do to you yeah well inglorious bastards aren't gonna be the sorts of moral heroes that comp is gonna hold up either alright the purpose of the groundwork for the metaphysics of morals begins in I think a pretty interesting way where calm kind of like zooms out and he says here's like all of philosophy and like there are three there are three major domains of natural science perfect natural science and ethics we'll get to logic in just a second but like here's the big difference between natural science and ethics natural science describes how the world is what does happen that's describes what does happen within certain kinds of natural science we might talk about what did happen in the past but that's still that's just the past tense version of what does happen we might be predictions about what will happen in the future but that's just a future tense version of what does happen and this is very very different than ethics which he says is a sinus of freedom and involves questions that include questions about what should happen what lies outside of natural law there perhaps is an assumption that's being operated upon here that human freedom is the sort of thing that makes this a distinct sort of investigation from this there are natural regularities that you can kind of pretty you can you can plot the paths of all the celestial bodies because mean none of them ever decide to like wander right when we decided Pluto wasn't a planet anymore it's not like it's gonna be like like stops going around the Sun does exactly whatever food was going to do doesn't care what we say about it don't care about anything doesn't have any cares there is no freedom with respect to like the paths of planets through the solar system right through anywhere but when we're talking about agents when we're talking about things like humans if there is freedom there are decisions that can be made we're not going to kind of like completely capitulate to determinism then it seems like some kind of different sort of science is going to be required if the right piece we're gonna need to be able to talk about what ought to be the case and sadly what ought to be the case and what is the case are not exactly the same thing fair enough I don't agree with about this some of you might be thinking to yourselves like yeah but like determinism is true nobody actually does make any choices for themselves everything like every choice that you think you're gonna make that like now that was also predetermine like you've done it before and exactly this point in this lecture and like we can look back on YouTube you can see like all the times that exactly that move and say yeah it's totally predetermined because you had to make a point and I'm just responding to like causes and my behavior is just no effect there's maybe something that you might think and there are all kinds of really interesting descriptions to be had about this but for the time being at least can we recognize that if all of your choices all of your choices they're not really choices right if everything that you do of all your actions are determined and not in your control then all this conversation about morality is just like a complete waste of time can't talk about like how things should be if there is no option except for like how they're going to be then very least maybe the thoughts that you're thinking are within your control so for the sake of having a conversation about morality which you're going to have because I'm McEachern I said so or maybe of your own free will you choose to have we're gonna have to entertain some notion of something like freedom all right so we get logic we got Natural Sciences we got Natural Sciences about what is the case what does happen ethics is about it's about dealing with this like kind of it's this weird little curve ball that freedom throws into the next where it's not quite as predictable and those sorts of things that we want to talk about our what should happen we might even look at around it like what people do do I'm gonna say duty and I just we can look around what people do do but that's not quite the same as what they ought to do right we can make even generalizations from how people do act we might even make generalizations about like these are the only ways to have a functioning society where people don't kill one another but we haven't yet said whether that's desirable we haven't yet said like well should we prefer a functioning society where people don't kill one another there's got to be some kind of grounding somewhere all right so Natural Science and here's where we start to get like some mob is always pure as far as constants concerned I think he's got a point to be a point to make here logics always pure and what do they mean by pure think back to the prologue nomina pure means created the fruit of empirical content so completely out priori as well right completely free of empirical content you don't need any sense data in order to do logic you just need to be able to think a lot because always pure there is no empirical dimension to logic sighs God natural science has a pure component and it also has an empirical the empirical component of natural science is pretty much what gets called science today and if we wanted like one discipline to kind of like sum it all up we could call it physics now that's not necessarily physics in the sense of what goes on in the physics department this is physics in the sense of the study of nature and how nature does work the laws that we can define by looking at how it is that the natural world behaves the orderliness that reason can kind of impose upon it stuff that we saw in the profile how is it like how is natural science possible what we're talking about like an empirical natural science there the pure version of natural science the pure version that has no empirical content whatsoever that looks at the natural world and how it works is called physics but how it specifies here that this is a metaphysics of nature but we can just call it enna physics because it's pretty much like with most people mean when they talk about physics physics and this is what the study of the natural world looks like when we divorce it from any kind of empirical content just thinking