The Differences Between Moral Motivation

1390 Words Apr 8th, 2015 6 Pages
The differences between moral motivation in Groundworks and Utilitarianism

Among the history of moral philosophy, two major philosophers, Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill from the 18th and 19th century have come up with two different moral theories for the moral philosophy. Kant had established his view of moral in his book“The Groundwork of the Metaphysics of morals” and claimed that motivation of an actions are based on duty and reason. On the other hand, Mill’s idea is that actions base on maximizing utility have to be morally right. As he claimed in his book, Utilitarianism, which refers to pleasure, in other word happiness, is the only motive of a moral action. In general, Kant and Mill held different views of moral motivation: duty vs feeling. Their theories represented their views in moral philosophy. The discussion raises in respect to the conflicts on their theories. Kant’s main theory of moral philosophy argued that the good or bad of an action cannot judge its moral worth. In other words, the moral worth of any actions is not determined by the consequences of the action, but regard on what make the agent performs certain actions. Kant stated the concept of good will in the opening of the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals: “it is impossible to think of anything in the world…good without limitation, except a good will” (Kant, 1785, p. 9). In Kant’s view, there are three types of motivations of an action. The first one is duty. In order to determine…
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