I. Kant begins The Grounding of the Metaphysics of Morals by reducing the self to reason in order to understand the foundations of right thought. He concludes that at the base of one’s thoughts, there is an intention or will that is at the core of self.
A good will is the only qualification for good action. Kant says: “A good will is good not because of what it effects or accomplishes, nor because of its fitness to attain some proposed end; it is good only though its willing, i.e., it is good in itself.” That is, a good will is good in itself, independent of any requirements that would make it good. Kant goes on to justify this by explaining that even if good will failed to achieve its end through action, it would still retain its value as good will because of its good intention.