about like what are the things that have to be the case in order for us that you need to be able to do physics in the first place this we saw in the prologue on these questions about like physics and metaphysics and even like mathematics and logic and stuff like that the pure content that has to be big logic what we're going to get here in epics is a pure version as well the pure version yeah the perversion is like metaphysics but it's not about the natural world of some metaphysics of morals and what does he call me empirical dimension think about this it's just looking at people and what they do and you might even be able to kind of like figure out some generalities from the empirical study of how people do act about like when people act like this this is what happens when you slap somebody in the face they get angry and slap you back they tend to write this is a science of freedom so they won't do it every single time it's not perfectly predictable like the heavenly bodies but there's perhaps good reason to expect it and we might even be able to say something like from here like if you don't want to get slapped back in the face then don't slap somebody in the face in the first place it sounds almost kind of like we're in territory that we saw with our central contractors we're in territory that also sounds may be strikingly like the Golden Rule don't treat people badly if you don't want to be get treated badly by them you could get that from practical anthropology and if you've heard some stuff about comp before and you were thinking to yourself like what comp is going to say is like pretty much just the golden rule Corbyn I'm having this conversation like in my office earlier like Kant's categorical imperative it's pretty much the golden rule Kant's categorical imperative is a very specific interpretation of the golden rule that is very very different than if you don't want people to treat you badly and don't treat them badly in fact Kant's categorical imperative doesn't have an F in it at all that's why it's categorical all right this is what we're after and why why are we after that concept we have at least these two motives why should anybody like spend time on a metaphysical morals of content self doesn't take up the metaphysics of morals right away he starts in on this stuff groundwork for the medicine smallsy's in 1785 four whole years after he did the first critique two whole years after the prologue Amna God himself says this was a this was a far more pressing endeavor but once I think that I was ready to tackle this one but why should we care at all about it and Khan says look there at least these two motivations there's a theoretical motive and there's a practical that theoretical motive is all about grounding moral principles this is this like what is at the end of the y chain if I say something like you shouldn't slap people in the face and you say why and I say because then they'll slap you back yeah I guess so why should they not want to be said like you could just keep Y kidneys maybe forever and concepts like no no no this is gonna bottom has gotta bottom out some places it doesn't bottom out some place then it's morals it's just not possible but again more not making any things about whether it is possible we're just talking about what would look like we might stumble upon this is kind of this is what it would look like if metaphysics were possible and then by the time he's explained I was like and we've been doing it were possible it would be interesting and so for that reason alone we should maybe want to check out whether it is possible I mean lots of people that have very strong opinions about like whether or not morality is there coming up with absolute moral principles or grounding morality is the sort of thing that's possible I haven't met too many of them who actually spent a whole lot of time on it before coming to the conclusion that it's not they like try to provide minato couldn't come up with anything it must not be possible it's because people disagree sometimes why should that mean that it's just not possible just means that like some people disagree about it people disagreement about stuff done mean there's no truth to the matter people disagree people just worry about all kinds of people disagree about whether or not the earth is round today the mere fact of disagreement means nothing at all about whether or not ground and moral principles as possible whether or not there are such a thing as whether they want to or not the practical motive if you buy into the idea of morality first place on that I kind of suggest you should and but if you don't buy into it then lightly saying that you should propagate you at all like good who cares the practical motive has to do with kind of protecting or insulating us from all the things that might corrupt morals might start off like trying to be a good person but there are all sorts of things that might corrupt you if you can't ground your moral principles there's this kind of like loop up in the air with like nothing holding them down then you can be subject to all kinds of like little corrupting influences that allof like I don't know about you guys like sometimes I'd be able to do the right thing just because like something came in and like distracted me something shiny got in my way of thinking about how I ought to act I was like oh I wonder shiny and then like I went after the shiny and then after it I was like I could not have gone after the shiny not like that at least so we want to get away from these corrupting influences and some of those corrupting influences are gonna be things like desire inclination the sorts of things that like make you want to go after shiny things the kinds of things that make you want to go away from scary things at least as often as I've been kind of distracted from my moral duty by things that I wanted I've been distracted from my moral duty by things I did not want by things that I was trying to avoid why did you steal from that person because I was hungry and I don't want to starve today why did you lie because I was afraid people wouldn't like me if they heard the truth the only desire are these things that can kind of distract us these are perhaps corrupting influences