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Jacques Louis David, The Oath of the Horatii, 1784 - page 15 / 80

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MORALITY AND CONSEQUENCES I

Kant says that “the moral worth of an action does not lie in the effect expected from it, nor in any principle of action which requires to borrow its motive from this expected effect.”

Thus, unlike any consequentialist theory, Kant says that it is incorrect to look for the moral worth of an action in its effects.

The reason for this is that expected effects of actions, such as improving one’s own condition, as in egoism, or increasing the happiness of everyone likely to be effected by the action, as in utilitarianism, Kant says “could have been brought about by other causes.”

And, if that were the case, then “there would have been no need of the will of a rational being.”  

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