The Contingency of Evil: Rethinking the Problem of Universal Evil in Kant's 'Religion'

In Oliver Thorndike (ed.), Rethinking Kant: Volume 3. Cambridge Scholars Press (2011)
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In this paper I explore how three seemingly incompatible Kantian theses–a libertarian notion of freedom, the inscrutability of one’s fundamental moral maxim, and the ubiquity of evil–can each be maintained without contradiction. I do this by arguing against the popular notion that in his 'Religion within the Bounds of Mere Reason,' Kant attributes 'radical evil' to all human beings.



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Ryan S. Kemp
Wheaton College, Illinois

Citations of this work

Every man has his price: Kant's argument for universal radical evil.Jonas Jervell Indregard - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (4):414-436.
How to become an idealist: Fichte on the transition from dogmatism to idealism.R. S. Kemp - 2017 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25 (6):1161-1179.

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