Why Is Kant Noncommittal About Grace?

Robert Gressis

Resumen


In Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason, Kant claims that we may need to invoke divine aid in order to explain how a person can change from evil to good. Kant’s language is a bit curious; why does he not more clearly assert, either that we must posit divine grace, or that we may not? The explanation is this: if we affirm that God grants aid, then this could convince people to passively await it or to think, upon becoming good, that they are part of a special elect. On the other hand, if we affirm that God does not help, then some may despair of ever becoming good while those who successfully change could become arrogant. Thus, Kant is noncommittal about grace because it allows the morally timorous to have hope that they can change, and the morally successful to avoid hubris. 


Palabras clave


Evil; Grace; Kant; Moral Revolution

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Referencias


Kant, I. (1996), Practical Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

Kant, I. (1996), Religion and Rational Theology, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Kant, I. (1997), Lectures on Ethics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Kant, I. (2009), Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason, Hackett, Indianapolis.

Kant, I. (2011), Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals: A German-English Edition, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

O'Connor, D. (1985), "Good and Evil Disposition", Kant-Studien, no. 76, pp. 288-302.

Palmquist, S. R. (2015), "What Is Kantian Gesinnung? On the Priority of Volition over Metaphysics and Psychology in Kant's Religion", Kantian Review, no. 20, pp. 235-64.

Pasternack, L. R. (2014). Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Kant on Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason, Routledge

Pasternack, L. R. (unpublished manuscript), "Hume's Principle and Kant's Pure Rational System of Religion: Grace, Providence, and the Highest Good".

Silber, J. (1960), "The Ethical Significance of Kant's Religion", in Immanuel Kant, Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone, 2nd Edition, Harper and Brothers, New York, pp. lxxi-cxxviv.

van Inwagen, P. (2000), "Free Will Remains a Mystery", Philosophical Perspectives, no. 14, pp. 1-19.

Williams, B. (1981), "Moral Luck", in Moral Luck: Philosophical Papers 1973-1980, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1095823

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