ESSAY IV
DUTY FOR DUTY'S SAKE

IN our answer to the question, Why should I be moral? we found that, explicitly or by implication, all Ethics presupposed something which is the good, and that this good (whatever else may be its nature) has always the character of an end. The moral good is an end in itself, is to be pursued for its own sake. It must not be made a means to something not itself. We have now seen further that pleasure is not the good, is not the end; that, in pursuing pleasure as such, we do not pursue the good. Hedonism we have dismissed, and may banish it, if we please, from our sight, while we turn to develop a new view of the good, another answer to the question, What is the end? In Hedonism we have criticized a onesided view; we shall have to do here with an opposite extremity of onesidedness. The self to be realized before was the self or selves as a maximum quantity or number of particular feelings: in the theory which awaits us the self to be realized has a defect which is diametrically opposed to the first, and yet is the same defect. Its fault is the opposite, since for mere particular it substitutes mere universal; we have not to do with feelings, as this and that, but with a form which is thought of as not this or that. Its fault is the same fault, the failing to see things as a whole, and the fixing as real one element which yet is unreal when apart from the other. In a word, we find in both a onesided view, and their common vice may be called abstractness.1 So much by way of anticipation, and now we must betake ourselves to our task.

2 What is the moral end? We know already in part

____________________
1
[ 'Abstraction' as the common vice. This I have repeated in Essays on Truth and Reality.] 〈p.470.-ED.U+009
2
What follows, the reader must be warned, is very far from being meant to be a statement of Kant's main ethical view; as such it would be neither complete nor accurate though it will be found to be an

-142-

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Ethical Studies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface to the Second Edition v
  • Author's Preface to the First Edition viii
  • Contents xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Essay II Why Should I Be Moral? 58
  • Essay III Pleasure for Pleasure's Sake 85
  • Essay IV Duty for Duty's Sake 142
  • Essay V My Station and Its Duties 160
  • Essay VI Ideal Morality 214
  • Essay VII Selfishness and Self-Sacrifice 251
  • Concluding Remarks 313
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