SHS Web Conf.
Volume 161, 202312th Kant-Readings International Conference “Kant and the Ethics of Enlightenment: Historical Roots and Contemporary Relevance”
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||Kant’s Ethics and Its Application|
|Published online||08 March 2023|
On emotions as a condition for morality
University of Bayreuth, Universitätsstr. 30, 95447 Bayreuth, Germany
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
The idea that we must free ourselves from the mastery of our emotions in order to act morally has been challenged over the past decades as Kant scholars have turned to the Metaphysics of Morals and the Critique of Judgment to regain the centrality of emotions in this tradition. I want to expand the claim about the positive role of emotions in Kant’s moral theory by arguing that certain emotional states should be understood as having an even more fundamental role, namely, as an empirical condition for morality. Therefore, I will show that the structure Kant provides to explain the human mind conceives of our moral experience as relying on what he calls lower faculty of feeling. After sketching Kant’s approach to cognition, I will show how some feelings are indissociable from the human moral experience – and notably, from the ability to act in accordance with our predispositions. I will discuss textual evidence for this view and explain that, although Kant himself failed to devise an explicit taxonomy of emotions, there is a sense in which pathological feelings are to be regarded as a condition for morality.
Key words: faculty of feeling / emotions / pathological feelings / happiness / moral psychology / condition of possibility
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2023
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