Abstract

I argue that Kant's doctrine of the radical evil in human nature does not involve the claim that all human beings are evil as a matter of fact. Such a claim would conflict both with the boundaries of human knowledge and with Kant's doctrine of moral freedom. On my reading, Kant holds that every human agent ought to adopt the presupposition that she has an evil character, not because we know this presupposition to be true, but because this presupposition plays a crucial role in our quest for moral progress and greater virtue.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 641-673
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-10
Open Access
No
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