Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-7bb4899584-tj5z8 Total loading time: 0.426 Render date: 2023-01-27T02:50:16.476Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

4 - The Change of Heart

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 May 2020

Allen W. Wood
Affiliation:
Stanford University, California
Get access

Summary

The moral agent’s response to radical evil is a moral conversion or change of heart, inverting the order of incentives in the maxim of evil and giving priority to the moral incentive. Kant regards the moral incentive as distinctive, different from all others. Kant often refers to it as “duty,” but in the reception of Kant, this is often misunderstood as unemotional coldness of heart. Giving priority to the moral incentive for Kant is rather “goodness of heart,” involving caring for others and a proper balance between love and respect for them. Goodness of heart is also linked to virtuous nonmoral incentives. Also frequently misunderstood is how Kant understands acting from an incentive. Acting from an incentive, whether the moral one or a nonmoral one, is not a property of individual acts. Rather, it is a property of an agent’s disposition or character. Virtus noumenon is the character of a person who has undergone the change of heart. This manifests itself only as virtus phaenomenon, involving empirical incentives and habitual behavior, which may be a mere appearance of virtue but is also the only possible manifestation of true virtue. “Acting from duty” means something different in the Groundwork from what it means in later works, where it is related to the morality (not the mere legality) of actions and to the duty to act from duty. The change of heart is not a datable event in a person’s life but depends on the striving for moral progress, which can be known only by God who sees the entire course of a person’s life.

Type
Chapter
Information
Kant and Religion , pp. 89 - 114
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • The Change of Heart
  • Allen W. Wood, Stanford University, California
  • Book: Kant and Religion
  • Online publication: 08 May 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108381512.005
Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • The Change of Heart
  • Allen W. Wood, Stanford University, California
  • Book: Kant and Religion
  • Online publication: 08 May 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108381512.005
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • The Change of Heart
  • Allen W. Wood, Stanford University, California
  • Book: Kant and Religion
  • Online publication: 08 May 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108381512.005
Available formats
×