The purpose of this paper is to critically evaluate Kant’s idea of grounding morality within the limits of practical reason. Kant argues that morality must be devoid of emotions if the authors must make the right decisions. His idea of morality is basically ratiocentric. This paper, therefore, seeks a justification of Kant’s ratiocentricism, which excludes subjective emotional dimensions in moral actions and judgements.Design/methodology/approachThis paper adopts a critical and analytic method of research. It is not empirical research, and hence, does not make use of tables and quantifiable data. The methodology is exclusively qualitative in nature.FindingsThe major finding of this research work is that an application of practical reason is necessary for the moral agency but it is not a sufficient condition for moral agency. The existential realities demand a synthetic application of reason and emotion in moral issues. So then, a good will is determined by the rational principle. The reason is an organic whole that is capable of functioning both practically and theoretically. The practical reason is not reasoned functioning to acquire knowledge but reason operating as a guide and as the directing force of the will. The application of pure, practical reason and relevant emotional considerations is both necessary and sufficient for moral agency.Originality/valueThis paper is the outcome of deep critical reflections on Kant’s moral philosophy by the author.
International Journal of Ethics and Systems – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 22, 2020
Keywords: Virtue; Emotion; Morality; Reason; Pure reason; Moral virtue