/ The Dear Self
Kant is not cynical, but he wants to be realistic. In his opinion, a "cool observer...[is bound] to be doubtful sometimes whether true virtue can really be found anywhere in the world." In saying this, Kant is not being derisive. His basic attitude towards people is not one of dismissivecontempt. As he tries to understand what people are up to, he is quite willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. But only up to a point. "Out of love of humanity," he says, "I am willing to admit that most of our actions are in accordance with duty; but, if we look closer at our thoughts and aspirations, we everywhere come upon the dear self, which is always salient, and it is this instead of the stern command of duty (which would often require self-denial) which supports our plans."
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