Ethico-Theology without Postulates: Questioning the Prehistory of Kant’s Philosophical Theology

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According to the prevailing opinion of the Kantian scholars, Kant’s critique of the traditional philosophical theology in the chapter of his Critique of Pure Reason dedicated to the ideal of reason motivated his rejection of transcendental theology in favor of a construction foundeв on “postulates of reason”. An examination of Kant’s sistematics of philosophical-theological disciplines reveals nonetheless some changeability of the borderlines of transcendental theology. This means that Kant’s critical arguments do not necessarily affect all kinds of trancendental theology, and allows us to investigate Kant’s reflection of the transcendental ideal if reason as a foundation for an alternative version of philosophical ethico-theology which does not need “practical postulates”. In the first Critique there is no ground for such a construction, because Kant's concept of virtue remains partly naturalistic at that time. The idea of a pure aprioristic ethics of duty as expounded by Kant later furnished the needed conceptual foundation for a concept already prepared in the theory of the ideal, asserting the reality of a transcendental-practical ideal as a prototype of moral will, as humanity in its comprehensively determined moral perfection, as the realm of ethical ends, and lastly, in an anticipation of the “prototypical” Christology of Kant's late treatise on religion, as the divine human person within us. Compared with this version of transcendental philosophical theology Kant’s ethico-theology of “postulates” should be legitimately determined as a form of natural theology.

About the authors

Andrey K. Sudakov

RAS Institute of Philosophy

Author for correspondence.

Dr. Sc., Philosophy, Senior Researcher, Institute of Philosophy

12/1, Goncharnaya Str., Moscow, 109240, Russian Federation


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