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Jacques Louis David, The Oath of the Horatii, 1784 - page 17 / 80

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MORALITY AND CONSEQUENCES III

Thus, for Kant, the moral person does what is right because it is right, and does not do right because he or she is considering the likely effects of doing right for himself or for anyone likely to be effected by the action.

For Kant, the goodness of a good will “is a good which is already present in the person who acts accordingly [that is, a person who acts according to moral law], and we have not to wait for it to appear first in the result.”

The goodness of an act is not then judged by its consequences, as in a consequentialist theory, but is due to a good will, or willing to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.

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