more from Michel de Montaigne

Single Idea 7496

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / A. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / g. Moral responsibility]

Full Idea

Since actions and performances are not wholly in our power and since nothing is really in our power but our will - it is on the will that all the rules and duties of Man are based and established.

Gist of Idea

Rules and duties are based on the will, as that is all we control


Michel de Montaigne (I.7 Our deeds are judged by intention [1580], p.0028)

Book Reference

Montaigne,Michel de: 'The Complete Essays', ed/tr. Screech,M.A. [Penguin 1987], p.28

A Reaction

This is almost Kant's claim that the only truly good thing is a good will (e.g. Idea 3711). Aristotle disagrees, because a virtuous person should also have good desires. We may will to have good desires, but virtue requires actually having them.

Related Idea

Idea 3711 Only a good will makes us worthy of happiness [Kant]