In Bernd Dörflinger & Heiner F. Klemme (eds.), Kant als Tugendethiker? Studien und Materialien zur Geschichte der Philosophie. Hildesheim: Olms Verlag (forthcoming)

Markus Kohl
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
In the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant declares that virtue “can and must be taught.” This claim raises two problems. First, it is in tension with Kant’s emphasis on the absolute moral responsibility that each individual agent owes to her transcendental freedom. Second, it raises the question of how the empirical events that constitute moral education can have an impact on atemporal moral choices. Concerning the second issue, I argue that Kant has a coherent framework for representing how empirical conditions can influence (“affect”) the noumenal will without determining it to action. Regarding the first problem, I argue that although a good moral education is mostly only a facilitating rather than a strictly necessary condition for moral virtue, there is one moral capacity that does require good moral teaching: namely, the practical power of judgment that correctly applies wide, general duties of virtue to particular cases.
Keywords Kant's Doctrine of Virtue  Moral Education  Transcendental Freedom
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