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Hegel’s Critique of Kant’s Moral World View

Kenneth R. Westphal
University of East Anglia

Philosophical Topics 19.2 (1991):133–76.
ABSTRACT : Few if any of Kant’s critics were more trenchant than Hegel. Here I reconstruct some objections Hegel makes to Kant in a text that has received insufficient attention, the chapter titled “the Moral World View” in the Phenomenology of Spirit. I show that Kant holds virtually all the tenets Hegel ascribes to “the moral world view.” I concentrate on five of Hegel’s main objections to Kant’s practical metaphysics. First, Kant’s problem of coordinating happiness with virtue (as worthiness to be happy) is contrived. Kant denies that there is any inherent connection between acting rightly and being happy, but his denial depends on his defining happiness in terms of satisfying inclinations, rather than in terms of achieving ends in general. Second, Kant’s view of moral motivation is contrived; he ultimately admits that we cannot resolve to act without taking inclinations into account. (We cannot resolve to act apart from the matter of our maxim.) Third, Kant’s idea about perfecting our virtue in an infinite progress is incoherent. Kant defines virtue, and evidence of virtue, in terms of overcoming inclinations. Inclinations die with the body. Therefore there can be neither virtue nor evidence of virtue after death. Fourth, Kant’s view of the autonomy of moral agency is inconsistent with viewing the moral law as a divine command. Fifth, Kant’s moral principles cannot be put into practice in concrete circumstances because he supplies inadequate guidance for classifying acts. I conclude that Hegel’s objections to Kant’s practical metaphysics are sound, and I show that the problems Hegel raised against Kant’s account of autonomy and moral motivation are still current, since they have not been resolved, e.g., by Onora O’Neill's Constructions of Reason.

The definitive version of this article appears in: ￿


Hegel’s Critique of Kant’s Moral World View
Kenneth R. Westphal

[P]hilosophy is the science of the relation of all knowledge to the essential ends of human reason .., and the philosopher is not an artificer in the field of reason, but himself the lawgiver of human reason. —Kant There is a point in every philosophy when the philosopher’s “conviction” appears on stage ... —Nietzsche

I. INTRODUCTION . The Nineteenth Century, especially on the Continent, was an age of grand metaphysical world views. Few were grander and none more influential than the one that set the philosophical agenda for the entire century, Kant’s Critical Philosophy. Few if any of Kant’s critics were more trenchant than Hegel. Here I wish to reconstruct some objections Hegel makes to Kant in a text that has received insufficient, indeed very little attention, the chapter titled “the Moral World View” in the Phenomenology of Spirit. Hegel’s chapter consists of an introduction and three sections. The first section expounds “the moral world view,” the second criticizes it, under the title “dissemblance,” and the third critically analyzes its alleged final form, “conscience.” I will not consider this chapter’s role within the Phenomenology, nor will I consider Hegel’s exposition of the moral world view, except insofar as it also contains criticisms, and I will not discuss Hegel’s analysis of conscience. I will restrict my consideration to Hegel’s criticisms of Kant, especially in the second section of his chapter, “dissemblance.”1 Since Kant’s postulates loom large in Hegel’s discussion, it may seem that Hegel considers only the second Critique. However, Hegel makes many quite specific allusions or references to others of Kant’s texts.2 This shows that Hegel here considers the moral world view articulated in the whole of Kant’s Critical philosophy. Properly understanding and evaluating Hegel’s objections requires considering not only the Critique of Practical Reason, but also the Critique of Pure Reason, the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, the Critique of Judgment, the Metaphysics of Morals, and the Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone.3 Hegel always strove for synopsis! It would be unfair to Kant, and unhelpful for assessing Hegel, to take Hegel’s own exposition of Kant’s views as a basis for considering Hegel’s criticisms of Kant’s over-all world view, especially since Hegel presupposes familiarity with the breadth of Kant’s writings and his presentation is intended to bring out alleged features of it that are not immediately evident. Hence it is appropriate to look at Kant’s world view in his own terms before turning to Hegel’s objections.4 II. KANT’S MORAL WORLD VIEW : A SYNOPSIS. Kant’s Critical strategy for addressing the metaphysical issues of God, freedom, and immortality is sheer genius.5 Starting in the Critique of Pure Reason Kant develops and defends his transcendental idealism. Transcendental idealism holds a rationalist view of the significance of concepts, but also holds that empirical knowledge requires applying concepts to experienced objects. Transcendental 2

knowledge is restricted to knowledge of the a priori conditions of the experience of objects. Analyzing those conditions reveals that space and time are forms of intuition and that twelve categorial concepts structure our experience of objects. These results, together with an analysis of those fortunate metaphysical contradictions, the antinomies,6 justifies a kind of metaphysical dualism. Nature is a causally determined spatio-temporal realm of perceptible substances and events,7 though viewed transcendentally the entirety of nature is appearance, and nothing in itself. This makes for two quite distinct realms, each subject to its own “legislation:” the sensible realm of nature is subject to the legislation of the understanding, while the intelligible realm of freedom and norms is subject to the legislation of reason.8 One of the key problems for Kant’s practical philosophy and philosophical theology is to determine how these two realms might be coordinated.9 One of the key results of transcendental idealism is that, because nature is merely appearance, it at least possible that agents in themselves are negatively free from natural causal determinism and positively free to resolve to act on purely rational grounds. An independent analysis of the principles of practical reasoning reveals that practical reason legislates a priori the supreme moral principle, the “formal” principle of the categorical imperative, and autonomously commands obedience to it.10 Practical reason generates a non-natural, a priori rational feeling of respect for the moral law, which is the sole morally worthy motive.11 This motive suffices for action, independent of any desires, inclinations, purposes or ends we may have or any consequences we may bring about.12 The implications of transcendental idealism for traditional metaphysics are profound. Kant argues against rationalism that God, freedom, and immortality cannot be theoretically known a priori. He also argues against empiricism that the concepts of God, freedom, and immortality make sense and that their existence cannot be theoretically disproven either.13 Indeed, Kant contends that it’s a very good thing that we cannot know theoretically whether God exists. If we did, we would act out of fear of divine reprobation or in hope of divine reward, but almost never out of the sole morally worthy motive of respect for the moral law.14 In the absence of theoretical proof one way or the other, it becomes appropriate to determine whether any practical, that is, moral grounds support belief pro or contra.15 Kant of course does think there are such grounds. It is important to see that he is quite stringent about what those grounds can be. Unlike Kierkegaard, Kant will have no part in Tertullian’s dictum, credo quia absurdum est, “I believe because it is absurd.” Kant insists that concepts must be logically consistent, clear, and determinate if they are to have objects. Moreover, to ascribe “objective reality” to a concept, that is, to suppose that it has an object, requires that there are definite grounds for such a supposition.16 Kant recognizes that we construct the concept of God on analogy with our understanding, will, and moral ideas.17 Hence he must be stringent about the grounds for postulating an object for that concept. One main element of the primacy of practical reason over theoretical reason in the Critical philosophy lies in Kant’s analysis of the moral reasons for supposing that there are God, freedom, and immortality.18 Indeed, the theoretical critique would not have been worth Kant’s effort if it did not have this practical result.19 Kant argues that freedom and the moral law are reciprocal concepts. This means that a free will simply is a will whose principle is the categorical imperative, and that the categorical imperative formulates the rational universality of the maxims adopted by a free will.20 The moral law is given to us as an a priori “fact of reason,” namely, in our experience of being morally obligated.21 We cannot be obligated to do anything of which we are incapable.22 Consequently we must be, not only negatively, but also positively free to act on the moral law. The moral law is the ratio cognoscendi (the reason or cause of knowledge) of positive freedom, and positive freedom is the ratio essendi (the reason or cause of existence) of the moral law.23 Kant argues along the following lines that we must believe in immortality in order to understand 3

HEGEL’S CRITIQUE OF KANT’S MORAL WORLD VIEW : PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS.27 The only way to resolve this apparent contradiction is to believe that there is a future life during which we can continue to improve our virtue. individually or collectively. In fairness to Kant. Hegel barely attempts to follow the procedures required by his own method. Though we cannot rule out that it may come about by nature. to virtue.48 and that the highest good. we are committed to believing that God exists.37 we cannot understand how that could happen.25 Ought implies can.47 It also allows us to believe that the world is fundamentally moral. In short. due to a certain 4 .” especially bears marks of this fact.26 However. highly allusive. to judge people’s otherwise inscrutable worthiness.32 it is necessarily the end of all finite rational agents. We are always obligated to act out of respect for the moral law.42 omnibenevolence. ad infinitum.31 Happiness consists in the satisfaction of the sum of one’s inclinations.33 Virtue constitutes our worthiness to be happy. “The Moral World View. since happiness requires that nature cooperate with our desires.40 Kant wants to be sure that God is not thought to be under our power.50 III. on the basis of the merit he ascribes to us. if not impossible.45 Rational faith answers a need of practical reason to conceive of the possibility of achieving its ultimate object.38 Rationally willing an end commits one to willing that there be sufficient means. one cannot be obligated to do what one is incapable of doing. the highest good. Moreover. Therefore the highest good must be achievable. Thus it must be possible for us to perfect our virtue. actually to proportion happiness to virtue. it is very compressed. certainly not systematically.24 and we are obligated to perfect our virtue. Kant’s moral world view is breathtaking in its scope and ambition.51 Thus an informative interpretation of Hegel’s objections will require a charitable reconstruction.52 Fortunately.30 Kant argues that we must believe in God in order to understand how we could possibly fulfill our duty to bring about the highest good.46 This practical faith allows us to believe in divine grace and to hope for happiness in the afterlife.41) Properly proportioning happiness to virtue among all humanity would require omniscience and perfect justice. especially concerning God. happiness and virtue are not connected. If we could not conceive of the possibility of this end it would be difficult. to achieve that end. and omnipotence. and often enthymematic. in an act of grace. due to the frailty of human nature (and original sin). The chapter under consideration. to will to obtain it.39 (Means are resources that are in our power. There has been substantial controversy about just how to understand Kant’s arguments for the postulates. which would result if everyone did what he or she is obligated to do. evaluating Hegel’s objections will require considering Kant’s views and texts in some detail. actually achieving the highest good requires God. or at least conditions. to care for people’s welfare and happiness. faith can be neither compelled nor obligatory. The published Phenomenology of Spirit is basically Hegel’s first draft.36 Ought implies can. The end of proportioning happiness to virtue seems quite beyond human capacities.43 Therefore.34 The highest good consists in happiness proportioned to we could fulfill our duty to perfect our virtue.29 One of the prime advantages of Kant’s moral proof of God’s existence over other proofs is that it justifies ascribing moral characteristics to God. Virtue consists in always acting from this sole morally worthy motive.49 will ultimately come about. in our experience. it is impossible for us to perfect our virtue in this worldly life. What does Hegel make of it? Answering this question will take some effort. accepts our effort for the accomplishment itself.28 at least to the point where God. these controversies can be circumvented.35 We are obligated to achieve the highest good. that is. The highest good consists in a systematic connection of two heterogenous components. happiness and virtue. as the Kingdom of God on earth.44 Now Kant very much thinks that rational faith in God and immortality must be voluntary.

