I'm stumped with this analysis.
What is the connection between duty and being motivated to do it? If there is no necessary connection then Kant would seem to be wrong when he wrote "ought implies can". According to Kant's formula if I cannot do act A, I have no duty to do A. Kant does have a point: It does seem odd to say I have a duty to do what is impossible for me to do. On the other hand if I must be motivated to do X then before I can be said to have an obligation to do X, why don't I always do my duty? Is there a way out of this paradox?
Umm..any thoughts that could lead me in the right direction here? Thanks
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Kantian Theory and Duty watch
- Thread Starter
- 09-04-2006 17:21
- 09-04-2006 18:53
I'm not sure there is a connection between duty and motivation (according to Kant). To do one's duty is to perform actions that are required morally and to avoid immoral actions. When Kant was referring to "ought implies can" I think he meant one ought to do one's duty because one ought to do it. However, this does raise a problem because isn't it our motivation which causes us to act to do our duty? I think I know where you're coming from - according to Kant, if one realises that they ought to do something then they will do it, but that surely isn't how the world operates? Surely X would not perform their duty if they did not have the motivation to do it? I know you can turn this round and say that people are not motivated to give money to the poor - but if X does give to charity then surely X has some motivation within themselves? Any action requires motivation.
I'm not sure whether I've helped at all... hope I have!