ON THE CONTEXT OF BENEVOLENCE:
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF EMOTION
IN MORAL PHILOSOPHY
Department of Philosophy, West Bengal Education Service
West Bengal, India
|INDECS 19(1), 47-63, 2021
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Received: 10th October 2020.
In this article, I argue that the principle of benevolence occupies a unique place in moral theory where duty and emotion both have equal importance, and moral philosophers generally are divided into two camps regarding the role of emotion in morality. Kant clarifies his position while introducing the deontic notion of benevolence. He only regards the moral value in which the duty of benevolence has been performed with ‘good will’. Some defenders of Kant’s ethics are Herman, McMurray, Meyers, and Tannenbaum who argue that acting purely based on duty is far more superior to acting from emotions. On the other hand, several contemporary theorists such as Bernard Williams, Blum, Oakley, Stocker, Stohr, Foot, Korsgaard, Hursthouse, and Sherman refute Kant’s views towards emotion in the domain of morality. Following this Kantian and Non-Kantian debate, this article aims to explore the role of emotion and rationality in the moral context of benevolence.
benevolence, emotion, duty, rationality, Kantian, Non-Kantian