focusing on the conclusions and letting Kant have his arguments. Hegel’s obliquely phrased introduction to “the Moral World View” extols what amounts to autonomy. because it is fundamentally syncretic. dissemblance. and most important. Hegel lets Kant have his arguments and focuses on his conclusions and the world view they articulate.philosophical economy in Hegel’s analysis. I propose to leave Hegel’s charges of dissemblance. and that some of his conclusions are themselves incoherent. along with God and immortality. Kant’s idea about perfecting our virtue in an infinite progress is incoherent.61 One general way to think about Hegel’s objections is this. but given how Kant sets up the details of the problems. it would take a God to bridge the gulf. Kant’s view of the autonomy of moral agency 5 . First. Although some of Hegel’s objections are tendentious. Hegel’s usage is in line with Kant’s definition. and that ultimately Kant’s views are driven by envy.54 Given Kant’s definition of postulate. discussed below [§IV. hypocrisy. Kant himself labels numbers of other ideas “postulates. (The conformity of inclinations to duty concerns certain issues about the highest good. freedom. Consequently. be the arguments what they may. that Kant cannot really be earnest about any of it. Fourth. the postulates are usually regarded as pertaining strictly to God and immortality. Second. He argues that Kant’s conclusions form an inconsistent set. Hegel includes among the “postulates” the highest good and the conformity of inclinations to duty.” He refers to the “supreme principle of all moral laws” as a postulate.6]. and earnestness.” Along with God.56 Hegel asserts that Kant’s description of the cosmological argument as a “whole nest of dialectical contradictions” is most appropriate as a description of Kant’s own moral postulates. syncretism. Third. as well as the highest good and freedom. on inconsistencies in his views. This approach.59 Thus Hegel contends that Kant has not avoided the difficulties in other views which he sought to avoid. they must be faulty. Given the sharp Kantian gulf between the sensible spatio-temporal realm of nature and the intelligible realm of reason. hypocrisy. I will concentrate on five of his main objections to Kant’s practical metaphysics.) Hegel’s assessment of Kant’s moral world view is second in harshness only to Nietzsche’s. I will focus on Kant’s alleged syncretism. nor has he maintained the earnestness he values. Kant defines a “postulate of pure practical reason” as a theoretical proposition which is not as such demonstrable. but which is an inseparable corollary of an a priori unconditionally valid practical law. leads Hegel to label several of Kant’s tenets “postulates.57 He charges that Kant’s moral world view is rife with dissemblance. He suggests that although it appears that the Kantian moral world view has achieved autonomy.55 Practical postulates are factual propositions which cannot be proven theoretically. this expanded list is appropriate. verging on hypocrisy. However. Kant’s view of moral motivation is contrived. not even God can do the trick. that is. are not at all foreign to Kant’s views. and lack of earnestness aside. it in fact capitulates it.58 It is important to note that these critical terms.53 This may sound odd. Addressing this part of Hegel’s criticism would require a more elaborate reconstruction than can be undertaken here. Hegel’s charges of dissemblance largely rest on his view of the interrelations among Kant’s postulates. I also set aside much of Hegel’s contention that the root of the problems in Kant’s views is his dualism. and normative principles. Kant’s problem of coordinating happiness with virtue (as worthiness to be happy) is contrived.60 He then identifies the sharp division between sensible nature and intelligible norms and freedom both as the basis of the moral world view and as the ultimate root of its problems. but nonetheless are implied by moral imperatives as corollaries. he makes several interesting ones. he uses these terms repeatedly.

First. Kant claims. its significance is not so obvious. but resolving to act on the basis of respect for duty. contentment (which is a “negative” satisfaction). or self-approval. I will summarize the deep difficulties Hegel raised against Kant’s practical metaphysics. However. because we can decide to act out of respect for duty.68 Several times he insists that the feeling resulting from virtuous resolution cannot be a pleasure at all. and not any feelings resulting from successfully executing one’s action. In conclusion.67 A close look at the passages bearing on this point consistently reveal that Kant considers only the feelings attendant on the resolution of the will in view of the moral law. and I will show that the problems Hegel raised against Kant’s account of autonomy and moral motivation are still current. and successful moral action involves achieving the end required by one’s duty. or that one can find pleasure in exercising one’s rational ability to make moral judgments. since this requires the cooperation of nature. Assessing its significance will require examining what sorts of happiness or pleasure Kant thinks are.”66 This looks to be just the sort of pleasure Hegel claimed Kant denied. for example. I will consider each of these objections in this order (which differs from Hegel’s order). Following out these issues reveals some crucial features of Kant’s overall account of happiness and moral agency. for two reasons. Kant understands “fulfillment of duty” to consist. is not far to seek. It lies in his anti-naturalism. involves 6 . Nature itself is causally determined and amoral. Fifth. that one can take pleasure in the moral law itself. Moreover. and it shouldn’t require postulating either its merely metaphysical possibility or the supernatural condition (God) for its actualization. 1. KANT’S PROBLEM OF COORDINATING HAPPINESS WITH VIRTUE . so that we can’t like doing our duty or derive happiness from it at all. Acting virtuously is within our power.69 The source of Kant’s vacillation. Thus the problem of coordinating happiness with virtue shouldn’t be nearly so great as Kant describes. a satisfaction. by Onora O’Neill’s Constructions of Reason. Kant’s moral principles cannot be put into practice in concrete circumstances. The problem of coordinating happiness with virtue arises. a closer look shows that it is not. Kant wavers considerably about whether the feeling that results from resolving to act on the basis of duty counts as a positive pleasure. Kant asserts that there can be pleasure “in the fulfillment of duty. Consequently. which we did not create and over which we have at best contingent control. however.”70 Respect for the moral law. and the power who brings it about. Thus some power other than our own is required to proportion happiness to virtue. there must be a synthetic connection between them. Happiness generally consists in achieving one’s ends. It may seem that Kant either does or can admit that success in moral action is a source of happiness or pleasure. is “the idea of the agreement of an object or an action with the subjective conditions of life. and there is no analytic connection between virtue and happiness. on Kant’s view. not in successful action (which is Hegel’s concern). Pleasure.62 IV. and so will not coordinate virtue with happiness. Hegel’s first objection to this line of argument is that successful moral action itself produces happiness.63 Since there is a duty to achieve the highest good. Kant at one point admits.g. or are not involved in virtuous action. in part because it involves thwarting the inclinations. and the ultimate reason why he cannot regard virtue itself as a source of pleasure or happiness. but becoming happy is not. e.64 Though Hegel’s objection can be easily stated. since they have not been resolved. which causes pain. both the possibility of the highest inconsistent with viewing the moral law as a divine command. I treat these issues in the next eight sub-sections. or is instead something else.. can be. because there is no analytic connection between these two quite heterogenous components of the highest good. namely God. must be postulated.65 More directly to the point.

Hegel’s objection stresses the success in bringing about the very state of affairs required by one’s duty. then that action would in fact satisfy that (or those) inclination(s). even its own tribunal .74 3. but does not see itself even in part obtaining through its action the happiness from performance and from the enjoyment of achievement. Since Kant defines happiness in terms of satisfying inclinations. However. This is a quite distinct source of feeling from the one Hegel emphasizes in his objection. 2. he insists that Kant’s analysis conform to common sense (if it is common sense that successfully executing a morally motivated act is a source of pleasure). or self-approval (be it what it may) is a feeling that results from the resolution or the self-determination of the will to act on the basis of duty. are not simply formal systems. indeed. this argument is mistaken. It might seem that there is another obvious reason why Kant can’t allow that happiness results from successful moral action. and thus it would in fact result in some happiness or pleasure. it has its own law. or that. and he believes that this idea is not at all far-fetched. To act on the basis of duty is to act on a specific kind of motive. it is important to note that this source of pleasure or happiness is once again quite distinct from the source Hegel stresses in his first objection. (PG p.” Theories. It may seem that Hegel simply begs the question against Kant’s analysis. and thus a good will or virtuous motives must be a source of a kind of satisfaction other than happiness or pleasure. since inclinations are strictly to be ignored. finds. then the inclination can motivate a morally right action. 325. Hegel highlights this point by contrasting the attitudes towards action held by a Kantian moral agent and a (by Kantian standards) amoral agent. not the contingent collateral success in bringing about the object of an inclination.73 The flip side of this coin is that if a morally worthy action happens to be directed toward something that would satisfy one or more of the agent’s inclinations. then that action would in fact produce some happiness. though ex hypothesi it won’t produce a morally worthy one. successful moral action cannot result in happiness. and to resolve to act independently of any consideration of ends or consequences of one’s action. 71 The heterogeneity of happiness and virtue is thorough.31–34/M p. The feature in question shows the kinship of Hegel’s phenomenological method to Aristotle’s aim of “saving the phenomena. 366. it may happen that acting on duty also fulfills the end of an inclination. To appreciate this point requires understanding an important feature of the kind of “internal criticism” afforded by Hegel’s phenomenological method. its actualization where the [Kantian] moral consciousness sees merely an occasion for acting. at best. . If a morally motivated action also obtains the object of an inclination. Hegel makes a deeper point here. Thus it does not answer Hegel’s charge. Notice that this point is the obverse of the one Kant frequently makes that acting on inclination only contingently produces right acts. Precisely because moral motives are independent of ends. namely. if an inclination happens to be directed toward something that is also morally good.. Hegel states the contrast in the following way: The non-moral consciousness . Kant never admits that success in bringing about the state of affairs required by one’s duty is itself a source of happiness. they are devised in order 7 . even philosophical theories. perhaps by chance. that it is common-sensical. happiness that results from accomplishing what one resolved to do.. However. in comparison and contrast to which life and its enjoyment have absolutely no worth..13–17) Hegel himself believes that successful moral action can itself be a source of happiness.. Though this point is significant..72 Equally important for present purposes is the point that this satisfaction..respect for something entirely different from life. The majesty of duty has nothing to do with the enjoyment of life. contentment. As he explains. Kant sharply distinguishes acting on the basis of duty and acting on the basis of inclination.