and if I can't have something that grounds my moral principles if I can't say like even when you don't feel like it this is kind of like maybe what this comes down to is hammering on this really really hard and environmental ethics yesterday morality can't just be up and like hopefully this is not the sort of thing that's going to be like too terribly controversial morality can't just be doing whatever the hell you feel like doing is that fair enough like we like if there's such a thing as like how you ought to act it can't be like bad just do whatever you want and you might think to yourself like why I'm always gonna want to do good things like maybe probably not but you know that there gonna be some people who feel like doing terrible things they may feel like murdering you or worse so we can't just be doing whatever you feel like doing something's got a crown that something's got to be like the sort of thing that you can weep for and say like even when I don't feel like it perhaps even when it doesn't seem to me like a desirable thing like a thing worth doing I still need to do it the word that we might be looking for here and this is like why the continent approach to ethics is sometimes called a deontological approach this comes from the Greek word Dion toss and I guess the Greek word log Austin but Dion toss is the Greek word for duty and duty is the kind of thing that like you should do regardless of whether you feel like it or not right if I say like here's your duty if you're a soldier and your duty is to like hold the line and you're like but I'm scared I don't feel like it I want to run away that doesn't change whether or not this is you like it's still your duty you can fail to fulfill your duty that's a possible thing I'm not saying that there's any metaphysical necessity that Duty brings with it such that like you can't avoid doing your duties if you do fail to do your duty you haven't done your duty you haven't done what you were supposed to do I would suppose so if it's if it was a moral duty right yeah you might have a moral duty that conflicts with like your you're like political beauties might have a political duty to apply the law evenly but you might look at the law and say something like duties like tell you what it is that you ought to do and if you have not done what you ought to do nothing flashy there – that's like true by definition right the duty determines like how it is that you ought to act failing to do your duty is failing to act the way they should more than preferable because here's the thing about duties they're not just like good ideas they're the sorts of things that if you don't do them you have done something wrong duties are obligations there are lots of things that are preferable but we might say that like you have you don't necessarily have a duty to do it like something that comes to mind here would be I don't know if I have an obligation to give all of my money away to family it might be preferable for me to do this it might maximise beneficial consequences for me to do this I don't know if I would say to a duty to do this and the reason why I think that that might be the case is because if I don't do it nothing so this is like duty is given it carries more weight than mere probability now maybe there isn't maybe there isn't this middle ground between my things that would be nice they certainly preferable for you to do but they're not your duty we might say it's always your duty to do like the most preferable thing that might be one way to parse it right yes but at the very least on it on on its surface it looks like duty and preference I'm not exactly matching out there they're close cousins they're in the same neighborhood they're playing the same sport oh yeah oh yeah like thanks for making that Segway this is not about practicality right mostly because like practicality belongs to this domain and there are a variety of other things that like are in my notes that like we could be saying here but like I want to cluster of concepts have already got a clustered concepts up here but let's say let's start well these are kind of must a pure will he ends the preface with a little conversation about what a pure will is he then begins chapter one with a conversation sentence one of chapter one it's about what a good will is and a pure will by the way what's a pure we'll start with the pure part what is the pure Clark mean a priori no empirical content right and the web part is the motives matter the real part is the motive the will is what motivates me to act right so whenever I act if I'm acting from a pure will I am acting in such a way that like there is no empirical content to what motivates me fair enough goodwill what does he have to say about a goodwill how does everyone start chapter 1 all right while people are looking for the first sentence of chapter 1 can you have a pure we look you don't have any sense experience you have to have some sense experience to get the whole way remember back in the FIR lagana like what was it intuitions without content no concepts without I've now I've forgotten it concepts without content is that one of those concepts without content they're empty thus the adjustment was concepts without like empirical intuition like feeding it remember empirical sensation is like that's the fuel that thinking requires in order to get going at all this is why I can't is not necessarily a rationalist or if he is it's a rationalist in a really weird way you gotta thoughts about content or empty intuitions without concepts were blind right so like something needs to feed it so but maybe we're gonna say something like it's that's not what's being taken into consideration in the motivation that would be what a pure will it's like a good will who's got this quote sentence one captain Ron he goes on to kind of talk about like there are all kinds of things that are good but they're good with qualification so like money is money good I guess like sometimes it depends right depends on like you spend it on is talent good not in an unqualified way the ability to successfully navigate the world and get what you want is that good again not an unqualified way right it depends on like what direction you point those Callens in that