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Libertà e Male morale nella “Critica della ragion pratica” di Immanuel Kant

Basaglia, Federica (2009) Libertà e Male morale nella “Critica della ragion pratica” di Immanuel Kant. PhD Thesis , Università degli studi di Ferrara.

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    This dissertation deals with a much-debated problem in Kant’s moral philosophy: the possibility of acting freely against the moral law. Kant’s theory of the foundation of morals, as outlined in the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (1785) and in the Critique of Practical Reason (1788), gives no explanation of the (causal) genesis of moral evil (i.e. the freedom to act wrongly), nor does it justify attributing it to the agent. Based on this hiatus in his theory, even recent interpretations claim that the doctrine of "radical evil" (1792) represents Kant’s intention to reverse his moral doctrine in order to make room for moral evil. I, however, argue that the theory of “radical evil” was not understood by Kant as a revision, nor does it help us to accommodate moral evil. In the hope of finding another way to accommodate moral evil into Kant’s moral theory, I attempt to further clarify Kant’s understanding of the concept. To do so I turn to those passages of the Critique of Practical Reason where Kant explicitly addresses the topic: his theory of the concepts of "good" and "evil" as objects of pure practical reason", and his theory of the "table of categories of freedom." My analysis of the scholarship on this subject points to certain misinterpretations. I underline the main errors and suggest a new interpretation, which aims to be more in accord with Kant’s texts and with his ethical teaching. However, my interpretation also shows that the theories of the "objects of practical reason" and of the "categories of freedom" do not provide any help to solve the problems with moral evil. On the contrary, they confirm (well-known) difficulties of Kant’s ethics as to the explanation of immoral action and its attribution to the agent. Still, my analysis brings to light an interesting and so far ignored element: the connection between the "categories of freedom" with the concept of cause" and the central role the latter notion plays in the Critique of Practical Reason. In 1786 Hermann Andreas Pistorius criticizes Kant’s understanding of freedom as noumenal causality. Probably with the intention of responding to this criticism, in 1788 Kant provides a deduction of the concept of freedom as non empirical causality. My analysis points to important connections between the "categories of freedom" and the "category of causality" as applied to the supersensible field.

    Item Type:Thesis (PhD Thesis)
    Date:2 April 2009
    Tutor:La Rocca, Tommaso
    Coordinator:Fabbri, Paolo
    Institution:Università degli studi di Ferrara
    Divisions:Dipartimento > Scienze storiche
    Subjects:Area 11 - Scienze storiche, filosofiche, pedagogiche e psicologiche > M-FIL/03 Filosofia morale
    Uncontrolled Keywords:Kant, male, libertà, oggetto della ragion pura pratica, deduzione, categorie, etica, morale, ragion pratica
    Deposited on:03 Jul 2009 15:26


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