that aimed merely at enjoyment? (KdU p. Hegel indicates one more reason why Kant can’t admit that successful moral action causes happiness or pleasure.e. happiness produced by successful moral action. Since the phenomenon in question. Clearing away this blindness reveals that there are some reasons to expect virtue and happiness to coincide in this world. For who indeed would want to start life over under the same conditions. in a passage that must have impressed Schopenhauer—and inspired Nietzsche’s response to Schopenhauer’s pessimism—Kant states: If the value that life has for us is assessed merely in terms of what we enjoy (i.) While “saving the phenomena” is an important philosophical desideratum. for as he says in the third Critique.”75 Kant never applied this general point to successful execution of a virtuous act. this wholesale definition of happiness occludes piecemeal sources or occurrences of pleasure or happiness. happiness. Kant most often defines happiness and pleasure specifically in terms of satisfying inclinations. It is somewhat surprising that Kant does not admit that successful morally motivated action is itself a source of happiness. at least in its analysis of action. He distinguishes two senses of “act. First. not in achieving ends (in general). An important feature of Hegel’s phenomenological method for critically examining a philosophical view “internally” is to examine how well that view accounts for the phenomena within its intended domain.. Why not? Four reasons may be found for this. 4. The fact that Kant cannot admit that happiness can result from successful morally motivated action shows that there is an inevitable blind-spot in Kant’s moral world view. and since transcendental idealism is not at all a common sense doctrine. Kant repeatedly defines the happiness that results from satisfying inclinations in terms of the total satisfaction of all inclinations throughout one’s life. and can only wish to be free of those agitating obstacles to virtue. despotic.79 Indeed. neither Aristotle nor Hegel hold that the phenomena are so sacrosanct as to exclude antecedently any revisionist accounts of them. The contingent collateral source of pleasure or happiness from virtuous action that Kant can admit (above. the other is the execution of the action enjoined by the maxim. then the answer is easy: that value falls below zero. it is little surprise that no single act of whatever sort can produce happiness! Third. Kant’s intentionalism throws success to the wind. §2) is extremely unlikely to be much more than a logical possibility. it is little surprise to find that it offers a revisionist account of the kinds of feelings that result from successful morally motivated action. account plausibly and as adequately as possible for an intended domain of phenomena. Kant quite decidedly comes to value intention over the consequences of acts.” One sense of act is the adoption of a maxim. namely. quite generally.81 This point raises several important issues. “[t]he attainment of an aim [Absicht] is always connected with the feeling of pleasure .76 Hence achieving the end of a virtuous act doesn’t and can’t naturally enter his list of sources of pleasure or happiness. and so deserves some consideration. or even under a plan . the natural purpose of the sum of all our inclinations). this Kantian revision of the phenomena is conjoined with several others and serves as a prop for Kant’s postulates. vice-breeding inclinations... Reason despises the burdensome. Second. (I cannot query here the extent to which it is an acknowledged phenomenon.82 The “fulfillment of duty” discussed 8 . This should be borne in mind when interpreting Hegel’s point about the satisfaction found in moral action. 434 note)80 On Kant’s view it is extremely unlikely that a virtuous action would also happen to result in satisfying an inclination. As Hegel shows.. is (at best) a common-sensical one. It is worth tracing out further the reasons why Kant’s revisionist account of motivation cannot admit that successful morally motivated action is itself a source of happiness.78 If happiness requires total satisfaction..77 As Hegel points out. according to Kant there is an extremely deep cleft between the requirements of duty and objects of inclination. For several related reasons. or even a phenomenon at all. that successful morally motivated action results in pleasure or happiness.

VIII). is. Moral theory is supposed to be a theory of action. and that it involves complete (or at least enormously high) happiness for each person. in terms of virtue.90 This goal of utter happiness for each of us is even more herculean than merely proportioning happiness to moral merit. the autonomous adoption of a maxim because of its conformity to duty. Happiness. an outcome which the world’s course will bring about? (R p. 6. This is Hegel’s reason for stating what Kant’s discussion implies. There is yet another way in which God is necessary to achieve the highest good. as he defined it. Kant insists that this intrinsic value is independent of the behavior that results from virtuously adopting a maxim. involves total satisfaction. but it is important to note how one revision of the phenomena involves another. What need have they to know the outcome of their moral actions and abstentions. Kant’s intentionalism slights action and the moral responsibility incurred by. For now it is enough to see that Kant’s wholesale definition of happiness and his intentionalism support his contention that achieving the highest good requires God. it becomes apparent in a shift in Kant’s definition of the highest good. This point turns on the causally determined nature of inclinations. but he claims that it accords with common sense.”85 Kant is quite serious about the moral irrelevance of the consequences of actions: All men could have sufficient incentive if (as they should) they adhered solely to the dictation of pure reason in the law. not to resolve it. their happiness. (Gr p.84 These considerations lead Kant to hold that the “fulfillment of duty consists in the form of the earnest will. 9 . The underlying issues. Our inclinations are given us by nature. and thus would be morally prohibited.above is an act of the first sort. at least in part. 394) Kant immediately admits that there is something strange about this idea. If happiness is wholesale satisfaction of inclinations. Kant makes plain that the highest good involves “universal” happiness. freedom of the will and performance of duties. Kant does not leave the matter there. one must be prepared to renounce one’s happiness if one lacks virtue. good in itself. there is a more specific reason why. Hegel disagrees. and if the consequences of moral action are only externally and quite contingently related to “the fulfillment of duty. Utter happiness morally requires totally permissible inclinations. namely. and the moral value involved in. is certainly herculean. since that behavior is only externally related to the act of adopting the maxim. As his discussion of the highest good unfolds. Kant consistently stresses the causal determinism of nature. including quite definitely behavior. achieving the highest good requires God.87 In this vein. Kant initially defines the highest good in terms of proportioning happiness to virtue. However.” then achieving happiness by coordinating nature with our inclinations is very far out of our hands. would be contrary to their worthiness to be happy. and this includes the causally determined nature of our psychological states. Kant remarks. the locus of moral worth. not in the intermediate causes for success. famously on Kant’s view.89 Now this high degree of distributive happiness requires that individuals have morally acceptable inclinations.83 The moral worth of an action is an intrinsic value. Adopting a maxim out of respect for law. Otherwise. given Kant’s analysis. behaving outwardly among other people. specifically. 6 note) This statement from the Religion recalls the second proposition of morality formulated in the Groundwork: A good will is not good because of what it effects or accomplishes—because of its fitness for attaining some proposed end: it is good through its willing alone—that is.86 Hegel follows the Greeks in finding freedom of the will in actual conduct. 7 note/G&H p. However. Now this is only to state an issue.88 The task simply of proportioning happiness to actual merit. come up again below (§§V. that Kant must postulate that the inclinations accord with virtue.

Kant admits. Hegel has shown. unless there is a God who created nature in such a way that our inclinations are in accord with the requirements of morality. As Hegel notes. after all.91 Since we do not create nature.such as our inclinations. deep. too. even at the apparent expense of their moral obligations. shows that the Kantian agent is interested in happiness itself regardless of merit. Taken together. that virtuous people often fare badly. his strong. Since it is not based on merit. that the immoral prosper. we do not determine the nature of our inclinations. if at all. If the Kantian moral agent did find fulfillment in successful individual moral acts. can only be an arbitrary opinion. but it looks more plausible when viewed in the context of Kant’s blindness to the piecemeal happiness that can result from successful moral action. What is to be made of Hegel’s objections? Hegel’s ad hominem corollaries may show that Kant himself was skewed in his assessment of the inclinations and the extent to which they are burdensome and at odds with virtue. and it’s utterly astounding to think that all or even most of one’s inclinations would be morally permissible.95 Hegel’s charge may seem harsh in the extreme. that any of one’s inclinations are morally permissible. perhaps. 8. that the development of Kant’s views is motivated by envy. would itself be a source of happiness.93 This conclusion can be reinforced by recalling Hegel’s point that the Kantian moral agent cannot view occasions for acting as opportunities to fulfill or actualize itself. the problem of proportioning happiness to virtue would not take on such gargantuan proportions as it does in Kant’s theory.94 Hegel contends that this idea cannot be justified by experience. if not excludes. and that foregoing happiness to be virtuous can make one morose and surly. Hegel recalls Kant’s claim. that moral theory ought to approach the doctrine of original sin cautiously. In this case. not as a matter of justice based on strict desert. and that God grants us happiness. and constantly reiterated cleft between inclinations and duty. Consequently. then s/he wouldn’t be looking for fulfillment in utter happiness in the afterlife.97 Hegel’s point that Kant’s theory systematically occludes. one can revise this part of Kant’s moral theory without altering either its principles or its theory of action. and second. Hegel’s second charge. whatever those ends may be. Hegel then infers that to hope for happiness in this way. while immoral people prosper. these points give strong grounds to warrant Hegel’s suspicion that Kant is envious of those who are happy. Lessening the 10 . sheer coincidence. an opinion that must result from envy of those who are happier. his vacillating opinion about whether happiness might result from virtuous decisions. but as a matter of grace.92 7. first. is based on the first. Astounding. and his ultimate contention that God grants us happiness as a matter of grace (rather than desert). the happiness (or at least the pleasure) that might result from successful moral action carries more weight. allegedly based on ample experience. Thus the judgment. precisely because Kant claims that everyone’s virtue is imperfect. If one took a broader view of happiness as the result of successfully attaining one’s ends. Thus it’s a matter of pure luck. Seeing that Kant’s doctrine of the highest good involves such extremes allows us to understand (if not to endorse) the sense of two corollaries Hegel draws concerning Kant’s view of happiness. that he’s ultimately concerned with happiness regardless of merit. this is one of the reasons Kant must look to God to co-ordinate the supersensible realm of the substrate of nature and the supersensible realm of morality. that his desire for happiness is boundless. At best. that Kant’s views are motivated by envy. God’s decision to grant us grace can only be arbitrary—not a moral decision at all. that is.96 From such feelings as these it is but a short step to envy those who enjoy themselves. However. that Kant is concerned with happiness regardless of merit. in view of our moral imperfection. Hegel recalls Kant’s view that human frailty inevitably results in imperfect virtue. that is. there can be no such simple division and comparison between distinct groups of morally virtuous and morally vicious people. our lack of desert. I discuss these two points in turn. based on accepting our sincere but defective efforts to be virtuous in place of moral perfection. then successful moral action.

