Between ‘Indubitably Certain’ and ‘Quite Detrimental’ to Philosophy: Kant on the Guise of the Good Thesis

Kantian Review 28 (4):537-553 (2023)
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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 act immorally, because they act on principles. I argue that Kant’s accounts of self-love and self-conceit support this view.

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Vinicius Carvalho
University of Groningen


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