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Philosophische Zeitschrift der Kant-Gesellschaft

Ed. by Baum, Manfred / Dörflinger, Bernd / Klemme, Heiner F.

CiteScore 2018: 0.37

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.193
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.972

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Volume 110, Issue 1


Kant über den Selbstbetrug des Bösen

Martin Welsch
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  • Philososophisches Seminar, Universität Heidelberg, Schulgasse 6 D-69117 Heidelberg Heidelberg, Germany,
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Published Online: 2019-03-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/kant-2019-0002


In Kantian philosophy, the evil heart is constituted as a system of self-degrading and self-deranging freedom by the coordination of two voluntary acts: the act of establishing radical evil and the act of a voluntary lie to oneself. The consequence is a kind of “madness of freedom”, which characterises the self-deception of evil. By discussing Kantian rhetoric as an elaborate art of writing, this structure will be explored via a new approach to reading ‘On Radical Evil in Human Nature’. The result is that it is the mere possibility of a lie to oneself originating in freedom that makes it impossible to cognise whether one’s heart is good or systematically evil.

Keywords: radical evil; evil heart; self-deception; rhetoric

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Published Online: 2019-03-05

Published in Print: 2019-03-01

Citation Information: Kant-Studien, Volume 110, Issue 1, Pages 49–73, ISSN (Online) 1613-1134, ISSN (Print) 0022-8877, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/kant-2019-0002.

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