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  1. Kant on the Endless Struggle Against Evil in the Pursuit of Moral Perfection and the Promotion of the Happiness of Others—Challenges for Education.Klas Roth - 2019 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 51 (13):1372-1380.
    Kant argues that we have a duty to perfect ourselves morally and promote the happiness of others. He also argues that we have an innate propensity to evil. Our duty to perfect ourselves sug...
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  • Evil, Virtue, and Education in Kant.Paul Formosa - 2019 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 51 (13):1325-1334.
    For Kant, we cannot understand how to approach moral education without confronting the radical evil of humanity. But if we start out, as Kant thinks we do, from a morally corrupt state, how...
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  • Kant on Education and Evil—Perfecting Human Beings with an Innate Propensity to Radical Evil.Klas Roth & Paul Formosa - 2018 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 51 (13):1304-1307.
    Kant begins his Lectures on Pedagogy by stating, “[t]he human being is the only creature that must be educated” (Kant, 2007, 9:441), and he argues that it is through education that we can transform our initial “animal nature into human nature” (ibid. 2007, 9:441). Kant understands education as involving an ordered process of care, discipline, instruction and formation through enculturating, civilizing and moralizing (Formosa 2011). Further, Kant envisages that we should pursue as a species the “moral perfection” that is the (...)
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  • Freedom, Morality, and the Propensity to Evil.Samuel J. M. Kahn - 2014 - Kantian Studies Online:65-90.
    In Book I of the Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason Kant offers an explanation of freedom and moral good and evil that is different from that offered in the Groundwork for a Metaphysics of Morals. My primary goal in this paper is to analyze and elucidate this new theory. My secondary goal is to contrast this new theory with the older one that it is replacing. I argue that the new theory, which centers on the idea that evil (...)
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  • Book Review : "Kant's Anatomy of Evil". [REVIEW]Paul Formosa - 2011 - Kantian Review 16 (2):150-156.
    Book review of Sharon Anderson-Gold, and Pablo Muchnik, "Kant's Anatomy of Evil", Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010, Pp 251, ISBN 9780521514323.
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  • The Role of Vulnerability in Kantian Ethics.Paul Formosa - 2014 - In Catriona Mackenzie, Wendy Rogers & Susan Dodds (eds.), Vulnerability: New Essays in Ethics and Feminist Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 88-109.
    Does the fact that humans are vulnerable, needy and dependent beings play an important role in Kantian ethics? It is sometimes claimed that it cannot and does not. I argue that it can and does. I distinguish between broad (all persons are vulnerable) and narrow (only some persons are vulnerable) senses of vulnerability, and explain the role of vulnerability in both senses in Kantian ethics. The basis of this argument is to show that the core normative focus of Kantian ethics (...)
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  • Kant on the Highest Moral-Physical Good: The Social Aspect of Kant's Moral Philosophy.Paul Formosa - 2010 - Kantian Review 15 (1):1-36.
    Kant identifies the “highest moral-physical good” as that combination of “good living” and “true humanity” which best harmonises in a “good meal in good company”. Why does Kant privilege the dinner party in this way? By examining Kant’s accounts of enlightenment, cosmopolitanism, love and respect, and gratitude and friendship, the answer to this question becomes clear. Kant’s moral ideal is that of an enlightened and just cosmopolitan human being who feels and acts with respect and love for all persons and (...)
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  • Is Kant a Moral Constructivist or a Moral Realist?Paul Formosa - 2013 - European Journal of Philosophy 21 (2):170-196.
    The dominant interpretation of Kant as a moral constructivist has recently come under sustained philosophical attack by those defending a moral realist reading of Kant. In light of this, should we read Kant as endorsing moral constructivism or moral realism? In answering this question we encounter disagreement in regard to two key independence claims. First, the independence of the value of persons from the moral law (an independence that is rejected) and second, the independence of the content and authority of (...)
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  • Kant on the Limits of Human Evil.Paul Formosa - 2009 - Journal of Philosophical Research 34:189-214.
