Kant: Conditioned and Unconditioned Acts of Will (revised) -- by Gordon Ziniewicz
|Interest (Heteronomy): Will is moved by something outside of itself, including one’s own feelings.|
1. Since my friend is depressed right now (condition) because her husband has left her for a younger woman (condition) and since I want to help her (inclination), I will lie to her (act) about what I heard her husband say, so that she will be able to pull herself together for the time being (consequence).
|<--- In this case, the will is moved by something outside of will (condition or inclination or interest or consequences): The will is determined, heteronomous. It acts in accordance with an hypothetical imperative. The will is conditioned; it takes orders from things outside of the will.|
|Duty (Autonomy): Will is “self-moving,” not moved by anything outside of itself, including emotion.|
|2. Even though my friend is depressed right now (condition) because her husband left her for a younger woman (condition) and despite the fact that I want to help her (inclination), I will not lie to her (act) about what I heard her husband say, because it is always wrong to lie no matter what the consequences (respect for universal moral law).||<--- In this case, the will moves itself out of duty or out of respect for the universal moral law, does what is right simply because it is right: The will is free, autonomous. It acts in accordance with a categorical imperative, which it determines for itself and commands itself to obey. The will is un-conditioned; it takes orders from itself alone.|
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