Remarks on Immanuel Kant’s assessment of the use of the thesis of innate evil in moral philosophy (Religion, 6:50-51)

In Part One of Immanuel Kant’s Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason (1793), the so-called thesis of innate evil (‘The human being is by nature evil’) notoriously plays a central role. Yet in the General Remark closing that part, Kant minimizes the weight of that thesis. In his view, it is o...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:International journal of philosophy and theology
Main Author: Eekert, Geert van 1964-
Format: Electronic/Print Article
Language:English
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Published: [2017]
In:International journal of philosophy and theology
Year: 2017, Volume: 78, Issue: 4/5, Pages: 348-360
Standardized Subjects / Keyword chains:B Kant, Immanuel 1724-1804 / Ethics / Anthropology / Evil
Further subjects:B philosophy of religion
B Propensity
B moraldeficiency
B Human Freedom
B moralphilosophy
B Evil
B Virtue
B Immanuel Kant
B doctrine oforiginal sin
Online Access: Presumably Free Access
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Summary:In Part One of Immanuel Kant’s Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason (1793), the so-called thesis of innate evil (‘The human being is by nature evil’) notoriously plays a central role. Yet in the General Remark closing that part, Kant minimizes the weight of that thesis. In his view, it is of no use in moral dogmatics, and also in moral discipline its meaning is of a limited nature. Consequently, the thesis of innate evil is both relegated to a short footnote in the Introduction and completely passed over in silence in the Doctrine of the methods of ethics in Kant’s Metaphysical Principles of the Doctrine of Virtue (1797). This article investigates Kant’s assessment of the use of the thesis of innate evil in moral philosophy. It explores Kant’s semantics of the thesis in order to find out why the thesis makes no difference in moral philosophy, and tries to demonstrate why it is silenced furthermore in the methods of ethics.
ISSN:2169-2327
Contains:Enthalten in: International journal of philosophy and theology
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1080/21692327.2017.1336936