Kantian Notion Of Duty Philosophy Essay


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Philosophical doctrines over the centuries have attempted to give conclusive and productive insights into the perennial issues of morality. Why should man be a moral agent and what are the yardsticks for deciding morally right and wrong actions? Various theories have thus developed from ideas on the relativity of morality to that of reason, their attempts have either brought one closer to understanding the moral nature of man or eluded us further of the slightest hope we had, although none has been conclusively found to have provided sufficient answers to man�s moral quest but each and everyone has brought something worth examining to the table. Kant�s moral theory is no different. Immanuel Kant is generally seen as a difficult writer, this is a barrier in fully appreciating the message in his work thereby presenting misconstrued understandings of his writings. However as Freeman points out, Kant �is very much a bridge thinker with his ideas looking back to the Greeks, Aquinas, as well as the social contract writers, and moving forward to much contemporary critical thought�1. Kant attempted to postulate a moral theory which binds all men as a result of reason, that is why Wood puts Kant�s moral theory as being anthropocetric, a theory that places �absolute and unconditional value� in reason2. The uncandid presentation of reason as the guide for moral judgements by Kant seems to expose the �autonomous� nature of man3. His notion of morality has been reviewed by G.W.F Hegel as incapable of providing any �immanent doctrine of duties�4. How true can this claim be said to be? A review of this criticism has led one to conclude that it lies on a positive misinterpretation of Kant�s theory being that it was a critique of his Groundwork which often is quite misleading. Positive in that this criticism did help identify some loop holes in Kant�s moral theory but still a misinterpretation as it failed to understand the aim of the theory. That is why Knowles concludes that Hegel�s �interpretation of Kant is sketchy and condensed throughout and nowhere does Hegel do justice to the matter�5. The aim of this essay is to thereby present Kant�s idea as having more potentiality than that of non -contradictoriness as attributed to it by Hegel.

Kant�s notion of duty proposes the need to regard everyone as equals, no one according to him should be seen as a means to an end. One could see this even in his idea of marriage where he tried to divert the notion of women as sexual objects to the concept of marriage thereby giving a sense of dignity to women, although how accurate his attempt was is not the focus of this essay6. Kant tries to show that only when reason reigns supreme over emotions can one live a true moral life. The point one could derive from this is how feelings often create an atmosphere for inappropriateness of actions, for instance in the case of religious disputes if one could respect the other regardless of one�s belief on the bases that if everyone was to act violently supporting of fighting for one�s God, it can only lead to the existence of a Mutual Assured Destruction (M.A.D) 7. Based on all the reasons cited, this essay attempts to present Kant�s as the most suitable moral solution to living a moral life in the 21st century through analysis of Kant�s notion of duty and also how a societal life that can be shared by everyone can be achieved by respecting and abiding to this notion.


Kant like most philosophers interested in societal wellbeing tried to examine the reasons as to why one should uphold a sense of right, wrong and responsibility in everyday dealings with the society, and to what authority should this command of morality be attributed to. He thereby tried to comprehend and posit the idea of morality without the source of its obligation being external to man. This can be seen as the basis of his moral theory.

Kant in the preface of his work Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals explained his aim was to present the ultimate moral norm, sort in concepts of pure reason a priori and defend its ability to obligate us8. He held that moral norms cannot be based on experience and thereby focused on advocating for a pure moral philosophy completely devoid of anything empirical, that is why he concluded that the only thing good without the need for qualifications is �a good will�, the goodness of all other things thereby need to be defined as misuse of them could negate their goodness. For example intelligence is good but can be made bad if misused for criminal activities, this also goes for courage which could lead to recklessness if taken to the extreme, according to him �a good will is not good because of what it effects or accomplishes�but only because of its volition, that is, it is it is good in itself and regarded for itself, is to be valued incomparably higher than all could merely be brought about by it in favour of some inclination��9. Kant thereby defines good will as a will which acts in accordance with duty, as simply following our natural inclinations in our actions has no moral value, recognising that every action is intended for a goal, and has intentions, of which should be formed in accordance with our duty. The Kantian idea of Duty as the locus of our actions can be related to the Aristotelian notion that goodness of a person (virtue) should be motivated by identifying what is the right and noble action. Ones intent of action thereby should be based on the nobility or rightness of such action. How then does one decide or know the rightness of an action? Kant postulates the principle of universalization.

