Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie

Ed. by Horn, Christoph / Serck-Hanssen, Camilla / Carriero, John / Meyer, Susan Sauvé

Editorial Board: Adamson, Peter / Allen, James V. / Bartuschat, Wolfgang / Curley, Edwin M / Emilsson, Eyjólfur Kjalar / Floyd, Juliet / Förster, Eckart / Frede, Dorothea / Friedman, Michael / Garrett, Don / Grasshoff, Gerd / Guyer, Paul / Irwin, Terence / Kahn, Charles H. / Knuuttila, Simo / Koistinen, Olli / Kosch, Michelle / Kraut, Richard / Longuenesse, Béatrice / McCabe, Mary / Pasnau, Robert / Perler, Dominik / Radcliffe, Elizabeth S. / Reginster, Bernard / Simmons, Alison / Timmermann, Jens / Trifogli, Cecilia / Weidemann, Hermann / Zöller, Günter


CiteScore 2017: 0.33

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.335
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.968

Online
ISSN
1613-0650
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 100, Issue 1

Issues

Kant’s Theodicy and its Role in the Development of Radical Evil

Robert Gressis
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Philosophy, California State University, Northridge 18111 Nordhoff St. Northridge CA 91324 Northridge, USA,
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2018-03-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/agph-2018-0003

Abstract:

In the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals and the Critique of Practical Reason, Kant claims that rational beings should want to have no inclinations. But in Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason, he asserts that the inclinations are good in themselves. While many commentators hold that Kant simply wrote hyperbolically in the Groundwork and the second Critique, I argue Kant was sincere, and changed his mind about the worth of the inclinations between the second Critique and the Religion. This is because he changed his mind about the source of immorality: whereas in the Groundwork and Critique of Practical Reason Kant took our inclinations to be tempters, starting in “Miscarriage of All Philosophical Trials in Theodicy” and concluding in the Religion, he posited a self-imposed propensity to evil as the source of immorality. Kant’s reason for changing his mind about the source of immorality was partly theological: if our inclinations were to blame for immorality, then God would also be to blame for creating us with them. The only way God could not be to blame is if our immorality were self-imposed. But Kant also concluded that looking for theoretical explanations of our immorality – whether theological or naturalistic – was itself problematic: such explanations ended up exonerating us for our immorality. Because they had this effect, I contend that Kant saw the offering of such exculpating theoretical explanations as itself motivated by immorality. This understanding of Kant makes sense of the approaches he takes in both “Miscarriage” and Religion.

  • Allison, H. E. 1990. Kant’s Theory of Freedom. Cambridge.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • –. 2011. Kant’s Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. A Commentary. Oxford.Google Scholar

  • Baron, M. W. 1995. Kantian Ethics Almost Without Apology. Ithaca.Google Scholar

  • –. 1997. “Kantian Ethics and Claims of Detachment”. In Feminist Interpretations of Immanuel Kant. Ed. R. M. Schott. State College, 145–70.Google Scholar

  • Baxley, A. M. 2010. Kant’s Theory of Virtue. The Value of Autocracy. Cambridge.Google Scholar

  • Bernstein, J. M. 2001. Adorno. Disenchantment and Ethics. Cambridge.Google Scholar

  • DiCenso, J. 2011. Kant, Religion, and Politics. Cambridge.Google Scholar

  • Duncan, S. 2011. ‘“There Is None Righteous”. Kant on the Hang zum Bösen and the Universal Evil of Humanity”. Southern Journal of Philosophy 49, 137–63.Google Scholar

  • –. 2012. “Moral Evil, Freedom and the Goodness of God. Why Kant Abandoned Theodicy”. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20, 973–91.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Engstrom, S. 2007. “Kant on the Agreeable and the Good”. In Moral Psychology. Ed. S. Tenenbaum. New York, 111–60.Google Scholar

  • Fackenheim, E. L. 1996. “Kant and Radical Evil”. In The God Within: Kant, Schelling, and Historicity. Ed. J. Burbidge. Toronto, 20–33.Google Scholar

