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)||8|
|Section||Kant’s Ethics in Neo-Kantianism|
|Published online||08 March 2023|
The end of all things. Kant and Cohen on religion and reason
University of Vienna, Alserstraße 4, 1190 Vienna, Austria
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
According to Kant’s concept of natural religion, the moral concept of God consists in the coordinated aggregate of the concepts of holiness, goodness and justice. I argue that this concept can be used to define a critical account of religion’s role within the public sphere. In order to do so, I refer to Hermann Cohen’s philosophy of religion. Cohen undertakes to explicate a concept of religion as progress toward the “dominion of the good on earth”, especially in relation to Kant’s ideas of natural religion and ethical community. It is inferred that Cohen’s difference between progress in religion and religious progress opens a path to a definition of religion as pre-institution (religion without religion). The goal is to make the concept of religion distinct in the tradition of critical philosophy and its logic. I argue that the emancipatory project of Kantian public reason presupposes a set of rules defining the translation from postulates (Kant’s rational theism) to problems and assignments. Since natural religion is a pure practical concept of reason, religions are subject to moral evaluation. The latter being guided by the pragmatic maxim of overcoming logical and moral egoism, means that any community, even many communities at once (different cultures) can occasionally represent an ethical community, if not in the sense that an ethical community is constituted.
Key words: Kant / Cohen / philosophy of religion / natural religion / public reason
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2023
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