It is well known that for Kant, the yard stick for moral actions rest with the principle of universalization, this is because he felt it of great impetus to situate morality within the public framework. According to this principle any moral judgement must be applicable to any and every situation that presents itself as such. The Kantian moral theory thereby holds that if a course of action cannot be universally adopted it must be morally impermissible, thus the idea of right appeals not to the satisfaction of our desires10. The maxim and underlining principle of an action determines the rightness or wrongness of an action, intention playing a major role in morality. Kant holds that an action or principle which cannot be universalized is morally wrong and one should restrain from such actions. Dignity of the individual is granted as a result of the innate power to reason, the ability of each person to think and choose, not only to shape his own life but to be aware of respecting and protection of universal ends, this power he referred to as �autonomy�11. Man thus becomes a universal law maker. Kant was of the opinion that man is capable of regulating his actions by reason and this is because ethics consist of laws made for and by free living agents to regulate their behaviour which appear to us as imperatives, he examines possible practical experiences of man and applies the principle of universalization to derive the underlining motive behind such actions and whether these actions can be universalized to decide their rightness or wrongness. One of such experiences is the scenario of a man at a time of distress who intends to commit suicide12, the proposed action is viewed as morally inapplicable as the underlining maxim of his action is that of �self love�.

Kant seemed to be of the view that actions which cannot be applied by another to similar circumstances are not worthy of any moral value. He also examined the underlining moral principle behind the notion of truth telling and trust, according to Kant if one makes a promise having in mind that he has no intention of keeping it, the universalization of this principle is inapplicable as the idea of trust would be jeopardized and a society without trust is unfathomable13, thus one has the duty to keep ones promises even against ones wishes. One cannot but relate the Kantian notion of keeping promises as reactionary to the Machiavellian advice in The Prince written in 1513. Machiavelli proposed that �a ruler must be prepared to act immorally when this becomes necessary�14 permitting that a ruler could lie and break his word, claiming to have �described things as they really are�. Kant tried to show that as a result of the absoluteness and universality of morality necessity was an inadequate excuse for acting otherwise. Authority of Reason alone according to Kant can grant even the ordinary man the Universal Principle of Justice, as everyman is bound by moral obligations and must thus possess innately a fundamentally correct understanding of morality and its norms15. The source of the Kantian moral law can thereby be seen as the categorical imperative, which obliges all men unconditionally. It binds all men to their duty and as a result of this is not grounded in anything external to the rational will. Why is man obligated?


The concept of duty holds great impetus in Kant�s ethical as well as political theory, as political and ethical lives are very much interrelated, but for the purpose of this essay we will try to focus on Kant�s duty in his ethical theory. According to Kant for an action to have moral worth it must be done for the sake of duty, and an action done for the sake of duty is in accordance with the moral law. The nature of man is flawed and as a result of that man can choose to act immorally, thus the ethical choice or option always appears to us not just as what is right but as what is obligatory, as a Duty16. Kant is of the opinion that the moral law is embedded in our rational awareness demanding our compliance without regard for our desires and inclinations obligating us to obey, his idea of duty tries to ensure that the dignity of man is preserved by him being regarded as �an end in himself� and not as �a means to an end�, thus adopting a particular course of action from a sense of duty means obeying the �dictates of reason�. Although Kant held that what Duty is �plain to everyone� even those of the commonest intelligence, there is the need to be more explicit as to the meaning of duty to get a clearer understanding of Kant�s moral theory. What then is Duty? And why does it hold great importance in Kant�s moral doctrine? Duty can be defined as what a person ought to do, that is to say what a person has an obligation to perform, the cost of compliance is essential in the idea of duty, one should choose to perform ones duty and obligation despite what one stands to gain or lose. The concept of duty can be said to presuppose that of society just as the concept of morality presupposes society. Man is a social animal who depends on so many things for his survival as he does not have the ability to solely produce all he needs17. As man cannot provide all the support he support he needs to survive in a civil society, hence the notion of division of labour. When people perform the functions in a society efficiently no one suffers but when one fails to operate according to dictates there is a gap in individual and societal satisfaction. If we examine two societies, one that exist by it�s members having a sense of duty for example a civil society and the other that exists without regard for duty (for example the state of nature where the life of man was seen as short, solitary, nasty and brutish), one cannot but say that progress is sure to be salient with more ease in the civil society as opposed to the state of nature18. Thus duty can be seen as the glue that not only bonds human existence together but ensures progress. Kant makes his famous distinction between acting �according to duty� and �acting from duty�. Actions done from duty are praise worthy because one does not hope not to gain any satisfaction from it and one is not acting because of any inclinations but one actions are in reverence with the moral law19, while actions according to duty�

