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Kant on ‘Good’, the Good, and the Duty to Promote the Highest Good

In Thomas Höwing (ed.), The Highest Good in Kant’s Philosophy. Boston: De Gruyter. pp. 33-50 (2016)

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  1. A Defense and Development of the Volitional Self-Contradiction Interpretation.Pauline Kleingeld - 2023 - Philosophia 51 (2):505-524.
    Kant’s Formula of Universal Law (FUL) is generally believed to require you to act only on the basis of maxims that you can will without contradiction to become universal laws. In “Contradiction and Kant’s Formula of Universal Law” (2017), I have proposed to read the FUL instead as requiring that, for any maxim on which you act, you can will two things simultaneously, without volitional self-contradiction: (1) willing the maxim as your own action principle and (2) willing that it become (...)
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  • Problems with the Highest Good.Courtney D. Fugate - 2022 - Journal of Transcendental Philosophy 3 (3):385-404.
    In this paper, I want to focus not on the problems that I believe may threaten Kant’s account of the highest good, but instead on those that I believe threaten the majority of the interpretive reconstructions attempted by commentators and thus prevent the emergence of a consensus in the near future. My goal is to set forth exactly four problems to which I believe any successful interpretation or reconstruction of Kant’s account of the highest good will have to provide substantive (...)
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  • What’s So Good about the Good Will? An Ontological Critique of Kant’s Axiomatic Moral Construct.Necip Fikri Alican - 2022 - Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 18 (1):422–467.
    Kant maintains that the only thing that is good in itself, and therefore good without limitation or qualification, is a good will. This is an objectionable claim in support of a controversial position. The problem is not just that the good will is not the only thing that is good in itself, which indeed it is not, but more importantly, that the good will is not so much a thing that is good in itself as it is the good kind (...)
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  • Empathy in Nursing: A Phenomenological Intervention.Anthony Vincent Fernandez & Dan Zahavi - 2021 - Tetsugaku 5:23-39.
    Today, many philosophers write on topics of contemporary interest, such as emerging technologies, scientific advancements, or major political events. However, many of these reflections, while philosophically valuable, fail to contribute to those who may benefit the most from them. In this article, we discuss our own experience of engaging with nursing researchers and practicing nurses. By drawing on the field of philosophical phenomenology, we intervene in a longstanding debate over the meaning of “empathy” in nursing, which has important implications for (...)
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  • Contradiction and Kant’s Formula of Universal Law.Pauline Kleingeld - 2017 - Kant Studien 108 (1):89-115.
    Kant’s most prominent formulation of the Categorical Imperative, known as the Formula of Universal Law (FUL), is generally thought to demand that one act only on maxims that one can will as universal laws without this generating a contradiction. Kant's view is standardly summarized as requiring the 'universalizability' of one's maxims and described in terms of the distinction between 'contradictions in conception' and 'contradictions in the will'. Focusing on the underappreciated significance of the simultaneity condition included in the FUL, I (...)
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  • Between ‘Indubitably Certain’ and ‘Quite Detrimental’ to Philosophy: Kant on the Guise of the Good Thesis.Vinicius Carvalho - 2023 - Kantian Review 28 (4):537-553.
    Kant clearly endorses some version of the ‘old formula of the schools’, according to which all volition is sub ratione boni. There has been a debate whether he holds this only for morally good actions. I argue that a closer look at the distinction between the good and the agreeable does not support this conclusion. Considering Kant’s account of the detrimental and the correct use of this thesis, I argue that rational beings always will sub ratione boni, even when they (...)
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  • The Highest Good and Its Crisis in Kant’s Thought.Luca Fonnesu - 2022 - Journal of Transcendental Philosophy 3 (3):369-384.
    The article has the aim to show that Kant’s “standard” conception of the highest good does not represent his last word about the problem. Kant moves from a conception of the highest good close connected with the metaphysical tradition and with the aim of a new, moral justification of traditional metahysical concepts such as God and immortality of the soul. This view does find many difficulties and oscillations in the Critiques, looking for different formulations of a moral “proof” for the (...)
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  • The Postulate of Immortality in the Critique of Practical Reason(and Beyond).Lawrence Pasternack - 2024 - Kantian Review 29 (1):19-38.
    It is widely claimed that the second Critique’s argument for the postulate of immortality is relevantly different from the first Critique’s argument for the postulate. It is also widely claimed that after the second Critique, Kant distances himself from its particular version of the argument, and even the postulate altogether. It is the purpose of this article to challenge these claims, arguing instead that (a) there is overwhelming textual evidence showing that Kant did not abandon the postulate; (b) the second (...)
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  • Kant’s coherent theory of the highest good.Saniye Vatansever - 2020 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 89 (3):263-283.
    In the second Critique, Kant argues that for the highest good to be possible we need to postulate the existence of God and the immortality of the soul in a future world. In his other writings, however, he suggests that the highest good is attainable through mere human agency in this world. Based on the apparent incoherence between these texts, Andrews Reath, among others, argues that Kant’s texts reveal two competing conceptions of the highest good, namely a secular and a (...)
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  • What Should we Hope?Seniye Tilev - 2022 - Philosophia 50 (5).
    In this paper I propose an interpretation of Kant’s notion of the highest good which bears political, ethical, and religious layers simultaneously. I argue that a proper analysis of what Kant allows us to hope for necessarily involves what we should hope for as moral agents. I argue that Kant’s conception of the highest good plays a crucial role in his moral theory as it designates the ideal “context” of moral experience which can be described as “a moral world”. Each (...)
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  • Faith without hope is dead: moral arguments and the theological virtues.Rory Lawrence Phillips - 2022 - Religious Studies 58 (1):96-112.
    It is well-known that Kant defends a conception of God and the final end of our moral striving, called the highest good. In this article, I outline Kant's argument for why we ought to have faith in God and hope for the highest good, and argue that the Kantian argument can be extended in such a way as to show the unity of the theological virtues. This feature of the Kantian account can then have ramifications in further questions regarding the (...)
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  • On the Philosophical Incoherence of a Duty to Promote the Highest Good.Samuel Kahn - 2024 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 41 (2):165-183.
    According to Kantian moral religion, because there is a duty to promote the highest good, we are warranted in believing in God and immortality. However, this article shows that the duty to promote the highest good is incoherent, and that popular conceptualizations of the highest good cannot avoid this incoherence. After arguing, additionally, against attempts to ground Kantian moral religion on the highest good in some role other than the object of duty, it is shown that Kant seems to have (...)
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