This is a matter of enjoying one’s effectiveness as an agent and enjoying having brought about the state of affairs one intended.103 2. Since Kant’s requirement of doing one’s duty solely because it is a duty abstracts from all ends. Finally. of itself. the end of enjoying one’s competence. because all action is motivated by sensuous impulses and inclinations. Hegel believes that there is always a quite general end to any human action. performing an action solely because it is a duty. Hegel’s second objection concerns Kant’s views on moral motivation. but it is not to defend his objection. First. is impossible. V. and that respect for the moral law is sufficient. To say this much is to explain what Hegel is driving at.99 It may seem that Hegel simply begs the question against Kant’s view of motivation. but Hegel raises it without settling it here.104 Kant’s account of moral motivation is designed to fit the quite narrow requirements of his transcendental idealism. because reasons for acting always concern ends. by denying what Kant maintains.101 If Hegel is right about this. our inclinations. One of Kant’s main reasons for defending transcendental idealism is to defend the possibility and the actuality of human freedom and responsibility in the face of the causal determinism of nature. KANT’S VIEW OF MORAL MOTIVATION .102 It is impossible because such an abstraction would leave us with no reason to act. Has Hegel simply begged the question. and performed in view of ends. including our psychology. If we did nevertheless act. Then I’ll sketch some of the metaphysical disagreements between Kant and Hegel that underlie this issue. This is an important issue. In addition to any specific ends. Hegel is also right to point out that on Kant’s account of moral action. 11 . Kant offers a systematically revisionist account of human motivation based on his transcendental idealism.100 If we take Hegel’s method into account it is not hard to see that there is a good deal more to be said on Hegel’s behalf. As Hegel notes. Hegel’s first objection concerned coordinating moral motives with external nature so as to afford happiness. Hegel’s next two objections concern coordinating moral principles with internal nature. It is worthwhile to reconstruct this objection. they are required for any self-conscious human agent to actualize itself when acting on principle. of course. for it is fundamental to Hegel’s charge that Kant’s categorical imperative is empty. and the ends of action cannot be sharply distinguished in the way Kant’s analysis requires. weakens Kant’s grounds for such strong postulates as those of immortality and God. I will proceed in three stages. then Kant’s contention that we must abstract from all ends and determine our acts solely on the formal requirements of the conformity of a maxim to moral lawfulness. and that there are various ends sought in any action. He contends that humans act on the basis of the ends they seek to achieve. 1. In this regard. acting virtuously cannot be a matter of actualizing one’s nature. Hegel believes that motives. antecedently. motivated. as causes of action. our action could not be specified on the basis of pure dutifulness. namely. I’ll develop Hegel’s line of objection in a manner more internal to Kant’s views by showing that Kant ultimately holds that mixed motives are inevitable.proportions of this task. since (Hegel contends) actions are always conceived. Hegel is right that Kant’s metaphysical dualism generates a genuine problem for his account of the rewards of moral agency. to motivate us to act. in order to allow for action and for virtue. Kant’s official view is that we can resolve to act independently of any inclinations. a uniform account of motivation is strongly to be preferred. that we can abstract from all ends when deciding what to do? What can be said to justify Hegel’s objection? One point is straightforward. Hegel’s claim that all motivation must involve our sensibility is a reminder that. respectively.98 Hegel contends that the alleged independence from inclinations of moral decision and motivation is belied in action. intended. it cannot have any content at all. I’ll sketch how this objection pertains to Hegel’s charge that the categorical imperative is empty.

In particular. Has Hegel anything to offer on this count in this book? Indeed he has. Perhaps we might 12 . of the applicability of basic categorial concepts to the objects we experience. however. This concedes. Hegel purports to justify these claims while dispensing with the claims. but that no one can. Part of Kant’s defense of transcendental idealism rests on his claim that only transcendental idealism can provide a deduction. number. it is also an “inevitable determining ground” [unvermeidlicher Bestimmungsgrund] of their wills. it means present and effective in every resolution.111 However. of both functional and purposive varieties. not merely that no one ever does act solely from the motive of duty. or else he must admit that we are not obligated to act exclusively on the motive (determining ground) of respect for law. he also thought that those issues have to do with autonomy. substance. then transcendental idealism is not required to defend freedom. central to Kant’s transcendental idealist deduction. and Kant’s bifurcation between the sole rational motive of respect and all other motives collapses. This formal universality requires that ends are not among the determining grounds of our virtuous resolutions to act. To say all this is. I treat them in turn. Kant himself doubts whether we can abstract from all ends and inclinations in the way required by his account of moral motivation. 3. and not even to begin to settle those debates. that is. Consequently. Hegel’s direct criticisms of Kant’s arguments for transcendental idealism are not made in the Phenomenology. where they are inappropriate. in the sense of rationally giving ourselves our own ends. where our being conscious of such objects requires that we identify and individuate them by applying concepts of identity. that space and time are merely forms of our sensible intuition.107 However. Hegel further contends that transcendental idealism can’t defend freedom because Kant’s arguments to defend transcendental idealism are inadequate.108 The entire Phenomenology of Spirit provides Hegel’s alternative deduction of basic categorial concepts to the objects we experience.110 He repeatedly warns us about the impermissibility and the dangers of acting on mixed motives.106 If Hegel is right about this. and cause and effect to them. Kant’s official view about motivation is that the sole proper determining ground for morally worthy action is respect for the formal universality of the moral law. Kant either must rescind his crucial principle that ought implies can (and conversely). a justification. This has some serious implications for his own analysis. then he has strong grounds at this point for objecting to Kant’s transcendental idealist account of moral motivation. only to sketch the context of Hegel’s disagreement with Kant.105 Hegel regarded the metaphysical conflict between freedom and determinism as basically a pseudo-problem generated by importing mechanical accounts of causality into the domain of action.113 A determining ground is not simply a motivating consideration that one might ignore.Is transcendental idealism required to defend freedom and responsibility? Can it defend them? Hegel’s answers to these questions can only be suggested here.109 Most importantly for the present point. Kant also admits that happiness is not only the necessary end of finite rational beings. While Hegel thought that this antinomy concerns genuine issues. in the first six chapters Hegel purports to prove that we can be self-conscious if and only if we are conscious of perceptible spatio-temporal causally interacting substances. mixed motives defile and impair the strength and superiority of reason and they can lead to hypocrisy. and the quite severe revisions of the phenomena of motivation it involves.112 “Inevitable” doesn’t simply mean frequent or strong. Thus Kant’s admission that happiness is always a determining ground (though not the sole determining ground) of the human will is an admission that mixed motives are the best that can ever be expected of humans. A determining ground is a motivating consideration that enters into one’s resolution. If Hegel has made his case in those earlier parts of the Phenomenology. Understanding and explaining action requires teleological explanation. Transcendental idealism defends freedom by purporting to solve the antinomy between freedom and determinism. which would completely undo his postulates. Can anything be said here to justify Hegel’s objection against Kant? Indeed so.

whether we can completely abstract from all ends when determining the will. There is thus all the more reason to hope.114 Furthermore. Duty alone is insufficient in such circumstances to determine the will. These consequences of Kant’s view were to be expected in view of his claim that no mixed will is in fact capable of “holiness. if an end is necessary for determining the will to act (as Kant states). If it is our duty to promote or achieve this end. The highest good may be given independently of any particular inclinations. sympathy. which allegedly is an a priori end. they make it possible for us to determine what to do on the basis of duty alone. not in the material of this end. Such an action may not strictly speaking be from inclination (given the technicalities of Kant’s analysis of decision). but such an action nevertheless is not performed without that inclination either. but we cannot be obligated utterly to eliminate considerations of selflove. indeed. then Kant’s analysis of autonomy is inapplicable to human beings. This conclusion is underscored by Kant’s gloss on “end” in this same passage. If this is true. we have and must have inclinations.119 This means that without a genuine anticipation of the material end of becoming happy. then considerations of the formal universality of law do not suffice to determine the human will. inconsistency concerning. Kant admits that the “subjective condition” under which we can set ourselves this end is obligated to minimize considerations of self-love and to maximize considerations of duty in determining what to do.” namely the highest good.”122 Allison’s interpretation is subtle. but it is not and cannot be given independently of inclinations altogether. In this way.”116 This cannot be right. as Kant ultimately has to postulate (though he denies it 13 . we would not be able to resolve to pursue the morally obligatory end of the highest good.”121 Henry Allison contends that Kant’s remarks to this effect should be taken to mean that sympathetic feelings ought to be used to counterbalance our tendency to subordinate duty to self-love.118 This conclusion is not affected by the fact that Kant claims that the highest good is an obligatory end.117 However the relation between the highest good and our inclinations ultimately is reconstructed. since it is formulated on the basis of recognizing that as finite biological creatures.123 Kant’s admissions on these counts are tantamount to conceding Hegel’s point that Kant’s account of the virtuous a priori motive of respect for the formal universality of the moral law is deeply flawed since no human resolution to act occurs without at least the cooperation of sensuous inclinations. Kant holds that legislative reason can check the influence of the inclinations “only by another end. However.” of nothing but morally worthy self-determinations. the morally worthy motive to do so lies in the formal universality of its maxim. sympathy enables the motive of duty to be decisive for our action. namely. Kant’s admission that only another end can check the influence of the inclinations on our decision is crucial because it indicates Kant’s own doubts about. that ends are grounds that determine the will to act. However.120 This same conclusion may be reached by another route.115 Kant claims that this end is given “independently of the inclinations. Only in this sense do such feelings enable us to do what “the thought of duty alone would not accomplish. There are two distinct points at issue: Is the motive of duty the sole determining ground of the will? Is the motive of duty a sufficient determining ground of the will? Allison’s interpretation makes it conceivable that in the circumstances in question. in order that the balance of interest (not of “weight”) can be shifted by our allegedly pure interest in duty. such feelings are not themselves directly motivating. his interpretation does not make it conceivable that in such cases duty is a sufficient motive. By counter-acting a countervailing motive. Therefore. This admission underscores the insufficiency of formal considerations of duty for determining the human will’s decision to act. In connection with the general duty to develop one’s sympathetic feelings Kant remarks that sympathy is “one of the impulses which nature has implanted in us so that we may do what the thought of duty alone would not accomplish. but inadequate. Determining ourselves to do something in these circumstances still requires the co-operation of an inclination.