Kant�s idea of duty revolves around the sense of duty for the sake of duty, he held in his work Lectures on Ethics, that man had varying duties from that to oneself (which he regarded to be of great importance, and an error in moral philosophy not to address) to duties to others, sexual impulses and even to other existing creatures, however duty to oneself, reside in the fact that the dignity of mankind in his own person. Acting from duty involves one resolving to do whatever the moral law obligates one to do, out of respect for that law. Kant does not hold that all actions should be done from duty, but that actions which exist in moral context should be done from duty to determine their moral worth. There is the need to note here that Kant failed to discuss the minimum requirement for rationality in his Groundwork and that may have been responsible for most criticisms faced by him. According to Kant education seems a vital part of having the right sense of morality, as his idea of morality is associated with reason. One can thereby say that he faults in attributing morality to reason perfected by education as this does not consider moral activities in primitive societal existence20. Duty, action stemming from the centre of consciousness and character stability are not opposing counterparts to the �joy of the heart� which comes about when the individual has nothing for which to reproach himself. Inclination, interest and pleasure are not forbidden in Kant�s scheme of things, however they must be relativized in relation to the commitment of the individual to love of other human beings and to the well-being of all men21. Various scholars such as Hart have followed Kant�s steps in holding that obligation presents in itself three distinct characteristics, the first being that it recognises in the person performing the act a sacrifice, second insistence on its importance and thirdly duty is necessary in the maintenance of social life. This distinction further buttresses the social nature of duty.


A major critique of Kant�s moral theory is Hegel. Hegel held that Kant�s notion of duty is divorced from everything else contingent, remaining only a formal concept which is empty22. According to Hegel in his Philosophy of Right, the Kantian notion of morality is formalistic, as it not only provides an inapplicable method of discovering moral worthy actions but fails to appropriately answer the question what is duty?, Hegel assumes that moral law has obligates man to certain �determinate duties�, containing �indestructible elements of positivity�. He argued that Kantian ethics made a sharp dichotomy between man�s rational will and his inclinations and emotions, �reason is divorced from sense�. This dualism Hegel identified as unacceptable and similar to that of Descartes as it divides man simply in two parts, animal passion and pure reason, this Hegel feels is not only an oversimplification of the nature of man but also presents these two parts in perpetual conflict with each other, as Kant held that anything done in accordance with natural desires has no moral worth, but this assumption is questionable as Kant proposed that ones natural inclinations should be in accordance with duty23. Hegel continued to argue that the moralist in Kant�s ethics lacks sincerity as he does not want to see an end to the struggle he is engaged in because it is precisely this struggle that provides his actions with their moral worth, yet he (the moralist) holds that the rational will is superior to the natural inclination of man24. More explicitly put the empty formalism charge was as a result of the failure of Kant to link the notion of duty to something more concrete thereby separating the concept from �everything contingent�, relating the principle to religious doctrines which lack the will to develop from potentiality to actuality, particularity to universality25. Thus the Kantian notion of universalization had only one purpose, which according to Hegel was that of �non-contradictoriness�. But what did Hegel mean by Kant�s moral theory lacking content? According to Hegel �duty on the Kantian conception, amounts to abstract universality, whose determination is identity without content or the abstractly positive, that is, the indeterminate�26.

Hegel criticizes Kant�s principle of duty for the sake of duty, he concludes that Kant failed to present the criterions for deciding what our duty is and how we come to the knowledge of such duty. He also held that Kant failed to show the reason why an action presents itself as our duty, as it cannot just be duty for the sake of duty. Kant�s universalization theory was not exempted from the criticism, according to Hegel, Kant�s principle of universalization is not a true test of morality, as it presupposes the moral rightness or wrongness of an action, and can thereby be used to justify any action a person wills, even immoral actions27. Hegel seems to believe that an action cannot be done from duty while maintaining the purity of its will, according to him Kant�s doctrine of duty cannot claim the position of �riding solo� in the execution of human actions as thought of acting on a particular intention cannot be separated from the act, thus the Kantian cannot perform an action in from duty without compromising the �purity of their wills�. This is clearly stated in The Phenomenology of Spirit, according to Hegel �since the determinate duty is an end, it has a content, its content is apart of the end, and so morality (moralitat) is not pure�28.

