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Kant on Evil, Self-Deception, and Moral Reform$
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Laura Papish

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190692100

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190692100.001.0001

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Moral Misunderstandings and the Ethical Community

Moral Misunderstandings and the Ethical Community

(p.203) Chapter 8 Moral Misunderstandings and the Ethical Community
Kant on Evil, Self-Deception, and Moral Reform

Laura Papish

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores Kant’s concept of an ethical community. It considers at length an analogy made in the Religion between the ethical state of nature—which is left behind once human beings enter the ethical community—and the state of nature in a juridico-civil context. This analogy ultimately leads to the conclusion that the central task of the ethical community is to help its members adjudicate disagreements about the social aims appropriate to good life conduct. It is further explained why the ethical community should be centered on a “historical” or “ecclesiastical faith,” as it is shown that such a community can promote moral knowledge, self-understanding, and interpersonal communication. How Kant’s account of the highest good relates to the ethical community is also considered, as are questions regarding how norms of pluralism and inclusivity are adopted by the ethical community.

Keywords:   Kant, ethical community, state of nature, federation of states, highest good, church, pluralism, faith, good works

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