Free belief : The medieval heritage in Kant’s moral faith

Journal article


Insole, Christopher J.. (2019). Free belief : The medieval heritage in Kant’s moral faith. Journal of the History of Philosophy. 57(3), pp. 501-528. https://doi.org/10.1353/hph.2019.0056
AuthorsInsole, Christopher J.
Abstract

I argue that insofar as Kant describes faith as a free-choice, he is aligned with the medieval tradition, and with his own sources that mediate this heritage (in particular, Leibniz and Locke). The medieval tradition consistently, affirmatively, and systematically invokes freedom and the will, with reference to belief in God, without such a dimension of choice implying any deflation in the degree of commitment to this belief. However, in clarifying that the movement of the will involves “human freedom” alone, without divine action, Kant departs from this tradition. Such divine action, Kant is convinced, would destroy genuine human freedom. This conviction is the source of Kant’s repeated insistence that grace follows rather than precedes moral conversion. It is on this point concerning human freedom and grace that Kant departs from the medieval tradition, rather than with his claim that we choose to believe in God.

KeywordsKant; Aquinas; knowledge; opinion; faith; belief; morality; practical reason
Year2019
JournalJournal of the History of Philosophy
Journal citation57 (3), pp. 501-528
PublisherJohns Hopkins University Press
ISSN0022-5053
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1353/hph.2019.0056
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85072638844
Open accessPublished as green open access
Page range501-528
Author's accepted manuscript
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All rights reserved
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Open
Publisher's version
License
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Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online09 Jul 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Sep 2021
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