Although Hegel and Kant seem to agree that all actions have intended ends, and that actions performed in accordance to its intended end is not done from duty alone but from inclined intention and that the duty of good will should be done for the sake of duty29. Hegel seems to have simply based his criticisms in line with that of Schillerian attack on the Kantian-Fichtean opposition of duty failing to examine Kant�s moral theory anymore than his successor had, thus resulting in brief controversial criticisms of Kant�s moral theory. This presents itself more vividly in his writings as he failed to devote time and articulate the much needed in his analysis of Kant�s moral doctrine, but if Hegel�s criticism that drives and passion have an important role to play in human actions and that nothing great has ever been achieved without them, then the Kantian notion of duty is faced with a great challenge. Luckily Kant himself never held that an individual must forego his individual satisfaction in order to have a moral worthy action but he rather was of the opinion that the motivation behind such moral worthy action was not self satisfaction but duty, even he held that �to ensure one�s own happiness is a duty�30. If duty as previously defined is conformity to law �a necessity of an action from respect for law�, then Kant�s notion of duty invariably presents definite duties to adhere to.


Although Kant himself cannot be described as a pacifist31, his moral theory can be seen as a foundation for pacifism. Equality, dignity of the individual and universality seem to be the themes of Kant�s moral theory. His notion of duty could be said to have a phenomenological approach to it, by this we mean he presents �duty� to examine an action as it is without any form of bias to determine it�s moral worth. But why is the need for the understanding of duty phenomenologically? There are varying perceptions of an object or issue, according to Husserl there is the need for intentionality and this is as a result of the fact that the person that perceives a thing has the right to describe or define it, thus one�s persons experience is true for the person, but this does not apply when trying to relate to another being32. Phenomenology as a theory can be seen to mean to view an object from the thing itself. This is relevant to the issue of morality as it would provide man with the means of understanding morality not just as an act external to human nature but as a reality of man. Man is an indigent dynamism, a restless being in search of happiness to keep himself active. Phenomenology understands this plight of man and also that a porous view can be made solid by other people, with the presence of understanding and co-operation, as these are what cause crisis in human societies. Phenomenology thus sees the reality as a continuous process which is unfixed, thereby providing a conducive environment for phenomenon of all variations to show themselves. Kant�s notion of duty presents it self as such. It takes into consideration that the emotional imbalances of man result in his decisions to act in opposition to what is morally right, thus duty obligates man to examine acts not just for their benefits but acts in themselves. Effectiveness is not a criteria for moral worth, the worth of an action must not be because it affiliates with ones own inclinations, but because it reflects ones duty of neighbourly love for others and also arouses ones consciousness of world citizenship. Kant�s notion of duty requires one to connect with ourselves and the world, it avails one the opportunity of discovery, by comprehending the best in the world even if it does not provide one personal profit. Wood recognised Kant�s notion as �simply the most courageous, candid admission in the history of philosophy of what we are committed to if we hold consistently to the moral conviction that the real worth of people and their actions cannot depend on nature or luck, but must lie entirely in what is up to the agent�33.

The motive for acting here is that we have a duty to perform to each and every individual in the society, regarding everyone not as means to achieving a desired aim which in this case is world peace but acting in such a way that if such is done by everyone and to one it is accepted and by doing this we create a society where there is understanding. One may ask at this point why can one not act with the mind of attaining peaceful co-existence in the society? The problem with putting the consequence of an action as the motive is if one is not able to achieve one�s goal as hoped and one comes in contact with free riders, a person might choose to take an alternative and amoral part to achieving ones aim. For example the French Revolution which started out as a means to attaining freedom ended up being a terror against those who were conceived not to be interested in the same results. This also goes for Religious crises. Kant�s moral theory seems to hold that the �highest political good requires global peace secured by just agreements between states�34. That is why Heinrich Kanz holds in his article on Kant on education that �Kant�s theory of duty was deeply rooted in his notion of world citizenship. It is worth dwelling for a moment on a quotation from his work that is thrown into particular relief by the movement towards world peace that we are witnessing today� 35. One can thereby say that the idea of duty as the basis of a morality for Kant seems to involve or is aimed at ensuring peaceful co-existence amongst all men.

