XI KANT KONGRESS, XI Congresso Kantiano Internazionale

Divine Existence and Moral Motivation

Jens Timmermann

Edificio: Palazzo dei Congressi
Sala: sala Fermi
Data: 24 maggio 2010 - 14:30
Ultima modifica: 13 aprile 2010

Abstract

Towards the end of the Doctrine of Elements of the Critique of Practical Reason, Kant argues that human cognitive powers are well proportioned to our practical vocation of striving for the highest good. In particular, it is fit and proper that morality should lead us to a pure practical and rational faith that falls short of immediate insight into God's existence, because direct insight would have undermined the possibility of moral motivation and hence of morally valuable action. Human conduct would have been changed into 'mere mechanism in
which, as in a puppet show, everything would gesticulate well but there would be no life in the figures' (V 147). In this paper, I shall examine Kant's argument for this astonishing thesis, as well as its moral, metaphysical and educational consequences.