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I want to smoke a cigarette to feel better. I want to smoke opium to feel better.

I think we can ignore the consequences of everyone performing this action (in similar situations), mass addiction and endemic cancer. But everyone getting high on opiates is an undesirable result, even if it's conceivable for it to occur: an imperfect duty.

What about taking LSD to expand your mind? I think I may have a perfect duty not to do that, depending on whether the doorways of perception are relative (if we cannot all have "expanded consciousness"). The sort of perfect duty which is explicitly written into language, like lying as opposed to e.g. murder.

What about alcoholism? I struggle to practically conceive of everyone being an alcoholic (who would make the wine?), deliberately drinking themselves to oblivion, so it's a perfect duty not to do that?

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He wrote against any intoxication outside of social context, ie. basically everything but alcohol, and that only if and insofar it is useful to facilitate social matters. He explicitly mentions opiates and drinking alone or too much as negative examples.

For reference, see his Anthropology 7:170-172. There are no arguments about duties made here, though, as his more worldly books tend to just state things without much of a justification. Thus, this reflects his own thoughts on the matter more than anything else.

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    "facilitate social matters" ha that's funny
    – user67675
    Sep 23, 2023 at 20:57
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    am i wrong to consider the social consequences of the result (e.g. cancer)? should i only consider the intoxication itself in society (e.g. everyone being doped up)? this is useful, thanks
    – user67675
    Sep 23, 2023 at 21:10
  • so... are duties analytic or synthetic?
    – user67675
    Sep 23, 2023 at 23:38

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