127 Does sensibility drop out of our nature. is defined in terms of overcoming the “obstacles” of the inclinations. whether by nature or by grace. This stronger obligation does require that we continue to exist indefinitely. Consider next the Kantian obligation to improve our virtue continually and indefinitely. so that we are not obligated to achieve it.124 VI. so that it’s no longer clear what happens. Hegel may have ignored this move because he realized that this weakening of our alleged duty directly undermines Kant’s grounds for the postulates. sensuously affected will can perfect its virtue. KANT’S IDEAL OF THE INFINITE PERFECTIBILITY OF VIRTUE . we would no longer be mixed wills and we would no longer have obligations. but not to perfect. and that we can be virtuous indefinitely. instead of doing all we can to bring the highest good into existence (where we might fulfill this duty while falling far short of completely achieving the highest good).empirically). we as mixed wills inevitably have only imperfect virtue. and so cannot either improve or degrade it. If there is a contradiction.125 Virtue. once Kant admits that the ideal of perfect virtue cannot be fulfilled. weakening the duty to improve our virtue destroys altogether Kant’s ground for the postulate of immortality. there are no particular grounds to assume that we are obligated to improve our virtue indefinitely. if sensibility dropped out of our nature. it is between the alleged duty to perfect our virtue and the alleged fact that no finite. Consider first an alternative obligation simply to improve our virtue. sensuously affected will could do to achieve the supreme condition of the highest good. due to our sensibility. However. Can Kant’s postulate be saved by this weakening of our obligation? The answer is negative. rather than that we are obligated to improve our virtue so long as we are alive. our inclinations. A future life is no help to those who aspire to perfect their virtue. if sensibility were to drop out of our nature. either. in order to be virtuous. Kant’s strongest ground for supposing that we must improve our virtue indefinitely is that this would be the maximum any finite.126 Consequently. since it rests on the duty to perfect (not simply to improve) our virtue. and focuses on the premises that purportedly ground this postulate. Furthermore. that our inclinations are largely in accord with duty. Consequently. Kant’s views entail that after death we are altogether incapable of virtue. Consequently. which is perfect virtue. so that we are obligated indefinitely to improve. and that. we could not be virtuous (much less perfect our virtue). or does virtue remain inevitably imperfect?128 Hegel is right that postponing perfection indefinitely does not resolve this dilemma. Admitting that the duty to improve our virtue is (in this regard) a broad duty deflates the mainstay of Kant’s purported obligation to achieve the highest good.129 This is Kant’s reply to Hegel’s objection. then he can no longer plausibly maintain (what was implausible to begin with) that the duty to achieve the highest good is a strict duty and thus requires that we actually achieve it. and virtue is only made evident by overcoming those obstacles. These premises are that we are obligated to perfect our virtue. our virtue. However. Hegel’s objection charitably leaves immortality itself aside. Hegel charges that Kant avoids this contradiction between the obligation to perfect our virtue and virtue’s essential relation to—and its inevitable deficiency due to—sensibility by projecting the perfection of virtue infinitely into the future. Kant’s solution to this difficulty is to weaken our obligation. we could only perfect our virtue if sensibility dropped out of our nature. Hegel charges that Kant’s idea of perfecting our virtue ad infinitum is incoherent. Kant himself indicates that immortality requires dualism 14 . Such an obligation does not require immortality. The reasons why are straightforward. However. however. Hegel’s third objection concerns a different problem of coordinating duty with our internal nature. virtue is exhibited in overcoming those obstacles. However. this purported dilemma is really a trilemma. Hegel argues. Let’s see why. We can fulfill this obligation during our worldly life.

VII.. and certainly no occasions on which we could collect evidence of our moral disposition. and so also not of an indefinite improvement in our virtue. Kant’s philosophy cannot hold out the hope of happiness in the future life. though perhaps it is understandable in view of the fact that Kant never. not even once. 84. (KdpV p. and no evidence of virtue after death. p.) Since virtue consists in always acting out of respect for the moral law. comes close to acknowledging this point when he admits that respect for the law cannot be attributed to a . Thus Hegel’s specific objection is tendentious.138 We shall return to this problem of applying the categorical imperative in practice in connection with Hegel’s fifth objection (§VIII).130 Our sensibility and our animality are functions of our body.136 There is some language in Kant on which to hang this objection. no exhibition of virtue.131 Since virtue is defined.of mind (or soul) and body. Indeed. afford the occasion for what the moral disposition in its power can manifest. Kant.. any being freed from sensibility by death cannot be virtuous.137 However. man’s sensuous nature and the natural inclinations arising therefrom . Kant states “.. much less whether we can either improve our virtue or be happy after death. It’s worth pointing out the corollary that there can be no happiness in a future life either. and made evident only in overcoming inclinations. while God is responsible for the sanctity of specific duties. while the moral agent is responsible for the sanctity of specific duties.. Hegel’s fourth and main objection to Kant’s moral world view is that Kant’s analysis of moral autonomy is inconsistent with viewing the moral law as a divine command. indeed. because we can only gather evidence of our moral disposition over time as we see how we react to moral challenges. 76. to lead from the supreme principle of practical reason to specific duties in specific circumstances. then upon bodily death there would be no further occasions for virtue. (1) The moral agent is responsible for the sanctity of the sole moral law. his philosophy cannot hold our the promise even of a future life. I will reconstruct Hegel’s basic objection. exhibited. THE MORAL LAW . and adds that we need to represent our prospect as consisting of a future life in which we improve our moral disposition. namely. Kant defines happiness in terms of satisfying inclinations. and certainly not systematic in the way Hegel alleges.. In the Religion. Therefore no post mortem existence can have any bearing on one’s over-all virtue. AUTONOMY . AND DIVINE COMMAND .”133 If this is so. (2) God is responsible for the sanctity of the supreme practical principle... 15 . since to such a being there could be no obstacle to practical reason. Hegel charges that Kant vacillates between two opposed views concerning the relation between the supreme practical principle and specific duties. that God determines the nature of our moral disposition at an intuitive glance. After some remarks about this more specific objection. free from all sensibility. Kant develops the idea first stated in the second Critique. or at least that he needs..132 This modification won’t save Kant’s position. virtue . and our inclinations are a function of our sensibility or animality. spells out in any detail the kind of over-all “practical syllogism” he must have in mind.. then we do not have the definite grounds required by the Critical philosophy to suppose that we are agents after death. if we cannot conceive clearly of what our agency is like after death. being . or on our evidence for it. then they cannot be satisfied after death. cf. If the inclinations die along with the body. there can be no virtue.135 This basic objection is expressed in the midst of another more specific one concerning Kant’s view of the relation of the supreme principle of practical reason and particular duties.134 At the very least. Kant’s remarks about this issue are not systematic..

each of these is inconsistent with his analysis of autonomy. To put this problem into the context of Kant’s postulates.147 To view the moral law as a divine command is to view obedience as commanded by God (even if God does not formulate the law). by portraying God as wielding promises and threats in order to enjoin acting on the moral law. regarding both its content and its obligation. they are commands to obey. such as the sense of gratitude for our existence that might overtake us at a relaxed moment amidst the beauties of nature. Without using the term itself. We neither need nor can allow any other party or source to tell us what the moral law requires. and to duties as divine commands.144 Unfortunately for Kant’s moral world view. the syncretic contradiction is this: The moral law commands absolutely and sufficiently and we obey it autonomously.146 Dismissing these remarks as unCritical slips of the pen will not save Kant’s moral world view. for even his official critical doctrines violate his analysis of autonomy. these claims are ultimately inconsistent with Kant’s own analysis of moral autonomy. and capacity to act from. and on that basis we can resolve and motivate ourselves to act. the categorical imperative “is to be conceived as the law of your own will and not of will in general.142 Another is to provide support for our possibly wavering commitment to achieve the highest good. we can determine by our own reasoning what duty requires. To achieve the highest good. five times in the second Critique. which could also be the will of another. He rejects the idea of deriving the content of the moral law from ideas about the divine will. (R p. once in the Groundwork. four times in the Tugendlehre. nor of an incentive other than the law itself. for him to do his duty. or that performing our duties is obligatory.139 What is Kant driving at? There are two principles of divine command Kant officially eschews. and 20 times in the Religion. Kant succinctly states the nature of moral autonomy at the beginning of the Preface to the first edition of the Religion: So far as morality is based upon the conception of man as a free agent who. These motives are the antithesis of moral autonomy. He expresses this view at least once in the first Critique. is inconsistent with autonomy. Autonomy involves regarding one’s own reason as legislating the moral law. just because he is free. to the moral law as a divine command. though in a more subtle manner. for him to apprehend his duty. As he states in the Tugendlehre.143 A third is to provide support for our possibly wavering sense of. which would be an illicit transcendent enterprise.140 He also rejects the idea of deriving the binding force of moral obligations from divine threats and rewards. or the sense of humility when we realize that we have violated our duty. or the sense of obedience when we put off pressing affairs in order to fulfill our obligations. Yet Kant also holds that God is the holy law-giver of the moral law and that the moral law or duty may and should be viewed as a divine command. Despite Kant’s efforts to finesse the point. To view the moral law as commanded by anyone other than oneself. Kant frequently refers to God as a holy law-giver. autonomous moral agents. I treat these two points in turn. as Hegel does. we must (or.”145 Kant blatantly violates this crucial feature of moral autonomy several times. One is to allow for an expansive moral feeling. or to motivate our performance of duties. respect for the moral law. 3/G&H p.141 Kant’s official view of divine legislation is designed to do three things. Commands enjoin actions. and none of Kant’s attempts to finesse the point are adequate. we can) postulate God as the sufficient additional condition to achieve the 16 . 3) Precisely because we are free. even if that other being is God. The moral law commands that we achieve the highest good. it stands in need neither of the idea of another being over him. Kant’s attempt to wed his account of moral autonomy to an account of divine command makes his moral world view syncretic. six times in the third.Nevertheless Hegel has identified a serious problem. binds himself through his reason to unconditioned laws. in both early and late Critical writings.

