Fundamental Principals of the Metaphysic of Morals

Fundamental Principals of the Metaphysic of Morals

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Fundamental Principals of the Metaphysic of Morals by Immanuel Kant

Published:

1785

Pages:

82

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6,653

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Fundamental Principals of the Metaphysic of Morals

By

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translated by Thomas Kingsmill Abbott

Book Excerpt

to special disfavour of fortune, or the niggardly provision of a step-motherly nature, this will should wholly lack power to accomplish its purpose, if with its greatest efforts it should yet achieve nothing, and there should remain only the good will (not, to be sure, a mere wish, but the summoning of all means in our power), then, like a jewel, it would still shine by its own light, as a thing which has its whole value in itself. Its usefulness or fruitfulness can neither add nor take away anything from this value. It would be, as it were, only the setting to enable us to handle it the more conveniently in common commerce, or to attract to it the attention of those who are not yet connoisseurs, but not to recommend it to true connoisseurs, or to determine its value.

There is, however, something so strange in this idea of the absolute value of the mere will, in which no account is taken of its utility, that notwithstanding the thorough assent of even common reason to the idea, yet a suspicion must arise t

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