• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Self interest plays no part in genuine morality Discuss

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'Self interest plays no part in genuine morality' Discuss Philosophers have many different views on morality and whether or not self interest plays a part. For example, psychological egoists are of the opinion that man is incapable of doing anything that does not promote self interest and this view is adopted by philosophers such as Hobbes. Kant is of the opinion that self interest plays no part in general morality so both of their theories contradict each other to a great extent. Kant thought we should not act out of love or self interest but instead only because the right motive is central to the concept of duty and that we should perform our duty even if we are not inclined to do it, 'duty for duty's sake'. An honest shopkeeper that charges fair prices for his goods would not overcharge either because it is sensible for a successful business to not cheat customers, out of love and care for his customers, or because he recognises the principle of fair dealing. ...read more.

Middle

According to Kant's theory on morality, we do the right thing because it is our duty to, regardless of self interest. The categorical imperative helps us know which actions are obligatory and which are forbidden. There are three principles of the categorical imperative. The first is universal law; 'act only to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should be come a universal law.' This is similar to the Christian belief of treating others how you would like to be treated. The second is 'Treat humans as ends in themselves'. Kant rejects the idea of using human beings for another purpose to achieve some other goal. The last is 'Act as if you live in the kingdom of ends'. Kant believed we cannot act on a rule that assumes that others don't treat people as ends, for example you cannot create a maxim such as 'I may lie as all others lie' as if a rule like that was followed, society would become unendurable. ...read more.

Conclusion

Social pressures and economic needs, e.g. going away to work somewhere have to come first in most cases. A defender of the Kantian position would say that moral theories are generally very demanding and ask us to aspire to things we can't always achieve. But this shouldn't mean that we give up trying, because it is a worthwhile aim. Although this is a good counter argument and does outweigh the fact that the theory is slightly flawed, asking people to act morally purely because of duty and regardless of themselves is a hard thing to ask of anyone. Although self interest should play no part in genuine morality, it is foolish to think that the majority of society can keep to such a difficult task. Self interest playing no part in morality is something to aspire to, but realistically, self interest will play a part to at least an extent in most people's lives and although it can be argued that it is not genuine morality when this is the case, it doesn't matter if the outcome is the same. Alice Owen ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Miscellaneous section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Miscellaneous essays

  1. Customer experience management in UK higher education

    The university cannot simply be the place of transmitting knowledge, but the critical place, an institution that critical knowledge, which addresses the culture and project the direction of national culture. One way to perform the functions of university teaching and research is through the formation of professional and highly qualified specialists in various fields of knowledge.

  2. Miller sets out in The Crucible to create a totally unsympathetic character in Abigail. ...

    Abigail makes the play an effective tragedy in that the audience find her devious actions entertaining, she is almost likeable in her wretchedness. Comparing Abigail to Elizabeth Procter who's "justice could freeze beer" Abigail at least doesn't play the martyr.

  1. Communication begins and ends with the self how far do you agree with this ...

    I think that I think that communication between persons must always have an original sender and receiver, the roles of sender and receiver however are not fixed. These roles can switch back and forth as conversation continues. I therefore think that communication begins with the original sender, if you the

  2. EVERYTHING THAT IS LEGAL IS NOT NECESSARILY ETHICAL' CRITICALLY DISCUSS THIS STATEMENT,

    The final point Masson made was that the child must also understand that the researcher cannot take action that would alter the child's life in any way due to their involvement in the research. It is important that as far as possible, informed consent be given from the participants themselves

  1. Outline Stanislavski(TM)s concept of emotion memory and assess it(TM)s usefulness as part of the ...

    The idea of emotion memory evolved from the works of Ribot. His books, la psycologie des sentiments, and Problemes de psychologie affective, influenced Stanislavski and stemmed the idea of emotion memory. Problemes de psycologie affective dealt with the memory of emotion.

  2. Communication in todays society

    "I tell you what to do." No question asked. End of communication. Leadership from within, however, is about partnership. And partnership depends on communication. On finding shared values and common ground. On teamwork or alignment of our visions and passions to make a different. To be a leader-from-within, you have to know how to connect with your listeners.

  1. "Why has there been a substantial increase in the adopted population of children born ...

    The researcher identified clearly to the interviewees on the purpose for conducting the interview and what the aims of this research project were. The questions were pre-planned, structured and open-ended, leaving the interviewee to respond in as much depth as they wanted.

  2. Purpose of Self

    For me, the Global Education Scholarship will lessen concern on how to afford a semester abroad. With the award, I can maximize concentration on the many ways I plan to use the knowledge gained.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work