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Jacques Louis David, The Oath of the Horatii, 1784 - page 16 / 80

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MORALITY AND CONSEQUENCES II

Recall that, for Kant, it is in this will “alone that the supreme and unconditional good can be found.”

And if that is where the supreme and unconditional good is to be found, then it is not to be found in the consequences of an action, whether those consequences mean a better life for oneself, as in egoism, or in a better life for everyone affected by the action, as in utilitarianism.

To that end, Kant says: “The pre-eminent good which we call moral can therefore consist in nothing else than the conception of law in itself, which certainly is possible only in a rational being, in so far as this conception, and not the expected effect, determines the will.”  (His italics.)

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