Chapter

Teleology

Samuel Fleischacker

in Divine Teaching and the Way of the World

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199217366
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728495 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217366.003.0010
Teleology

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The nature of our highest good is, according to Chapter 2 of this Part, an issue on which we differ irremediably, and which we must finesse in order to establish a workable moral system. However, we cannot wholly avoid that question, and this chapter returns to it. Following Kant, it is argued that our highest good transcends our moral good—and that our ability to achieve it (our ability, perhaps, even to grasp it) may depend on the existence of God, or some other super-natural being or condition. Kant’s claim that our highest good requires us to be moral is also accepted, but the highest good is then defined in a way somewhat different from Kant’s: as a life worth living conditioned on virtue, rather than a life of happiness conditioned on virtue. However, “a life worth living” is a vague phrase, and the chapter ends by suggesting that we may be unable to fill in the content of that phrase adequately without religious revelation. The project of Parts III and IV will be to explore that suggestion.

Keywords: Kant; moral faith; hope; morality; ethics; moral and telic goods

Chapter.  13613 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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