The Highest Good and Kant's Proof(s) of God's Existence

History of Philosophy Quarterly 31 (2) (2014)
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This paper explains a way of understanding Kant's proof of God's existence in the Critique of Practical Reason that has hitherto gone unnoticed and argues that this interpretation possesses several advantages over its rivals. By first looking at examples where Kant indicates the role that faith plays in moral life and then reconstructing the proof of the second Critique with this in view, I argue that, for Kant, we must adopt a certain conception of the highest good, and so also must choose to believe in the kind of God that can make it possible, because this is essentially a way of actively striving for virtue. One advantage of this interpretation, I argue, is that it is able to make sense of the strong link Kant draws between morality and religion.



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Courtney Fugate
Florida State University

Citations of this work

Hopeful Pessimism: The Kantian Mind at the End of All Things.Andrew Chignell - 2023 - In Katerina Mihaylova & Anna Ezekiel (eds.), Hope and the Kantian Legacy: New Contributions to the History of Optimism. London, Vereinigtes Königreich: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 35-52.
Practical grounds for belief: Kant and James on religion.Neil W. Williams & Joe Saunders - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (4):1269-1282.
What’s So Good about the Good Will? An Ontological Critique of Kant’s Axiomatic Moral Construct.Necip Fikri Alican - 2022 - Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 18 (1):422–467.

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References found in this work

Critique of the power of judgment.Immanuel Kant - 2000 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Paul Guyer.
Practical philosophy.Immanuel Kant - 1996 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Mary J. Gregor.
Religion and rational theology.Immanuel Kant - 1996 - New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Allen W. Wood & George Di Giovanni.
A commentary on Kant's Critique of practical reason.Lewis White Beck - 1960 - [Chicago]: University of Chicago Press.
Kant's moral religion.Allen W. Wood - 1970 - Ithaca,: Cornell University Press.

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