  • Formosa, P. 2011. “A Life without Affects and Passions. Kant on the Duty of Apathy”. Parrhesia 13, 96–111.Google Scholar

  • Frierson, P. R. 2005. “Kant’s Empirical Account of Human Action”. Philosophers’ Imprint 5, 1–34.Google Scholar

  • Guyer, P. 2000. “The Strategy of Kant’s Groundwork”. In Kant on Freedom, Law, and Happiness. Cambridge, 207–232.Google Scholar

  • –. 2005. “Kant on the Theory and Practice of Autonomy”. In Kant’s System of Nature and Freedom. Selected Essays. Cambridge, 115–45.Google Scholar

  • –. 2007. Kant’s Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. A Reader’s Guide. London.Google Scholar

  • Kant, I. 1996a. Practical Philosophy. Ed. M. J. Gregor. Cambridge.Google Scholar

  • –. 1996b. Religion and Rational Theology. Eds. A. W. Wood/G. di Giovanni. Cambridge.Google Scholar

  • –. 1997. Lectures on Ethics. Eds. P. Heath/J. B. Schneewind. Cambridge.Google Scholar

  • –. 2002. Critique of Practical Reason. Ed. W. S. Pluhar. Indianapolis.Google Scholar

  • –. 2005. Notes and Fragments. Ed. P. Guyer. Cambridge.Google Scholar

  • –. 2007. Anthropology, History, and Education. Eds. G. Zöller/R. B. Louden. Cambridge.Google Scholar

  • –. 2009. Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason. Ed. W. S. Pluhar. Indianapolis.Google Scholar

  • –. 2011. Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. A German-English Edition. Eds. M. Gregor/J. Timmermann. Cambridge.Google Scholar

  • Kerstein, S. J. 2002. Kant’s Search for the Supreme Principle of Morality. Cambridge.Google Scholar

  • Korsgaard, C. M. 2009. Self-Constitution. Agency, Identity, and Integrity. Oxford.Google Scholar

  • Louden, R. B. 2000. Kant’s Impure Ethics. From Rational Beings to Human Beings. Oxford.Google Scholar

  • Naragon, S. 2010a. “Natural Theology Notes”. On Kant in the Classroom. Materials to Aid the Study of Kant’s Lectures. URL: http://www.manchester.edu/kant/Notes/notesTheology.htm. Accessed 8 July 2014.Google Scholar

  • –. 2010b. “Pedagogy”. On Kant in the Classroom. Materials to Aid the Study of Kant’s Lectures. URL: http://www.manchester.edu/kant/Lectures/lecturesListDiscipline.htm#pedagogy. Accessed 8 July 2014.Google Scholar

  • Pasternack, L. R. 2014. Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Kant on Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason. London.Google Scholar

  • Regan, D. H. 2002. “The Value of Rational Nature”. Ethics 112, 267–91.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Sherman, N. 1990. “The Place of Emotions in Kantian Morality”. In Identity, Character, and Morality. Essays in Moral Psychology. Eds. O. J. Flanagan/A. O. Rorty. Cambridge, 149–70.Google Scholar

  • Sikka, S. 2007. “On the Value of Happiness. Herder Contra Kant”. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37, 515–46.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Sullivan, R. J. 1989. Immanuel Kant’s Moral Theory. Cambridge.Google Scholar

  • Timmermann, J. 2007. Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. A Commentary. Cambridge.Google Scholar

  • Wood, A. W. 1970. Kant’s Moral Religion. Cornell.Google Scholar

  • –. 1999. Kant’s Ethical Thought. Cambridge.Google Scholar

  • –. 2008. Kantian Ethics. Cambridge.Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2018-03-21

Published in Print: 2018-03-07


Citation Information: Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, Volume 100, Issue 1, Pages 46–75, ISSN (Online) 1613-0650, ISSN (Print) 0003-9101, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/agph-2018-0003.

Export Citation

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in