skill even character yeah we're thinking about this in terms of like kind of it's a total virtue that I can kind of separate off like honesty its honesty good perhaps I'm an unqualified way perhaps it depends on what I do with that yeah his courage maybe that's a better one honesty it's courage good hands-on what I do with that right yeah that we might say if it's like beyond that certain point and it's not really courage anymore it's recklessness now the only thing that's good without any qualification is a good will it's being motivated to do what's good to say like I will what is good I want to do the right thing I stumbled there just what's motivating me is like because the trick here that like we're going to run into you is that will is not the same thing as what because one thing something is a desire it's an inclination it's passion which is something with empirical content to it right you can't have a pure goodwill if willing is just wanting something there's man perhaps there's no such thing is a pure will if willing is the same thing as wanting we saw John Locke maybe kind of blur the line between willing and wanting but Manuel Kampf is gonna leave these two things in Twain and he wasn't even the first on the scene we saw this was John Cobb Rousseau as well Rousseau said doing whatever you feel like this was what this is what natural Liberty was natural Liberty was doing whatever you feel like Andrew says said Rousseau says that is not what moral Liberty is moral Liberty is not just doing whatever you feel like that's what wanting is all about right it's like doing what you want to do to will is something slightly different that's the sort of thing that moral Liberty gives us in having a will having a will that's the thing that stepheson ever want to do something but not cake sacks cigarettes lots of things that I see sometimes sometimes I can't stop myself and I just go right after what I want sometimes something's scary and I just run away that's the wanting part how do you stand up to those desires you exercise your will it takes willpower to not just do what you want uh-huh we couldn't have a like a clearer depiction of how these things are not the same thing will is what stops you from just doing whatever it is that you want and sometimes might say like god but that's just that's just a maybe a higher-order desire like I want to be thin I want the cake but I also want to like be thinner and so because I want to be thinner more than I want the cake I manage to like not do the cake but concepts like not something different is going on here and what's going on here is that it's gonna be different than just doing whatever inclination leads you to then just like some version of like organizing desire if there's going to be some sort of ground to not just what I want but what I should want to do then reasons gonna have to step in it's gonna have to be this thing that's dispassionate the moral content of a good will is the sort of thing that is not motivated by interest he says good will if a good will is gonna be like a good will have a pure good will we're talking about motivation and it has to be a motivation that works in the right sort of way not directed toward the right sorts of objects because as we know about like a good will like when I talk about somebody having their goodwill I don't care if they actually succeed in doing the thing that they were trying to do this is the interesting this is maybe one of the things that makes it super plausible when Khan says the only good thing that is good without qualification in this world or even out of it is a goodwill we know this because when somebody tries to do something good and they fail it doesn't diminish their attempt to like try to do the good thing in the first place and this is completely different than if somebody like tries to do something and they succeed but it wasn't a good thing like like anything that was praiseworthy about success does get to managed by the fact that it wasn't success in achieving something that was good so a good will doesn't necessarily concern itself with like the successful achievement of its goal it's about what motivates the attempt to achieve the goal it's about what motivates app whether or not that actually is going to be motivated in the right way and Khan says it needs to be motivated by a reason otherwise it's not going to be a free sort of will and if it's not a free sort of will it has no moral content did I move too fast was that clear if it's not going to be motivated by a reason if it's going to be motivated by desire well just doing whatever desire tells you to it's not being free that's being a slave to desire the only way that you're going to be able to be free to be able to rule yourself is to be able to rule your own desires according to reason and we can't have morality without freedom no freedom there's not like what ought to be either is just what happens so if we're gonna have morality we got to have freedom if we're going to have freedom then the will has to be governed by reason reason it has to be what motivates our choices if those choices are going to have any moral content to them this is where Toth gets into a conversation about the difference between to a conversation about the difference between acting from duty versus merely acting in accordance with if you follow this passage when I start talking about this actually a remarkably lucid moment and an otherwise kind of a confusing little cluster of concepts this idea of Lee the will and a good will and reason are all kind of like hanging together in this way that we see that like the only way that I am going to get a good will the only way that I'm going to get actions that are motivated in a sort of way they would have any sort of moral value whatsoever to them there would be the sort of things that's like actually praiseworthy is if they're motivated in the right way they're aimed towards the good simply because it's good doing the right thing for no other reason than because it's right that this is what it means to act from duty attack from duty as opposed to merely acting in accordance with Beauty contracts out like four different scenarios the first one is like one that it's like well clearly that's