A problem often associated with the Kantian notion of duty is that it gives no room for personal relations and favouritism, as it requests that actions be done for the sake of such actions regardless of the surrounding persons and circumstances. But this seems irrelevant as Kant did not hold that all actions should be done from duty being that not all actions have the need for moral worth, he recognised the multi facet nature of human beings and the difficulty of satisfying the needs, wants and desires of each individual, thus he discovered in reason, duty, the unifying factor that should guide all men. One of the famous Kantian examples of acting from duty is that of the shop keeper, Kant denies the shop keepers action any moral value because he acts from the motive that honesty is profitable. He does not say that the shop keeper is entirely faulted to have such an intention but he finds his action morally unworthy as Kant wonders what the shop keeper would do if honesty becomes unprofitable36. Thus actions done in accordance with good will are actions that one performs because they are just, in reverence to the law despite the benefits or loses one could possibly end up with. If this attitude is impacted in human daily experiences human beings would be treated as human beings their essence as individuals would be recognised not because one has an affiliate with the person or one hopes to derive a profitable situation out of their existence but because one has the duty to do so.

One can thereby say on a final note that the practical application of the Kantian notion of duty seems to have been the cause of majority of the criticisms faced by him, the ability to universally apply maxims in each and every situation encountered by man. Kant�s moral theory cannot be said to be without flaws as the perennial nature of morality is still existent but this is not to say that he failed to provide any foundation or insight into he understanding of morality. As opposed to Hegel, who held that a philosopher cannot transcend his time, Kant seemed to have attempted the task of philosophy to examine the basic axioms and methods of human problems, and challenge the facts in such problems by understanding the need for universality and respect for individual rights and life thus presenting a solution for the 21st century problem if one cares to consider it. Thus Hegel needs to prove the impossibility of the practical application of reason through an alternate process than being formalistic.


Allen Wood, �Kant on Duties Regarding Non-Rational Nature�, Proeedings of the Aristotelian Society Supplementary volumes, Vol. 72 (1998).

Allen Wood, �The Emptiness of the Moral Will�, la Salle, IL: Hegeler Institute, Monist 72(3) (1989), pp. 454-483.

Freeman M.D, Lloyd�s Introduction to Jurisprudence, (7th Edition), Sweet & Maxwell, London, 2001.

Goff Richard, The 20th Century- A Brief Global History, Macgraw Hill, Boston, 1993.

Hegel G.W.F, Philosophy of Right, A. Wood (ed.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2010.

Heinrich Kanz, Immanuel Kant 1724-1804, PROSPECTS: the quarterly review of comparative

education (Paris, UNESCO: International Bureau of Education), vol. XXIII, no. 3/4, 1993, p. 789�806.

Kant Immanuel, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, M. Gregor et al (ed.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998.

Kant Immanuel Lectures on Ethics, L. Infield (trans.), Harper & Row, New York, 1963.

Kenneth R., The Blackwell Guide to Hegel�s Phenomenology of Spirit, Blackwell, London, 2009.

Knowles Dudley, Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Hegel and the Philosophy of Right, Routledge, London, 2002.

Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, Q. Skinner (trans.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1988.

Sullivan Roger, �An Introduction to Kant�s Ethics�, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1994.

1 Freeman M.D, Lloyd�s Introduction to Jurisprudence, 7th Edition, London: Sweet and Maxwell, (2001), p. 118.

2 Wood Allen et al., �Kant on Duties Regarding Non-Rational Nature�. Proceedings of the Aristotelian society, supplementary volumes, vol 72 1998.

3 Being autonomous means not being subject to external control. This seems to have presented itself as an essential theory in Kant�s Philosophy.

4Hegel G.W.F., Philosophy of Right, Wood A. (ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010, section 162.

5 Dudley Knowles, Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Hegel and the Philosophy of Right, London: Routledge, 2002, page 199.

