October 22, 2018
This paper takes a less trodden path in its approach to Kant’s philosophy of religion. Rather than a detailed study of his mature works on the subject, some of his pre-Critical works are examined. These reveal what I hold to be four foundations which remain unchanged through Kant’s philosophical career and thus act to hold up his later work on the subject. The main body of the paper is presented in two parts. In the first, we see that Kant finds that in addition to evil as limitation, there is now evil which is ontologically positive. The second part is devoted to Kant’s considerations of what was termed “physical evil”. He finds that this is neither an evil nor any form of divine punishment but rather those consequences of the laws of nature which are harmful to humans. Further, God does not intervene with the workings of these laws of nature which He has put in place but guarantees their continuity. However, it will be shown that such non-interference is problematic for Kant’s mature stance on miracles.