Sittlichkeit, Religion und Geschichte in der Philosophie Kants

Geismann, Georg (2000) Sittlichkeit, Religion und Geschichte in der Philosophie Kants. Jahrbuch für Recht und Ethik, 8. pp. 437-531.

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Abstract

Dieser Beitrag verfolgt ein systematisches Ziel. Er will weder eine Entwicklung in Kants Denken
noch die Gestalt aufzeigen, die es in einem bestimmten Werk Kants angenommen hat. Er basiert auf der
Überzeugung eines seit der Kritik der reinen Vernunft im wesentlichen konsistenten systematischen
Zusammenhangs dieses Denkens. Unterschiede, die bei einem Vergleich zwischen den einzelnen Werken
sichtbar werden, beruhen zumeist auf einer jeweils unterschiedlichen Aufgabenstellung und bestätigen bei
näherer Betrachtung oft in verblüffender Weise eben jenen Zusammenhang. So erklärt es sich auch, daß in
dem Beitrag häufig zum selben Punkt aus verschiedenen Schriften zitiert bzw. auf solche verwiesen wird.

Summary
The contribution starts with a concise account of Kant's moral philosophy. It is shown that
a moral will is necessarily an autonomous will and that only the formal" character of the moral
law can establish its universal validity. Some widespread misunderstandings are discussed,
especially with regard to the alleged emptiness of the moral law; the relationship between duty
and inclination; the role of natural incentives in a moral will; and the necessary objects of such a
will.
This leads to the idea of the highest good (happiness in proportion to worthiness) as the
objective final end and duty of a finite rational being. Again, typical misunderstandings are dealt
with: the reproach of eudaimonism, and heteronomy, and the role of the highest good as
incentive; and an alleged inconsistency between Analytic and Dialectic of the Second Critique.
In the then following discussion of Kant's doctrine of the postulates and his philosophy of
religion, it is shown that religion is totally dependent on morality as philosophy of religion is on
moral philosophy; that a belief in God is required neither for the validity of the moral law nor for
the obedience to it; that the so-called moral proof is not a proof of God's existence, but only of
the practical necessity of its assumption; and that the idea of the highest good refers throughout
exclusively to another world.
The last chapter first gives a concise account of Kant's teleological philosophy of history
and then comes to the result of the whole inquiry: that there is a principle difference between
philosophy of religion and philosophy of history which makes them not only independent of each
other, but also keeps them in well distinguished fields.
The philosophy of religion presupposes moral philosophy. Its main function is to determine
what the idea of God morally means to man. Its achievement is to yield a reason of belief for the
hope that the realization of the highest moral good is possible and that therefore the moral life of
man is not necessarily pointless, as long as he fulfills his respective duty. It has (practical)
meaning only for the one who is conscious of being subject to the moral law and ready to act
accordingly.
The philosophy of history on the other hand presupposes especially the doctrine of right. Its
main function is to determine what the future of mankind on earth politically means to man. Its
achievement is to yield empirical reasons for the hope that the realization of the highest political
good is possible and that therefore the political life of man is not necessarily pointless, as long as
he fulfills his respective duty. It has (practical) meaning only for the one who is conscious of
being subject to the law of right and ready to act accordingly, although, it is true, the attainment
of the historical aim itself is possible even by acting from purely prudential reasons.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Kant, Moralisches Gesetz, Sittlichkeit, Geschichte
Subjects: Philosophie > Geschichte der Philosophie > e) 18.Jahrhundert
Depositing User: Wolfgang Heuer
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2020 13:37
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 18:19
URI: http://sammelpunkt.philo.at/id/eprint/2621

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