Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Philosophy

Abstract

The main goal of this dissertation is to develop an overarching defense of Kant's idea of the highest good, against the criticisms pointed out in the English-speaking world, within the framework of the so-called "Beck-Silber controversy."

As it is known, since the second half of the last century, when the "Beck-Silber controversy" started, Kant's idea of the highest good has been subject to a massive attack. These attacks motivated, in turn, the emergence of a counterforce of defenders, a group that I attempt to join through this work. Particularly, I have identified six criticisms against Kant's idea of the highest good, which I have labeled as the problems of heteronomy, unsuitability, impossibility, injustice, irrelevance, and abandonment. Thanks to this, we know what a complete defense of Kant's idea of the highest good requires. Now, once with all these criticisms identified, I develop a response to each of them. In that way, I show how Kant's idea of the highest good does not undermines the principle of autonomy; how the highest good has not only a place, but a privileged one in his moral philosophy; how it is possible to promote a world in which happiness is distributed in accordance to virtue; how the problem of injustice is both ungrounded and overestimated; how the highest good is actually relevant for morality; and finally, that Kant did not abandoned his idea of the highest good at the end of his life. In this way, I hope having saved the highest good as part of Kant's ethics.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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