Kant Opposes the Moral Saints

From the Categorical Imperative to the Moral Perfection


2019-01-14 02:40

Dong Binyu
Fudan Journal

Abstract: Susan Wolf believes that Kants ethics support the concept ofMoral Saintsin a form of rigorismThe Moral Saints are state of moral perfection by the imperfect agentsHoweverin Wolfs viewthe concept goes to extremes in theory and is not practical in actionFrom a point of intuitionalismWolf opposes the use of general rules as the main criteria for proper actions advocated by Kants ethics and utilitarianismThis paper argues that Kant didnt build up a theory on theMoral Saints.On the contrary, Kant completely opposes this kind of PerfectionismKants deontology provides a kind of elementary moral explanationand later on his Virtue Theory is supplementary to his deontologyIn the Virtue TheoryKant puts forward the distinction between thePerfect and imperfect duty”“Perfect

Dutyrefers to moral rules that agents must comply withwhereas theimperfect dutyis optional based on agentsown characters and needsThe violation of the latter is not to be blamed accordinglywhile the implementation of it is worthy of high praiseOnly in this senseKant believes that people will pursue theMoral PerfectionIn sumthe concept of theMoral Saintsis included in Kants ethicsbut it is not considered as moral criteria that people must comply withMost of the timeKant makes use of it in a negative sense

Keywords: moral saints; duty; virtue

The Chinese version appeared in Fudan Journal , 2018(06).



2019-01-14 10:42
Ethic Topics in the History of Economic Thought