The End of the <i>Critiques</i>: Kant’s Moral ‘Creationism’

Karl Ameriks

in Kant's Elliptical Path

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199693689
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745584 | DOI:
The End of the Critiques: Kant’s Moral ‘Creationism’

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This chapter explains how Kant's metaphysics and practical philosophy allowed him to remain deeply attached to the notion of a moral creator, although the very end of his last Critique makes a systematic case against the whole tradition of natural theology's reliance on teleological arguments. Kant argues that even if for ordinary scientific or prudential purposes we must look at matters ‘as if’ they are purposive, this is theoretically compatible with a serious skeptical thought that we might just be fooled by nature. The chapter also explains the terminological reasons why Kant felt it appropriate to characterize pure practical belief in a moral creator as ‘subjective’, even though the content of that belief is rational and treated as a kind of objective ‘matter of fact’.

Keywords: teleology; natural theology; creator; purpose; as if; subjectivism

Chapter.  11276 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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