not doing the right thing it's like when you just failed to act in accordance with duty you just didn't do the right thing like all right well if you didn't act in accordance with duty then we're not gonna be able to say you might have had a good will but you didn't succeed so your action wasn't good you might act in such a way that's in accordance with your duty but you did it because you were coerced by some sort of external agent somebody dragged you to do your duty for somebody threatened you with some sort of harmful consequence if you don't do your duty so like because you were afraid of that consequence you did the thing is that morally praiseworthy if you have to be bribed or threatened into doing what's right did you actually do what's right the consequences might have turned out okay but you didn't do it right you're not you're not responsible for your action we certainly aren't responsible in a way that's praiseworthy cannot possibly have been motivated by a good will if you have to be threatened to poor coerced in some way to do what's right and then so then concepts like okay so that one's not a supposed to like you acted in accordance with duty but that wasn't acting from duty well how about this option it's not an external coercion it's according to your own inclination like I wanted to do my duty wanted to do my duty I wanted to do my duty because like it's going to give me a warm fuzzy to do it not because if some external frames were blamed but because like that's how my inclination leaned I found it desirable to do my duty now this is one where like I think continuity loses some folks definitely loses Aristotle by extension maybe me as well Khan says this cannot possibly be acting from duty this is acting from inclination again willing is not one thing that last move is constant concern is but not really all that different than the external coercion its internal coercion right I'm not responsible and I guess what this comes down to is I'm not particularly responsible for my desires like I'm responsible for my actions perhaps but maybe not my desires does that seem fair like there's the thirst of chocolate cake should I eat the cake no you shouldn't eat the cake Adam okay but I want the cake should you want the cake like I don't like maybe I should maybe I shouldn't quit like it that doesn't really help me because I can't stop myself and want the cake and this is maybe where like virtue theorists are gonna be like you can't like you can came here desires and fears you can shape your character in this way but it takes a lot of work like I certainly can't do it in the moment right it's just too it's too wishy-washy action that comes from desire action that comes from inclination if what I'm looking for is an absolute moral law if what I'm looking for by the way I can't believe I didn't get this word on the board somewhere in here Universal if I'm acting according to inclination there's no way that this can be a universal moral law a moral law that applies to all people equally that applies at all times that doesn't like disappear tomorrow again like Commandments graphs like thou shalt not lie if that's our commandment that's ok legit absolute moral law it's true today it's true tomorrow it's true next week it's true for me it's true for you it's true for everybody has this universality simply that reason by the way has a certain universality it's not just that reason gets us away from being like led around by the nose it's not just that reason is the way that like my wheel can be free the only way that I can be in control of myself by following what reason dictates instead of what desire dictates but reason is also the only way that I'm gonna get any kind of universal moral law because my desires and your desires very well very different right some people like to be spanked in the bedroom not me that's cool they can do that if they want some people like ice cream with all kinds of crazy like caramel and sprinkles and gummy bears like not for me but that's ok like they can want that like people's desires are different but reason is the same for everybody just like mathematics it's the same for everybody right you don't get like your we don't get to say like hey what comes next somebody was like well in my logic according to my reason it's not Q actually have students say that's more sense to me to like say not it's gotta be cute right and if somebody disagrees with this they don't have their own reason they're just not listening to reason right they're not they're unreasonable so reason is how can I get to universality reason is how I'm gonna be sure that like my action is the sort of thing that could be expected not just from me but from anybody if I'm acting merely in accordance with duty but like what's motivating me is desire or inclination or what I want and there's no guarantee that other people are gonna want the same thing so there's no guarantee that they're going to do what I did there's no guarantee that my wants are going to stay the same from moment to moment even like even like within one person over time your desires change and so if this is going to be a universal moral law not just in the sense that it applies to like everybody in the same way but it applies to me at all the times then it's gonna have to be acting from duty it's gonna be happy it's gonna have to be this thing that like if I had to sum it up and like one big kind of articulation of like what we mean when we say acting from a good wheel or acting from duty or acting out of respect for the moral law because or immoral actions have let's get in order for an action to have moral worth it needs to be done or no reason other than it's right there can't be any other motive for doing what's right other than because it was the right thing to do if it was because I was going to get rewarded for doing it then that's not the right kind of motivation if it's because I was going to get punished for if I didn't do it that's not the right kind of motivation if it's because it was what I felt like doing that is not the right kind of motivation and by the way like if this can't be operating at least on some level for us and it just seems like morality is just not going to be possible if we can't all