In Heiner F. Klemme & Bernd Dörflinger (eds.), Die Gottesidee in Kants theoretischer und praktischer Philosophie (Studien und Materialien zur Geschichte der Philosophie). Hildesheim, Germany: (forthcoming)

Markus Kohl
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
I examine the extent to which God is inscrutable to human reason in Kant's critical philosophy. I argue that Kant's view here is much more radical than the rationalist commonplace that we cannot grasp how divine perfection is compatible with the existence of (apparent) imperfections. In Kant's considered view, we are absolutely incapable of accurately representing God's nature in any minimally determinate way: when we try to go beyond the empty idea of a mere 'something', we inevitably distort the nature of God in an anthropomorphic fashion. The reason for this radical inscrutability of God is that our discursive intellect with its finite conceptual resources cannot capture the nature of a supremely perfect being. Our only way to form a legitimate, positive notion of God is by means of an analogy with the features that we objectively cognize in finite beings.
Keywords Kant  God  Rational Theology
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