Tag Archives: Morality

Immanuel Kant’s Theory of Evil

Pablo Muchnik in his book, Kant’s Theory of Evil, shows us that Kant explicates the radical tendency to evil in the notions of the frailty of the human heart, the impurity of the human heart, and finally in the wickedness of the human heart. The frailty of the human heart is referred to in the idea of the weakness of the will. St. Paul complained that what they willed to do, they did not do, and what they willed not to do that is what they did (Romans 7). The agent knows the action is morally necessary, but fails to follow it and in lieu acts out of inclination. In this case, Muchnik argues, the agent recognizes the validity of the moral law, but does not give it authorization. Kant says the agent with a weak heart, then makes herself think that her motivational structure is fundamentally lovely, even when her actions recommend otherwise (p. 157). He holds that the agent with a frail heart is lead to gluttony, lust, and wild lawlessness [in relation to other human beings] even in the case where moral luck makes her temperate and easy going. Continue reading

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