6 Kant I., Lectures on Ethics, Louis Infield (trans.), New York: Harper & Row, 1963, pp. 162-175. Kant in his writings held that human dignity of both persons in a sexual relationship cannot be ensured except in marriage. How true this argument is not the focus of this essay.

7 A state of war of all against all is sure to set in if all men took liberty in disregarding certain moral principles. It is originally a doctrine of military strategy and natural security policy.

8 Kant I, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, M. Gregor et al.(ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998, p. 3

9 Ibid., page 8. The nature of goodwill is that which des not depend on something external to define and assure its goodness. Its purity is self assured.

10 Sullivan R.J., An Introduction to Kant�s Ethics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994, p. 31.

11 Kant I, groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, M. Gregor et al(eds.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998, p. 47. The idea has been mentioned earlier in the essay.

12 Ibid. page 11. Kant examined various possible situations experienced by man to expatiate not only his notion of universalization but what duty ranks as most important.

13 Ibid page. 15.

14 Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, Q. Skinner et al(eds.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988, p. 54. Machiavelli was a great influence on Kant although it failed to appear in any of his works, one cannot but say that Kant found it irrational to misrepresent ones intention as Machiavelli suggested.

15 Kant I., Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, M. Gregor et all (eds.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998, p. 16.

16 Ibid page 46.

17 This insufficient nature of man can be traced to the Socratic discuss in Plato�s The Republic.

18 The notion of a working society is conscious of the possibility of �free riders�, people who would decide not to act in accordance with the law at any possible time they can avoid it. Kant thereby tries to appeal to the rational nature of man to fight against such impulses and respect the law cause only by such acts can man possibly hope to attain peaceful co-existence.

19 Ibidem page 10.

20 Kant I., Lectures on Ethics, Louis Infield (trans.), New York: Harper & Row, 1963, p. 117.

21 This point is made in his lectures on education, he presented the need for education of children and instilling in them the notion of equality, as only by this can a person grow up understanding the need for respecting the other. For further readings kindly refer to the article by Heinrich Kanz, PROPECTS, vol. XXIII, no 3/4, 1993.

22 Hegel G.W.F., Philosophy of Right, Allen Wood(ed.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010, sec. 135.

23 Kant I., Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, M. Gregor et al (eds.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998, p. 59.

24 Wood A., �The emptiness of the moral will� from Monist 72 (3), 1989, pp. 454-483, La Salle, IL: Hegeler Institute.

25 Hegel G., Philosophy of Right, A. Wood(ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010, sec 135.

26 Knowles D., Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Hegel and the Philosophy of Right, London: Routledge, 2002, p. 200.

27 Ibidem, (2010), sec 135. Hegel�s opposition seemed largely against psychological determinism which Kant supported, he seemed not capable of giving credit to the strength of the human mind to withstand all contrasting wills.

28 Kenneth R., The Blackwell Guide to Hegel�s Phenomenology of Spirit, London: Blackwell, 2009, p.161.

29 Hegel G., Philosophy of Right, Wood A. (ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010, sec. 133.

30 Kant I., Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, M. Gregor et al(eds.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998, p. 12.

31 Pacifism is the theory that rejects all possible acts of violence while advocating for peace as he considered both conflict and peace natural to human existence in his work Perpetual Peace.

32 Edmund Husserl. (n.d.). BrainyQuote.com. Retrieved November 2010, from BrainyQuote.com Web site: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/edmundhuss304481.html. One cannot but feel that Kant�s notion of duty was the first to exhibit what Husserl later came to call Phenomenological approach, as it was able to anticipate a clear and unbiased understanding of human nature.

33 Wood A., �The emptiness of the moral will� from Monist 72 (3), 1989, page 476, La Salle, IL: Hegeler Institute.

34 Sullivan J., An Introduction to Kant�s Ethics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994, page 21.

35 Heinrich K., Immanuel Kant 1724-1804, PROSPECTS: the quarterly review of comparative

education (Paris, UNESCO: International Bureau of Education), vol. XXIII, no. 3/4, 1993, p. 789�806.

36 This idea seems to have been presented by Glaucon in The Republic when he distinguished between the morally unjust and morally just man. He recognised it was an accepted and profitable norm to seem �just� but not be just. Thus profit should not be the motivating factor for being moral.





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