Philosophy East and West 58 (4):pp. 492-523 (2008)
Kant's noncognitive argument based on practical reason claims that moral considerations alone suffice to justify the idea of personal immortality as a postulate. Some recent objections are considered here that have charged him with overstepping his own distinction between phenomenon and noumenon. After examining the arguments, Kant is exonerated of having violated his own principles. More troubling, however, is the peculiarity involved in postulating an infinite progression toward a goal whose attainment, by hypothesis, would undermine the very foundations of morality (which for Kant always requires the agonistic condition of struggling to improve one's lower nature). It is argued that this paradox necessitates a reexamination of some tacit cultural presuppositions underlying Kant's conception of the soul. Finally, an examination is made of the thought of Kitarō Nishida, whose Zen Buddhist–inspired dialectic of the basho (logical "place") provides an alternative perspective from which to reconsider the postulate of immortality. Nishida, like Kant, rigorously maintains the phenomenonnoumenon distinction, yet his examination of ethics leads him to postulate an eventual sublation of the "soul" principle. It is concluded that Kant's postulate of immortality, while plausible enough on its own terms, is limited by a Western cultural bias and therefore fails in the end to be compelling.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Kant and the Culture of Discipline.Kristi Sweet - 2010 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 15 (1):121-138.
Kant's Postulate of the Immortality of the Soul.Chris W. Surprenant - 2008 - International Philosophical Quarterly 48 (1):85-98.
Practical Cognition, Intuition, and the Fact of Reason.Patrick Kain - 2010 - In Benjamin Lipscomb & James Krueger (eds.), Kant's Moral Metaphysics: God, Freedom, and Immortality. de Gruyter. pp. 211--230.
A Critique of Kant's Defense of Theistic Faith.Chin-Tai Kim - 1988 - Philosophy Research Archives 14:359-369.
The Aeneas Argument: Personality and Immortality in Kant's Third Paralogism.Corey W. Dyck - 2010 - Kant Yearbook 2 (1):95-122.
The Moral Certainty of Immortality in Descartes.Michael W. Hickson - 2011 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 28 (3):227-247.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads39 ( #129,036 of 2,152,478 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #399,782 of 2,152,478 )
How can I increase my downloads?