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Lecture

Motives and Morality

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Home > Humanities > Philosophy > Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? > Motives and Morality Lecture Details:

Part 1 - Mind Your Motive: Professor Sandel introduces Immanuel Kant, a challenging but influential philosopher. Kant rejects utilitarianism. He argues that each of us has certain fundamental duties and rights that take precedence over maximizing utility. Kant rejects the notion that morality is about calculating consequences. When we act out of duty-doing something simply because it is right-only then do our actions have moral worth. Part 2 - Supreme Principal of Morality: Immanuel Kant says that insofar as our actions have moral worth, what confers moral worth is our capacity to rise above self-interest and inclination and to act out of duty. Sandel tells the true story of a thirteen-year-old boy who won a spelling bee contest, but then admitted to the judges that he had, in fact, misspelled the final word.

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