Kant's Favorite Argument for Our Immortality: The Teleological Argument

Res Philosophica 100 (3):357-388 (2023)
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Kant’s claim that we must postulate the immortality of the soul is polarizing. While much attention has been paid to two standard arguments in its defense (one moral-psychological, the other rational), I contend that a favorite argument of Kant’s from the apogee of his critical period, namely, the teleological argument, deserves renewed attention. This paper reconstructs it and exhibits what makes it unique (though not necessarily superior) in relation to the other arguments. In particular, its form (as third-personal or descriptive, beginning from observations) and related force of assent (as a subjectively universal reflective judgment) set it apart from the other arguments. My goal is to establish that any engagement with Kant’s immortality postulate must include equal consideration of the teleological argument in order to be complete.


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Alexander T. Englert
Institute for Advanced Study

Citations of this work

Kant as a Carpenter of Reason: The Highest Good and Systematic Coherence.Alexander T. Englert - 2024 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 32 (3):496-524.

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References found in this work

Kant's Theory of Freedom.Henry E. Allison - 1990 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Belief in Kant.Andrew Chignell - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (3):323-360.
The Fiery Test of Critique: A Reading of Kant's Dialectic.Ian Proops - 2021 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
Kant's Empirical Psychology.Patrick R. Frierson - 2014 - Cambridge University Press.
A commentary on Kant's Critique of practical reason.Lewis White Beck - 1960 - [Chicago]: University of Chicago Press.

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