agree that like here's the real reason for why you should do what's right because it's the right thing to do for warningly where does this get grounded where does the why shame in eventually we're going to get back to this question of like so this is how you ought to act and somebody might ask like yeah but why should I do what I got to do and that's when I say like because Otton could mean the same thing like why should you do what you should do that's just what it means that why should I do is sometimes I'll have students will say like why should i do what's morally right because that's what it means to be morally right there is no other justification for this if you need something to explain to you why you shouldn't do what you should do and maybe you're not the kind of person that can like be a moral agent this is rationally necessary to recognize that like you should do something just because it's the right thing to do any other motivation is not going to be acting from a good will you might have seen the right sorts of consequences but it won't be motivated in the right sort of way so it's not gonna really have any moral content it's gonna be adding tripping through the world like saving babies making the weather nice like but like none of it was motivated from reason or from like a goodwill or any desire to do what's right and therefore we'll have more value I'm not gonna write these on the board because they take a little while to write and because you've got them in your text you know where to find them there was a quiz question about this comic articulates at this point he's kind of done a lot of setup and do you see what I was saying before when I said like this is really not like a whole bunch of different ideas every single one of these things on the board is just like a slightly different articulation of the same idea this whole idea that like your actions need to be motivated by the reason that's the same thing as saying your actions need to be done from duty like acting from duty as opposed to like merely acting in accordance with duty when we say that like you have to have a good will we say that you have to have a pure will the only way to have a pure bill the only way to have a big wheel is for that will to be pure to be motivated by reason and that needs to be like oriented towards doing what's right because it's right and I don't see how reason can come to any other conclusion besides that we're going to talk about like what I grounded metaphysics of morals looks like this is the ground of all morality this is what it means to say that like we're gonna happen if there was going to be a universal moral law it would have to be the sort of thing that would be the same for everybody at all times they would have to be motivated the right sort of way this is the only way that we can get this so I'll just slightly different profiles of the same idea and here we'll get three more profiles that same idea this is what Kant refers to as these propositions of morality right number one for an action has normal worth it must be done from duty any disagreements there and you need for clarification there has he for have I have we sufficiently got to the point lake where we understand what this can pay for an action that moral worth it must be done a friend you need number two an action done from duty doesn't get its moral worth from the purpose to be achieved but from the maximum it involves here's a new idea Maxim Maxim is just a fancy word for a rule reason one of the things that reason does is it applies universal rules to particular cases so if I'm going to have a will that like is motivated the right way which is to say that's motivated through the application of reason it's not going to be about like trying to achieve consequences it's going to be about being motivated in the right way it's gonna be being motivated from the right kinds of rules that's proposition number two proposition number three to have a duty is to act a certain way out of respect for the law it's just another way of like articulating same thing kontin self says this third proposition it's just logical consequence at the first view and if we understand how all of those things the solution kind of naturally flow from this conversation that's coming before which I'll crack you is a complicated and strength conversation but also is maybe just a conversation about one idea which is this idea like what it means to have a good will or you want to say it differently what it means to act according to or what it means for there to be a universal absolute more law this is like the very concept of universal apps of moral law itself and just to check in with men who in here like I have at any point said that any of this is possible yet I've just said that if it weren't possible this is what it would look like and this is what gets us to this articulation eventually in Chapter two you're going to be known as the first formulation that is fact always get the maxim of your action could be willed as universal law highlight a couple of things here just to make period I play we can see my senses like you've heard this before some of you have had like some kind of encounters with contour continent ethics with deontological ethics you might have heard this phrase before I'm not sure it's like everybody who gets exposed to this knows what through the groundwork I'm not sure one times out of ten when I see somebody talk about category some folks might say act always in such a way such that like following a rule if everybody did that rule that you would want things to turn out that way like for example why should you be allowed to lie thou shalt not lie that's a commandment thou shalt not bear false witness but let's no it's not let's not do too precious over the terminology it means don't lie Oh what if everybody lied maybe this is the test that we're suggesting if you're wondering whether or not you should be allowed to lie ask yourself what if everybody lied and some folks might look at that and say like well everybody lied ah then there would be like confusion and like people wouldn't be able to cooperate and that would be a real bummer and I wouldn't like that ah no I mean well yeah probably yeah that's probably true