Kant and the End of Theodicy

Karl Ameriks

in Kant's Elliptical Path

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199693689
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745584 | DOI:
Kant and the End of Theodicy

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This chapter explores a difficult aspect of Kant's ambivalent attitude toward religion in his final writings, namely, his sharp critique of appeals to miracles even while he himself remained committed to a purposive non-natural ground of existence on the whole. His Religion is an ‘end’ of theodicy in not only a negative sense, in that it attacks all prior explanations that invoke particular divine providence, but also a positive sense, insofar as it is a last grand systematic attempt to still warrant, as compelling for all reasonable agents, the assertion of a benevolent creator, albeit on pure practical grounds alone. With mixed success, Kant invokes his technical understanding of ‘nature’ to help distinguish his own reliance on non-sensory conceptions of freedom and divine assistance from anything like an appeal to miracles.

Keywords: theodicy; religion; miracles; creator; freedom

Chapter.  9722 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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