XI KANT KONGRESS, XI Congresso Kantiano Internazionale

Moral Growth and Relapse: A Puzzle for Kantian Accounts of Moral Transformation

Heidi Chamberlin

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


Attempts to make sense of the possibility of moral change in Kant’s philosophy have focused on the way in which empirical factors contribute to moral growth. Patrick Frierson has offered a promising interpretation of how we might make sense of this contribution that relies on a specific understanding of the “revolution in the will” referred to in Kant’s Religion. To my knowledge, no one else has adequately engaged the metaphysical problem of this timeless revolution. However, the fact that Kant clearly believes that human beings can relapse after having acquired a good will undermines Frierson’s proposed understanding of moral change. Any understanding of the contribution anthropology makes to Kant’s ethics must first wrestle with the metaphysical problem of moral change, and an adequate answer to this problem must explain the possibility of moral relapse in addition to the possibility of moral progress.