Restoring Kant's Conception of the Highest Good

Journal of the History of Philosophy 55 (3):435-468 (2017)
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Since the publication of Andrews Reath's “Two Conceptions of the Highest Good in Kant” (Journal of the History of Philosophy 26:4 (1988)), most scholars have come to accept the view that Kant migrated away from an earlier “theological” version to one that is more “secular.” The purpose of this paper is to explore the roots of this interpretative trend, re-assess its merits, and then examine how the Highest Good is portrayed in Kant’s Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason. As will be argued, it is in this text more so than any other where Kant develops his most philosophically sophisticated account of the Highest Good. Because of the central significance of Kant’s doctrine of the Highest Good for both his ethical theory and philosophy of religion, this paper therefore seeks to provide an important corrective to the current received views.

Author's Profile

Lawrence Pasternack
Oklahoma State University


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