together with our obvious insufficiency to achieve this lofty end. with its rewards or punishments. and the inconsistency is not alleviated if we reach this portrayal. not a commander of the moral law.. because this would conflict with its own autonomy. is God to be the ratio essendi? If Kant portrayed God simply as the remaining sufficient condition for achieving the highest good. rational or otherwise. Of what. At best.151 This is Hegel’s point in claiming that Kantian moral consciousness cannot be serious about the holiness of the absolute being. or else violate the highest. Indeed. None of this either requires or allows that God commands the moral law. and it is syncretic. then. and to bring just that amount of happiness to them. because it is inconsistent with the archimedean point of Kant’s moral argument. This ploy is a failure. this distinction clarifies Hegel’s objection.149 It is not even consistent to postulate God as an omnicompetent executioner (following final judgment). 90–1. To portray God as the ratio essendi of the obligation to obey the moral law (and this is what it must mean on Kant’s view to view the moral law as a divine command) is to capitulate moral autonomy. we shall not look upon actions as obligatory because they are commands of God. or else admit that his arguments for God specifically exclude God’s alleged attributes of commander of the moral law and executor of divine judgment.highest good. This last step is the capitulation of autonomy that agitates Hegel. Kant is overly optimistic when he claims that his argument can justify “all the transcendental attributes” of God. by recognizing our inward obligation to the moral 17 . 122/G&H pp. 112) This is proper Critical doctrine. Kant’s moral argument shows that God is omnipotent. Thus it is no surprise that Kant does not leave the matter there. (KdrV A819/B847.” as Kant qualifies this knowledge. omnipresent.. indeed. R pp. in the way this passage suggests. Though one of the merits of Kant’s moral argument is that it justifies ascribing moral perfections to God. Kant proposes to avoid heteronomy by not deriving the bindingness of duties from divine command. “from a practical point of view.150 Kant either must give up his analysis of autonomy. for this would lead us to act. in the sense of ordering obedience to it. are the ratio cognoscendi of God’s existence. as Kant himself insists. To be consistent with autonomy. This is inconsistent with autonomy. that it is permissible to postulate the existence of God because it is not contradictory to do so. but shall regard them as divine commands because we have an inward obligation to them. obligation of the philosopher: consistency. He repeatedly portrays God as the commander or the legislator of the moral law. To regard moral laws as divine commands is to regard them as enjoined by God. Kant cannot be rescued from this contradiction by appealing to his distinction between the ratio cognoscendi and the ratio essendi of the moral law. To regard duties as enjoined by God is to regard their bindingness as deriving from God. his whole moral theory: our alleged self-legislative moral autonomy. as Kant occasionally does. and omniscient. we regard the moral law as a divine command). In the first Critique Kant states the following: So far . cf. This step goes considerably beyond anything Kant’s argument justifies. Hegel points out that it is equally misleading to say. 99. but not as a legislator or commander. from fear of divine punishment or hope of reward in the hereafter but not from respect for law.148 It would be consistent with Kant’s premises about pure reason and morality to postulate God as an omnicompetent judge. God should be viewed at most as a co-worker for the highest good. and to preserve autonomy by regarding the inherently obligatory nature of duties as the basis for regarding them as if they were divine commands. There would also be no complete theology. The duty to achieve the highest good. if most demanding.152 Let’s look more closely at this conflict. for the reasons just rehearsed. and. as practical reason has the right to serve as our guide. there would be no inconsistency. These qualities are allegedly necessary to know who deserves how much happiness. We regard God as commanding the moral law (or.

154 So long as the idea of God includes the ideas of divine command. the stronger ground of obligation takes precedence. that would seem to be merely an incompleteness of. that God makes up for what we cannot accomplish in achieving the highest good. or. or portraying the moral law as a divine command. as Kant would have it. If respect for duty cannot be conceived apart from God. or punishment. VIII. judgment. Certainly the ethics of moral autonomy do not lead to Christian ethics in any traditional sense. only conflicts among opposed grounds of obligation. However. Yet these are precisely the divine attributes that are most important to Kant. Any specific case of moral action occurs in specific.157 The root of the problem very likely is this: Kant finds it very hard to conceive of respect independently of the concepts of God as a moral legislator and of the moral law as a divine command. actual circumstances of moral action as such involve a variety of morally relevant factors.162 just as strict duties take precedence over broad ones. that “absolute” duties take precedence over “conditional” ones. because any actual case is complex in ways that cannot be handled by the categorical imperative. and how much difficulty he had recognizing his mistake.155 Indeed. This multitude of morally relevant factors engenders a “manifold moral relationship” on the part of the agent to those circumstances. then it is not merely Kant’s over-all moral world view that is incoherent. Hegel is right that Kant is mistaken that ethics leads to religion. more carefully. his ethical theory. it will also not do. and if respect is incoherent. reward. Hegel argues as follows. but his very concept of autonomy itself. In this connection it is worth noting that it is dishonest of Kant to introduce God as the remaining sufficient condition for achieving the highest good. about conflicting grounds of obligation.156 and then to say that the real point of postulating God is to support our frail ability to act from respect for duty and our wavering commitment and efforts to achieve what portion of the highest good we ourselves can bring about. that and consequently portraying duties as if they were divine commands. CONCRETE CASES OF ACTION AND MULTIPLE OF GROUNDS OF OBLIGATION .”159 If it is not possible to conceive of respect independently of these concepts. as an idea useful for upholding our moral resolve. then the very concept of respect is incoherent.153 This makes plain how frequently Kant transcended his own Critical principles by portraying God as a moral law-giver. Autonomy is the power of acting out of respect for the moral law. to claim that in postulating God we aren’t making any objective claim about what really exists. it’s hard to regard this alleged being as God. Has Hegel’s objection 18 . if the idea of ‘God’ does not include these attributes. but are only basing an idea on subjective grounds. Finally.161 and he expresses nothing but confidence about cases of conflicting duties. At one point Kant indicates. In such cases. Hegel’s fifth objection is that Kant’s moral theory cannot come to terms with actual cases of action. obviously enough. concrete circumstances. the idea of God is inconsistent with moral autonomy and so cannot be used to support our autonomy. and not an embarrassment for.163 Now Hegel’s argument can easily be restated in terms of conflicting grounds of obligation.158 This thought surely lies behind Kant’s repeated descriptions (starting at least in the Groundwork) of the moral law and of duty as “holy.160 Is Kant’s moral theory embarrassed by concrete cases? Should it be? Why? Kant recognizes that cases of action may involve a variety of duties. Because they are specific. This multitude of morally relevant factors and the morally complex relation of the agent to present circumstances engenders a variety of distinct duties which “embarrass” the Kantian moral agent in any specific circumstance of action. so is Kant’s analysis of autonomy. and Kant doesn’t explain how we are to determine the relative strength of grounds of obligation. Kant’s official view in the Tugendlehre is that there can be no conflicts of duties.

Kant raises these and similar kinds of casuistical questions in several sections of the Tugendlehre. but this information is of limited help if we aren’t also informed about how to distinguish between suicide and political martyrdom. Hegel’s criticism points out that the connection between moral principle.”170 How precisely can Kant specify narrow duties? Kant never explains. or between morally reprehensible lying and permissible. socially expedient “white” lies that deceive no one. without giving the slightest indication of how to proceed in answering them. Kant stresses repeatedly that moral laws are categorical and that acting on them is unconditionally necessary. Even if he wasn’t embarrassed by this. in view of how conditional that necessity becomes when applied to 19 . for it shows that the specification of duties must be quite sensitive to circumstances.167 Kant provides no critique of moral judgment. as Hegel stresses. and maturity. any dutiful act is a specific act in quite specific circumstances. Kant is on solid ground in claiming that applying rules cannot be fully determined by rules. What can Kant say about applying his principles to concrete cases? First. innocent. Hegel is right to point out that Kant overestimates how much is accomplished in moral theory by working out only its pure a priori principles. Now broad or meritorious duties allow considerable latitude in deciding just how much to do and when to do it. Even if Kant’s answer is that the relevant description is contained in the agent’s maxim.166 Similarly. however. suicide and lying. Kant basically throws up his hands in the face of the very questions he poses.169 This is because. that Kant’s categorical imperative reduces to preaching duty for duty’s sake. so sensitive that Kant’s claims about the categorical nature of duties and the unconditional necessity of acting on them could only be sustained by packing the antecedents of the statements formulating those duties with a enormous number of conditions. and the nature of those circumstances are essential to the moral character of the act. the critique of teleological judgment needs to determine “maxims” for guiding judgments of objective purposiveness. It is a fine thing if the categorical imperative can determine that suicide or lying are wrong.164 Hegel’s objection poses the problem of relevant descriptions under which actions are performed. nor does it instruct the agent about how to assess these different factors. this is an embarrassment for his theory. In his casuistical questions concerning two perfect duties to oneself.165 What role does the Critical Philosophy play in guiding judgment? Unlike general logic. training. leveled in the Philosophy of Right. may be much more contingently related to right action than Kant ever realized. and not their application to specific circumstances. and even the virtuous resolution to act on moral principle.174 and it makes clear that Kant’s claim about the categorical necessity of acting from duty is at best tenuous. while acting from duty leaves no doubt about the rightness of the action. at least in the negative sense of rules for avoiding errors. however that is best done in your circumstances. Actions that fulfill duties of virtue “cannot be specified after the manner of narrow duty. it is very difficult to maintain that moral laws are categorical and that acting on them is unconditionally necessary if one cannot say precisely what one categorically and unconditionally ought to do. This point takes much of the force out of Kant’s claim that acting on inclination is only contingently related to right action.” Kant’s treatment of casuistical questions lends support to Hegel’s charge. he simply reiterates that moral judgment requires practice.171 At the very least.172 Kant’s response to this charge is that his project concerned the metaphysical foundations and principles of ethics. transcendental logic must include rules of judgment. even in ignorance of the ways of the world.173 Hegel’s objection makes clear.misfired? No. but requires exercising trained judgment. This task is lightened by the fact that transcendental logic concerns a priori relations of cognitive judgments to objects. this does nothing to insure that the agent has taken all the relevant factors into account. This threatens to reduce the categorical necessity of Kantian obligations to the following: “Respect persons as beings with dignity. However. indeed. that Kant must retract some of his optimistic claims in the Groundwork about how the Categorical Imperative can function as a compass to guide our action.168 The problem is this.