    Kant has often been accused of being far too “optimistic” when it comes to the extremes of evil that humans can perpetrate upon one another. In particular, Kant’s supposed claim that humans cannot choose evil qua evil has struck many people as simply false. Another problem for Kant, or perhaps the same problem in another guise, is his supposed claim that all evil is done for the sake of self-love. While self-love might be a plausible way to explain some instances (...)
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  • “All Politics Must Bend Its Knee Before Right”: Kant on the Relation of Morals to Politics.Paul Formosa - 2008 - Social Theory and Practice 34 (2):157-181.
    Kant argues that morals should not only constrain politics, but that morals and politics properly understood cannot conflict. Such an uncompromising stance on the relation of morals to politics has been branded unrealistic and even politically irresponsible. While justice can afford to be blind, politics must keep its eyes wide open. In response to this charge I argue that Kant’s position on the relation of morals to politics is both morally uncompromising and yet politically flexible, both principled and practical. Kantian (...)
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  • The Problems with Evil.Paul Formosa - 2008 - Contemporary Political Theory 7 (4):395-415.
    The concept of evil has been an unpopular one in many recent Western political and ethical discourses. One way to justify this neglect is by pointing to the many problemswiththe concept of evil. The standard grievances brought against the very concept of evil include: that it has no proper place in secular political and ethical discourses; that it is a demonizing term of hatred that leads to violence; that it is necessarily linked with outdated notions of body and sexuality; and (...)
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  • Kant and the Demandingness of the Virtue of Beneficence.Paul Formosa & Martin Sticker - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy 1 (DOI: 10.1111/ejop.12455):1-18.
    We discuss Kant's conception of beneficence against the background of the overdemandingness debate. We argue that Kant's conception of beneficence constitutes a sweet spot between overdemandingness and undemandingness. To this end, we defend four key claims that together constitute a novel interpretation of Kant's account of beneficence: (1) For the same reason that we are obligated to be beneficent to others, we are permitted to be beneficent to ourselves; (2) we can prioritise our own ends; (3) it is more virtuous (...)
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  • A Life Without Affects and Passions: Kant on the Duty of Apathy.Paul Formosa - 2011 - Parrhesia 13:96-111.
    An apathetic life is not the sort of life that most of us would want for ourselves or believe that we have a duty to strive for. And yet Kant argues that we have a duty of apathy, a duty to strive to be without affects (Affecten) and passions (Leidenschaften). But is Kant’s claim that there is a duty of apathy really as problematic as it sounds? In arguing that it is not, this paper investigates in detail in Kant’s accounts (...)
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  • Can Kant’s Theory of Radical Evil Be Saved?Zachary J. Goldberg - 2017 - Kantian Review 22 (3):395-419.
    In this article, I assess three contemporary criticisms levelled at Kant’s theory of evil in order to evaluate whether his theory can be saved. Critics argue that Kant does not adequately distinguish between evil and mundane wrongdoing, making his use of the term ‘evil’ emotional hyperbole; by defining evil as the subordination of the moral law to self-love his analysis is seemingly overly simplistic and empirically false; and by focusing solely on the moral character of the perpetrator of evil, Kant’s (...)
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  • Original Sin and Radical Evil: Kierkegaard and Kant.Roe Fremstedal - 2012 - Kantian Review 17 (2):197-225.
    By comparing the theories of evil found in Kant and Kierkegaard, this article aims to shed new light on Kierkegaard, as well as on the historical and conceptual relations between the two philosophers. The author shows that there is considerable overlap between Kant's doctrine of radical evil and Kierkegaard's views on guilt and sin and argues that Kierkegaard approved of the doctrine of radical evil. Although Kierkegaard's distinction between guilt and sin breaks radically with Kant, there are more Kantian elements (...)
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  • Evil's Place in the Ethics of Social Work.Jon Vegar Hugaas - 2010 - Ethics and Social Welfare 4 (3):254-279.
    This article argues that the concept of evil is needed in normative ethics in general as well as in the professional ethics of social work. Attention is drawn to certain shortcomings in the classical theories of normative ethics when it comes to recognizing the profound destructiveness of certain types of acts that exceed the mere ?bad? or ?wrong? applied in the most common theories of moral philosophy. Having established the category of morally evil acts in general, the author turns to (...)
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