What is moral philosophy? It is a branch of philosophy that challenges original reasons of morality and aims to provide less credible reasons for their conclusions. Ultimately, moral philosophers believe that our actions are motivated by our desires and our feelings, not by our actions per se. Here we examine Kant, Herman, and Hume, and see which of them has the most influence on our moral behavior. Let us also consider Herman’s proposal.
The famous argument in Hume’s moral philosophy argues that reason is not a motive. Passion, emotion, and judgments of value are not the only sources of motivation. These factors are necessary to move people from thought to action. Whether this is correct or not is a matter of interpretation. It is difficult to understand why Hume came to such a controversial conclusion. However, it does seem to show that reason can be used as a source of action.
Hume’s theory is also rooted in our capacity to evaluate morality. He suggests that morality is closely related to sociability. Our ability to sympathize with others helps us evaluate moral behavior. In this way, morality and sociability are intimately connected. Nonetheless, sociability is a necessary condition for moral evaluation. This may sound complicated, but it is possible to explain why morality is an important part of human existence.
While Hume does recognize the importance of empathy, he also believes that religious zeal is not a sufficient explanation for the virtue of justice. Hume also argues that human empathy and sympathy neutralize religious and ethical zeal. The moral evaluative quality of these traits allows us to make decisions based on empathy rather than reason alone. While Hume’s position on empathy may seem contradictory to today’s values, he did make this statement despite the conflicting nature of his philosophy.
The fundamental dispute between the two theories is over the source of moral standards and the ground for our obligation to do good. One side, the moral rationalists, argues that moral standards are an inherent aspect of the human mind, whereas the other side, the divine voluntarists, argues that we are morally obligated to do good. Neither position holds that moral obligation is a product of God’s will, but they do exist.
The second difference between Hume’s moral philosophy and modern psychology is the concept of artificial motive. Hume’s definition of artificial motive suggests that an act is unethical if it is motivated by selfish interests. In contrast, benevolence is always good. Moreover, the benevolent motive is a good thing and can compensate for the harms of extreme anger and cruelty. Thus, benevolence is a desirable virtue, and the latter is an unattainable virtue.
Kant’s moral philosophy is about the difference between duty and free will. He argued that we cannot lose our humanity because we do a wrong, and that we deserve at least some basic respect for ourselves and others. However, Kant argued that there must be some sort of universal sense of virtuous behavior. Therefore, there should be an objective sense of what is right and wrong. If Kant is right, we can trust our judgment and not our emotions.
Kant’s moral philosophy also examines the nature of the virtuous will. This kind of will has strength, and it overcomes obstacles to its realization in practice. In other words, the virtuous will has a powerful force, and it can overcome obstacles to its manifestation in practice. But this virtuous will is only real when we are surrounded by a community that shares the same goal.
The concept of good and evil is the result of our motivation. Kant described this process in Religion as a permanent quasi-religious conversion, or a “revolution” of the will. The end result of such a transformation is the moral worth of the person. The person’s will must be based on moral righteousness in order to be of value. He also argued that we should not consider others as things, but rather as end objects of our actions.
The basic idea of Kant’s moral philosophy is related to the concept of political freedom. Most liberal theories of political freedom are based on the notion of legitimate political authority. Laws are the expression of the “will of the people.” Thus, the source of legitimate political authority is internal. Therefore, the concept of freedom in Kant’s moral philosophy is related to the idea of free will. But it differs from libertarianism’s understanding of freedom.
Kant’s theory of duty is based on value. Value is the measure of what an action is worth. The result of that action must be good. But this value is not inherently immoral. There are reasons to be wrong. The moral right of an action is grounded on its character, not on its objective worth. However, if it is motivated by a goal, it is immoral. That is the fundamental principle of moral responsibility.
Herman Dawkins is a philosopher of morality and one of the leading figures in contemporary moral philosophy. His philosophy of morality is rooted in the belief that all humans are rational and that moral values exist on the back of our actions. However, this view is far from universal. For example, he believes that a person can be morally good while being selfish. This is contrary to the view of some other philosophers, who think that human beings are morally good only when they are doing something that is right.
In Herman’s proposal for moral philosophy, virtuous acts no longer represent a general standard of goodness. Instead, they are directed toward fulfilling the moral claims of others out of a “good will” or moral duty. This distinction is a major point of disagreement between the two approaches. Herman acknowledges that both approaches have valid points of contention and points in common. Ultimately, though, Herman’s proposal remains the most convincing approach to morality.
Cohen, on the other hand, argues that ethics must start with the science of jurisprudence. But Cohen does not mean jurisprudence concerned with positive law; he means jurisprudence as a whole. This approach to ethics begins by investigating the concept and essential features of law, which are the universal laws of human action. Consequently, Herman’s proposal is not a complete re-appraisal of Kant’s moral philosophy.
Cohen’s systematic philosophy complements the philosophy of religion. It views human beings as concrete individuals with moral failings, while religion treats the human being as an ideal agent with universal ethical laws. However, Cohen’s views have been the subject of significant disagreements. So, it is not possible to say whether or not Cohen’s proposal is the most correct philosophical account. It’s worth noting, however, that Cohen’s proposal is a shaky one, and it remains unclear whether it is the most compelling philosophical approach to the problems that arise from the distinction between religion and systematic philosophy.
Cohen’s philosophical ethics has been of great interest to religious ethicists. He argued that monotheism expresses a universalist morality and requires all humanity to be subject to the same ethical laws. He identified his philosophical orientation as “ethical monotheism” and has been considered the first of a line of religious philosophers. Moreover, Cohen’s proposal for moral philosophy is a critical one, and his ideas are a necessary foundation for non-Marxist Kantian democratic socialism.