Hegel showed that they couldn’t be. or are external to it. but that will require distinguishing between the spirit and the letter of Kant’s philosophy. IX. and can only motivate themselves to perform their duty.concrete circumstances. Hegel’s critique of Kant’s moral world view takes up issues in the Critical Philosophy’s practical metaphysics along with issues much more specific to Kant’s moral theory. they set an agenda of problems that still need to be resolved by contemporary proponents of Kantian ethics. be practical. Kant’s moral world view is syncretic and therefore untenable. because Kant’s contrast between hypothetical and categorical imperatives fundamentally concerns the issue of whether motives or reasons to obey the moral law are “internal” or intrinsic to the moral law. it is worth noting that Kant himself admits that agnosticism [Zweifelglaube] serves as well as practical faith for supporting one’s fundamental moral maxim. since a complete concept of God is inconsistent with moral autonomy. If this dichotomy is not exhaustive.181 Hegel’s criticisms of Kant’s ethical theory considered here are less decisive.177 Hegel endorses motivational internalism. in terms of the ends enjoined by their duty. Kant has another response to Hegel’s charge that taking specific circumstances into account makes duties conditionally rather than categorically necessary: This conditionality is irrelevant to the main issue. “What may I hope?”180 There may well be a way to reformulate the Critical philosophy so as to avoid Hegel’s objections. A brief look at Onora O’Neill’s 20 .176 Kant rejects externalism by rejecting hypothetical imperatives as the basis of the moral law. He infers that there must be such a motive because all willing requires a motive and his analysis of the formal universality of the categorical imperative abstracts from all ends or “material” of the will. Even if Hegel’s suspicion on this count ultimately is not borne out. then Kant is wrong to claim that we can act solely out of respect for the formal universality of a dutiful maxim. which promised success in previously fraught metaphysical conundrums. because a rationalist solution to this issue is necessary to show that reason can. Though many of them need reconstruction. are seriously compromised. Kant must then find other grounds for defending motivational internalism. This is a devastating blow to the Critical philosophy. Hegel’s criticisms of Kant’s accounts of respect and the necessity and specificity of the Categorical Imperative challenge Kant’s cleft between reason and sensibility and the extent to which the grounds of obligation are purely a priori and context-independent. is that once duties are specified concretely enough to act on them. Hegel’s suspicion. Hegel claims that the moral world view collapses internally and is rescinded even by its proponent ‘form of consciousness’. his stress on the circumstantial conditionality of duties shows that Kant’s dichotomy between categorical and hypothetical imperatives is probably not exhaustive. However. Consequently. it will be found that agents can only conceive performing their duty. Not only were Kant’s arguments unsuccessful. and God. immortality. can guide our moral decisions about what specifically to do. then Kant cannot defend motivational internalism simply by rejecting consequentialism and its hypothetical imperatives. that is. something to which we know Kant took offense.”175 If this is the case. of itself. and indeed his analyses of freedom and moral responsibility. in fact. then Kant’s analysis of morally worthy action. However. CONCLUSIONS. in utter abstraction from its end or “material. Kant develops his account of respect as a motive intrinsic to the moral law.179 Hegel’s criticisms completely undo Kant’s answer to the third leading question of philosophy.178 While this claim has a quite particular meaning within Hegel’s phenomenological method. are basically sound. his criticisms make plain that the issue of how exactly to apply Kant’s principles to concrete cases of action is not ancillary to Kant’s project. Hegel’s criticisms of Kant’s practical faith in the highest good. If this is the case.

a theory of right must be bound to particular social and cultural settings. Once O’Neill admits that the Categorical Imperative 21 . but instead on what it is possible for all to do. require judgment to apply them to particular cases.188 Rules of whatever sort. despite her effort to reconstruct Kant’s views while avoiding his metaphysical extravagances. or else still remains subject to his criticisms. and their differences must be resolved.191 She claims Kant contributed some fundamental guidelines and some suggestions about how to introduce these guidelines into our actual lives. regardless of their variable characteristics. The most serious shortcoming of her analysis to date is that she has yet to address two closely related issues that are fundamental to Kant’s analysis and to both his consequentialist and Hegelian critics: Why is acting on the test of the Categorical Imperative obligatory? Why is acting on the test of the Categorical Imperative motivating? On Kant’s view. not on what people desire or on what would be desirable for people in general. and we recognize the prima facie importance of universalizability because there are no morally relevant differences among human agents that would justify partiality. she shifts ground when considering the relevant “universality. Though she recognizes that Kant thought the Categorical Imperative could guide action quite specifically. but it does set constraints on permissible courses of action. she has omitted consideration of these fundamental questions. and so we desire to have our capacities for agency respected.” Occasionally she describes it as requiring that others be able to share one’s maxim. Her analysis also raises a fundamental issue regarding the universality and specificity of moral imperatives specified by the Categorical Imperative. including moral rules. Most specifically. is seriously undermined.190 However.182 she either has ceded many of these points to Hegel. Professor O’Neill probably has done more than any other recent commentator to rebut Mill’s charge that the test of Kant’s Categorical Imperative rests on consequentialist considerations.184 These are not equivalent formulations. She rightly stresses that the universalizability test rests.185 Without a defence of these aspects of autonomy.183 However.” At one point she claims that the Categorical Imperative requires us to omit those principles that “cannot be adopted by all potential agents. where the lawfulness in question is a universality that holds of all rational agents as such. the Categorical Imperative is not a moral algorithm. she admits that Kant’s view of right action is inadequate.193 then Kant’s claim that we are to act solely on the basis of respect for the lawfulness of our maxim. O’Neill recognizes this insufficiency when she recognizes that particular courses of action and the maxims one might consider when deliberating about those courses of action inevitably rely on the agent’s institutional and social context.186 on her reconstruction Kant’s test focuses on the worth of underlying principles of action and provides no determinate standard of outward behavior.189 She makes some interesting suggestions in this connection for applying Kant’s maxims for reflective judgment to cases of moral judgment.187 On her view. these maxims of judgment do not bridge the gap between universalizable maxims and the quite specific circumstances and manner in which any action must be performed. Though she is quite eloquent about what is involved in respecting human beings as ends in themselves. she claims that it requires that others be able to adopt or to share in the very same maxim on which the agent acts.Constructions of Reason will show that. avoiding heteronomy requires that we be motivated solely by the formal universalizability of our maxim. In this regard. We must respect others’ possibility of collaborating or consenting.192 If the Categorical Imperative is a test on the intelligibility of plans and is compatible with a variety of different customs and traditions that condition the specific way in which plans were conceived and conducted. either consequentialists or Hegelians can co-opt her reconstruction of the Categorical Imperative by contending that the fundamental obligation and the fundamental motivation to comply with the strictures of the Categorical Imperative is that one of our fundamental ends or desires is to be active agents. Consequently.

This is a significant departure from Kant’s analysis. This makes moral imperatives conditional. and it is part of what constrains our possible courses of action in ways probed by the test of the Categorical Imperative.199 Not only is this statement untenable. O’Neill must grant that one’s grounds of obligation stem at least in part from one’s tradition. are alien causes. that it is quite untenable to dismiss desires and sensibility in general as “alien” because (technically) they are contingent and variable. and a significant step in Hegel’s direction. our sensibility is essential to us as human beings. it rests on a category mistake. Social institutions develop out of needs.197 Given her concessions to social context. Furthermore. that doesn’t entail that desire itself is contingent. along with the conditional universality of the duties that hold within it.196 Without this disjunction. varied. it leads us to generate various maxims that are tested by the categorical imperative. where intelligibility is dependent on one’s social context and tradition. in contrast. nor that we are only obligated to act on those maxims that can be universalized regardless of our contingencies. resources. it distinguishes us from the theoretical fiction of the pure will.200 This is a category mistake. and desires are so fundamental to the nature of social institutions and to the development of our individual personalities within them. and the opposite of “desires” would be reasons or reasoning. Our sensibility makes us finite rational agents. and even if reason itself isn’t variable. the following statement is insupportable: One corollary of refusal to bow under an alien yoke is that what counts as the principle of reason cannot hinge on variable and contingent matters. however intimately human. then Kant’s universality is given up. and finding autonomy solely in rationality defined as something noncontingent and non-variable.” and they raise important questions about Kant’s sharp division between reason and sensibility. This disjunction is crucial to Kant’s analysis of duty in the Groundwork and the second Critique. Even on Kant’s view. a division O’Neill accepts and Hegel rejects when rejecting Kant’s analysis of moral motivation. In this regard. transient.194 Giving up Kant’s unconditional universality undoes Kant’s link between universality and necessity. all of which. O’Neill’s departure from Kant raises the related issue of the nature and rationality of traditions. our sensibility. O’Neill contends that reason is not an alien cause because it is inseparable from each of us as an agent. O’Neill follows Kant by insistently identifying what is essential to us with rationality. Such maxims become conditionally necessary. abilities. The opposite of “reason” would be desire (in the generic singular). nor that the authority of morally required maxims stems only from “reason” so defined.198 Her concessions to social context indicate that moral reasoning must be much more specific and context-sensitive than the Categorical Imperative by itself. she cannot consistently hold that maxims of autonomous action must hold equally for all rational agents regardless of their particular contingent and variable characteristics. Even if all desires are contingent. and hence those duties only hold of those members of that social tradition. At least the first two of these concern what Kant called our “sensibility. where those conditions are only met by members of that social tradition. pragmatic rationality. This goes against everything known about character development. At best. and ingenuity. these factors are not contingent to who each of us is as a person. reason in this abstract sense would amount to little more than formal 22 .requires that acts achieve a certain sort of intelligibility. this doesn’t entail that reasoning or reasons aren’t as variable as desires. at best. Kant cannot argue that the categorically obligatory character of the moral law stems solely from its formal (and unconditioned) universality. Desires.195 O’Neill’s reconstruction opens a gap between what Kant regarded as the exclusive and exhaustive dichotomy between categorical and hypothetical imperatives. are alien because they are contingent. Correlatively. and naturally caused. but not hypothetical (in Kant’s strict sense of holding only on condition of desiring a specific elective end).

