Immanuel Kant's Good Will: Western Philosophy

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Immanuel Kant
HUM 400
12 Jun 2010

Kant 's "Good Will"
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) is one of the most influential philosophers in history of Western philosophy. A main representative of the Western-European classical philosophy, Immanuel Kant dealt with the best traditions of the German idealism. A human personality, according to Kant is the highest and absolute value. It is the personality, in Kant’s understanding, that towers the person over its own self and links the human being with the “order of things”. The “order of things”, according to Kant is the reflection of the “common sense”. The whole perceived world around us complies with the “order of things”. The most interesting part of Kant’s philosophy is that his …show more content…

At this point is necessary to come back to the term “good will”.
The absence of a good will makes unacceptable generally needed personal qualities such as wittiness, ability to judge, courage, decisiveness and many others. Kant implies that these qualities may become “evil” in case when they are not supported by the good will. From the philosopher’s opinion a good will forms, probably, the most essential condition not only of being happy but even of being worthy to be happy.
The essence of a “good will”
A “good will” is a will, not able to be cruel or evil. The “supposition” of goodness forms the nature of the good will. Goodness it the main requirement of the existence of the “good will” according to Immanuel Kant. A good will is a will in which subjective characteristics of an individual do not prevent but define and help the “desire to do good”. Good will in its own sense is a unity of liberty and law, mind and goodness. The purity of determination of the will by the mind is the real meaning of its goodness. Kant also refers to the “absolute good will”. The “sanctity” of this good will in Kant’s understanding comes from its superiority over Kant’s ordinary ”good will”. Kant views the absolute good will as the moral destination of the human mind. It is the main goal of the highest gift humanity has ever gotten – the human mind. Kant interprets this form of will as a “pure” will. Kant through his notion “good

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