Kant’s post-1800 Disavowal of the Highest Good Argument for the Existence of God

Kant Yearbook 10 (1):63-83 (2018)
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I have two main goals in this paper. The first is to argue for the thesis that Kant gave up on his highest good argument for the existence of God around 1800. The second is to revive a dialogue about this thesis that died out in the 1960s. The paper is divided into three sections. In the first, I reconstruct Kant’s highest good argument. In the second, I turn to the post-1800 convolutes of Kant’s Opus postumum to discuss his repeated claim that there is only one way to argue for the existence of God, a way which resembles the highest good argument only in taking the moral law as its starting point. In the third, I explain why I do not find the counterarguments to my thesis introduced in the 1960s persuasive.

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Samuel J. M. Kahn
Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis


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