but know that it's not what conscience talking about here right that's getting at like what your desire and what the consequences would be like everybody lied there would be these consequences and those consequences would be undesirable consequences it's reasonable notice that its will as universal law not that you would want it to be universal law act in such a way is stuff that you can will the maximum of your action as universal law which is to say act in such a way that you're motivated by a rule a universal rule this is the maximum of your action as you act in a way so that you're motivated by a universal rule that applies in all cases that you could will to be universal don't lie now shall not lie what if lying was permissible not just permissible and let's not do this thing like everybody lies all the time yeah that's just like that's just opposite day you can figure that out pretty quick okay like not that but like sometimes they line sometimes they don't lie they lie whenever they feel like it alright part system says it's okay I only lied because it was the easiest way to get rid of on it this is like most lives right what do people just live when there was no other easy way for them to get what they wanted can't it this route to like that would bring about undesirable consequences I have figured this out some other way let's start here let's do the same sort of like tactics that like cough likes to use which is like let's start with like what words mean what does it mean to lie false information but I can give you false information without lying right yeah cuz it have to be on purpose right cuz sometimes I can just be wrong people like God you lying to me like settle down there I lie and was just mistaken so I have to do it on purpose I have to tell you something that's not true on purpose and even then I don't know if like that's all like all of those things are lies because like maybe I'll tell you a story about a magical princess who lived in a candy cane castle like know that it's true I know it's not true but I'm telling it to you anyway am i lying not that be alive I'm not presenting it as the truth yeah so this is what a lie is a lie is me telling you something that I know is false but I'm presenting it to you as if it were true if we wanted to like make this a little bit more streamlined we could say a lie is an intentional attempt to deceive somebody I mean the second is like lies at the heart of what a lie is are we are we all in agreement that that's what a lie is a lie is an intentional attempt to deceive you by telling you something that I know is false and trying to get you to think it's true that okay what if everybody who'd live whatever they wanted it's a possible first of all this right here does anybody have any reason to believe anything that anybody says anymore if when people are talking like they could be telling the truth they could be tone alive they could mean what they say they could mean the opposite of what they say if that's what's allowed then there's no reason to believe what anybody says if there is no reason for anybody to believe what anybody else says is it even possible to deceive anybody the whole thing that makes deception and even like a plausible thing to try to do is that there's this kind of like understood rule that like when people say something they mean it earnestly we know that they can lie but we also know that most of the time people say what they mean and this is why I like a liar is trying to get away with being an exception to a rule than everybody else has to follow if that rule went away we have this our state of affairs where we're saying if everybody can lie that nobody can lie and that my friends is a naked contradiction is it not if everybody can lie that nobody can lie can you will permission to lie as a universal moral law not to say like can you want it to happen is it desirable it is not coherent it is not a reasonable thing to will as a universal moral law because it undermines itself this doesn't just work for life this works actually for a whole bunch of stuff everybody can do it it's not that it becomes I'm sorry everybody everybody can do it nobody's doing a contradiction this is what it means to say a moral action that's going to be an absolute universal moral law is something that has to be motivated by reason and that's why this is it's an articulation of all of this stuff that came before it basically it doesn't make it up it just kind of like fall over it he picks up the the concept of universal law he says like maybe these things are possible maybe they're not but like here's what it means and he shakes the concept and this thing just falls right out of it all the Dominions all of the rest of the stuff that he said exactly just one crazy a feeling about this weird exotic cool I don't know about you the first time I read and like kind of partially understood this I was like I've never thought those thoughts before in my entire life that's like a brand new way of thinking and that's continent nutshell right every time they see you're like this guy must feel like a magnet from outer space I don't know hating humans who think this way but it makes sense you understand what he's talking about we'll continue this on Thursday with

i kind of brought up at philosophy club as an argument against kant's imperative, that we have people who, with reasoned arguments, say people should have claim to their own money (conservatives) and other people who, with reasoned arguments, say people should share money so everyone in society is taken care of (liberals) and these 2 are in contradiction to each other. So they can't be universal moral laws, yet they have a clear moral component to them. And you can see how taken to the extreme, they would both work. In conservative utopia I pay no taxes and keep all my money. (The poor? the conservative argument is they need to take responsibility for themselves, so in this utopia everyone is self-sufficient and pays the consequences.) In liberal utopia everyone has the amount of money they need to take care of themselves and everyone shares equally. I'm sure there's a couple of holes there, but just throwing it out there.


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