Woody Allen and Philosophy: You Mean My Whole Fallacy Is Wrong?

By Mark T. Conard; Aeon J. Skoble | Go to book overview

3
Does Morality Have to Be Blind?
A Kantian Analysis of Crimes
and Misdemeanors

JAMES LAWLER

Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors directly confronts the problem of meaning in a world in which the eyes of justice have apparently been blinded. According to Immanuel Kant, the highest goal of morality consists in creating a just world, or what Kant called “the Highest Good.” This is a world in which happiness is “in exact proportion to morality,”1 or, in other words, a world in which those who are morally upright are happy, while those who violate moral duty in one way or another suffer as a result.

Consequently, the greatest scandal for morality is that the world as we see it seems to operate on completely different, non-moral principles. This is stated clearly in the Bible's classic Book of Job, where the innocent, suffering Job complains against God: “Why does he look on and laugh, when the unoffending, too, must suffer? So the whole world is given up into the power of wrong-doers; he blinds the eyes of justice. He is answerable for it; who else?”2

1 Immanuel Kant, The Critique of Practical Reason (New York: Library of Liberal
Arts, 1993), p. 117.

2 “Book of Job,” in The Holy Bible, Knox translation, (New York: Sheed and
Ward, 1956), p. 458; 9:23–24.

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