The Kantian Non-Moral Saint

Ali Sharaf


In Moral Saints, Susan Wolf raises a question for morality in general: should we strive to be perfectly moral, even though being a moral saint does not entail having a perfectly good life? Wolf answers that moral saints represent an undesirable and unattractive human ideal because they lack the “ability to enjoy the enjoyable in life” (Wolf 424). Accordingly, Wolf objects to both utilitarianism and Kantianism, claiming that these ethical theories present moral sainthood as an ideal. While this paper does not object to Wolf’s account of moral sainthood, it argues against Wolf’s objections to Kantianism in three parts. First (1), I explain Wolf’s argument and objections to Kantianism; second (2), I respond to Wolf’s objections against the ‘non-ideal’ Kantian saint interpretation; and third (3), I respond to Wolf’s objections against the ‘ideal’ Kantian saint interpretation. This paper concludes that Kantianism does not present moral sainthood as a human ideal.

Palabras clave

Kantian Ethics, Sainthood, Human Ideal, Moral Saint, Moral Ideal

Texto completo:



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