I’m studying and need help with a Philosophy question to help me learn.
Papers should be double-spaced, in 11 or 12 point font, and no more than 2 pages long. They should be submitted no more than one week after the text in which they appear has been discussed in class.
“A good will is good not because of what it effects, or accomplishes, not because of its fitness to attain some intended end, but good just by its willing, i.e. in itself; and, considered by itself, it is to be esteemed beyond comparison much higher than anything that could ever be brought about by it in favor of some inclination, and indeed, if you will, the sum of all inclinations. Even if by some particular disfavor of fate, or by the scanty endowment of a stepmotherly nature, this will should entirely lack the capacity to carry through its purpose; if despite its greatest striving it should still accomplish nothing, and only the good will were to remain (not, of course, as a mere wish, but as the summoning of all means that are within our control); then, like a jewel, it would still shine by itself, as something that has its full worth in itself. Usefulness or fruitfulness can neither add nor take anything away from it.” (Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, 4:394)
“Autonomy of the will is the characteristic of the will by which it is a law to itself (independently of any characteristic objects of willing). The principle of autonomy is thus: not to choose in any other way than that the maxims of one’s choice are also comprised as universal law in the same willing.” (Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, 4:440)