This is a relatively brief chapter, giving a concise review of Kant's position on this issue throughout his writings. On the one hand, Kant treats the topic as the defining ‘Idea’ and goal of rational psychology as such; on the other, he is highly critical of all traditional theoretical arguments for it. His harsh criticism of these arguments has been a major factor in misleading readers into thinking that he has equally incisive or negative views about other, much more qualified rationalist claims. The unique a priori argument for our immortality (as a ‘postulate’ of pure practical reason) that Kant endorses in his Critiques can be understood as a weakened variation of a series of arguments that he had presented in early works, and that came to have an ever more peripheral significance.
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