References to the German precede references to the translation. O’Neill’s reconstruction leads her to disown Kant’s Rechtslehre as fitting neither into a critique of practical reason nor into a metaphysics of morals. Since Kant and O’Neill equate reason and autonomy. O’Neill has already given up too much of Kant’s views. When quite specific references are needed. desire. V. 1968 f. her concluding discussion of charity. sensibility.204 Finally. Hegel endorsed the right of necessity. eds. of course. As Hegel contends. tr. 3 [1978]. Hamburg: Meiner. Indeed. O’Neill’s analysis has not escaped the flaws Hegel highlighted in Kant’s views. I have cited the line numbers in the Gesammelte Werke. this is why he described the Categorical Imperative as a “compass” and claimed it could be used in utter innocence of the ways of the world.202 In conclusion.” A right of necessity is a right to use someone else’s property when necessary to save one’s own life. However. In using this gauge I have allowed simplicity to override accuracy in two regards. this problem also affects their analyses of autonomy. Where O’Neill exhorts those who wish to understand autonomy properly to deal with the metaphysical background of Kant’s view of autonomy. Kant. Counting lines of text is a tedious process. must be a joint product of intellect.” marked off in line numbers from 1 to 40. would require such a right. Buchner and O. Now O’Neill’s reconstruction of Kant is. pp. Hume makes a significant point when contrasting the remarkable stability of artistic canons with the incessant change of views within those paragons of rationality. thought the Categorical Imperative did provide a definite guide for behavior. and he used this case to argue that one had to reject the alleged self-sufficiency of both Kant’s moral theory and utilitarian principles and take up a critical analysis of Sittlichkeit. Both are given as decimals following the page number. Hegel dealt with that background deftly. pp.205 Kant rejected it as an absurd contradiction. and not at the heading. Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit (Oxford: The Clarendon Press. abbreviated “PG. First. Heede. a duty to minister to agency-threatening needs. human rationality. and ability. 323–340. Such a ruler may be made by laying a strip of paper or card stock down a full page of text in Miller’s translation. cannot be the sole basis of autonomy. where a heading interrupts the body of the text. 1807.. which follow a ‘/’. Second. He showed that Kant’s background was quite flawed metaphysically and ethically. eds. 9). Pöggeler. He took this to show that neither kind of principle is adequate by itself. as her subtitle indicates. I have 23 . and I have cited line numbers in Miller’s translation. one might wonder whether in attempting to reconstruct and defend Kant. abbreviated “M. For an insightful discussion of the third sub-section on conscience. Vol. Miller. comes very close to recognizing a “right of necessity. need.” All translations from Hegel are my own. W.logic—and logic has a variable history! Conversely.206 Significantly. The duty of charity. The epigrams come from the first Critique (A839/B868) and from Jenseits von Gut und Böse (Beyond Good and Evil) §8. he regarded it as the telling case in point to show that principles of right and principles of welfare mutually condition one another. Citations of Hegel refer to the following texts: Phänomenologie des Geistes (Bamberg and W ürzburg. so I would not say that Hegel has conclusively shown that O’Neill’s analysis is similarly flawed. see Moltke Gram. 364–383. when contradistinguished from sensibility. 375–402). numbering each line of text along the edge of the strip.207 These remarks should suffice to show that Hegel’s criticisms of the ethical aspects of Kant’s moral world view are still very much on the agenda for contemporary reconstructions of Kantian ethics.203 Additionally. which can be laid down a page of text in order to determine line numbers. “Moral and Literary Ideals in Hegel’s Critique of ‘the Moral World-View’” (Clio 7 No. science and philosophy.201 Ethical rationalists should not be so intemperate in their assessment of sensibility. exploratory. I have used a “ruler. as so far developed. Bonsiepen and R. O’Neill appears to endorse it.” A. 1977).208 NOTES 1. pp.]. including especially practical rationality. Hegel has shown that. I have therefore devised a simpler method for referring to line numbers in Miller’s translation. if a heading appears at the top of a page. H. precisely because determining the outward behavior required by morally worthy action is dependent on social context. Reason. Gesammelte Werke [Rheinisch-Westfälischen Akadamie der Wissenschaften in association with the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. I have set the gauge at the first line of text. once set into a social context that includes property.

(Ak. (Ak. 3. The Hague: Nijhoff. 1964. H. Citations of Kant refer to the following works: Ak. Gr pp. (1 st ed. tr. Ladd. 1929. Vorlesungen über die Geschichte der Philosophie III [Werke 20]. (This is not so difficult. 369. New York: Humanities. III. at finding in Kant the tenets Hegel ascribes to “the” moral world view suggests that the first two sections of his chapter ought to be treated as dealing with Kant himself. tr. cf. 1956. Kant remarks on the good fortune of the antinomies in KdrV A464/B492 and KdpV p.) Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. “Friedrich Heinrich Jacobis Werke: Dritter Band [Werke 4.22–366. M. I cite his mention of them in the notes. 386 [Lectures on the History of Philosophy {Haldane & Simson. 1983. Indianapolis: Hackett. VII) I have referred to the Akademie pagination. Hegel’s own presentation must include many of the elements mentioned below. 478]. 7. 4. (Ak. Gregor. Leipzig: de Greuter. [“B”]. Cf. VI) Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone. 3/G&H p. KdrV A798/B826 and KdpV pp. cf. 1974. KdrV Gr KdpV T&P KdU RL TL R An Gesammelte Schriften. If there were. ed. 1987. (Ak. 380. IV) Critique of Practical Reason. Königlich Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. 94z. T. At the end of this passage Hegel identifies Kant’s dualism as the ultimate source of most of the problems he urges against Kant. trs. trs. [“A”]. tr. 334. Werke in Zwanzig Bänden [Frankfurt: Suhrkamp. Pluhar. (Ak. A798/B826.” In: Perpetual Peace and Other Essays. including human behavior. J. KdpV p. 94–95. and they were often the common target of Hegel’s so-called “Sollenkritik” (cf. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill. since it would be a composite of incompatible philosophies. They are the idea that a successful individual moral act achieves the complete or absolute purpose (PG p. W. VIII) Critique of Judgment. 1964. New York: Harper. KdU pp. (See below. tr. J. 325. 5.4. VI) The Doctrine of V irtue: Part II of the Metaphysics of Morals. Hegel typically regarded both Kant and Fichte as its expositors. 107. 1955} III. A third attribution is questionable.) The Akademie pagination is not indicated in Greene & Hudson’s translation of the Religion. Martins. I do not discuss Fichte’s philosophy here. Enzyklopädie [Werke 8] §§42. W. 10. J.9–11/M p. New York: St. Gregor’s “Akademie” pagination in TL is off by one page. (References to Hegel’s “Werke” are to Michel & Moldenauer. 166–7. PG p. 432–3. eds. Kant identifies these three as the objects of metaphysics in KdrV B395 note. tr.) Although no Kantian starting with Kant has accepted Fichte as a bona fide spokesman for the Critical philosophy. V) “On the Proverb: That May be True in Theory. Gregor. N. on the contrary. 31. T. I abbreviate their translation as “G&H” and give its pagination after the Akademie. tr. 1968]. 1965. 3. L. (Ak. tr. Since the point of adopting line numbers is to facilitate referring readers to Hegel’s text. 9. Read those “Akademie” page numbers as if they marked the end of the indicated page. which has been carried over into all recent translations of Kant. 448. Kant frequently insists on strict causal determinism in the phenomenal realm. (Ak. Obviously. My success. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. M. (Ak. 2 nd ed. 445]). Of all the tenets Hegel ascribes to “the moral world view. 176. but there is text on which to hang it. IV.12–20). Ak. New York: Harper and Row. ease of use is paramount. 461. V) The Metaphysical Elements of Justice: Part I of the Metaphysics of Morals. Ak.) The difficulty of interpreting Hegel’s chapter on “the Moral World View” has generally led people to suspect that there must be a strong admixture of Fichte in it. Paton. R p. 365. there would be little surprise that Hegel would find contradictions in “the” moral world view. pp. Hudson. K. 376. 24 . 2. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill.6–24/M pp.. J. specific duties are not holy (PG p. Beck. Smith. following a ‘/’. Indianapolis: Hackett.29–35/M p. tr. regardless of the extent to which the views Hegel considers were also held by Fichte. p. KdU p. pp.ignored the gaps this produces and “measured” from the top line of text on the page. H.” I failed to find only two of them in Kant. 444. Greene & H. 1960. Critique of Pure Reason. 337. M. 8. VI) Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View. §VII. 1922.8–9) and the idea that because duty itself is holy. Add 1 to the numbers given in her translation. S. A849/B877. Humphrey. 6. Berlin. But is of No Practical Use.

38. 4. KdpV pp. See his searing condemnation of “means of grace” (R pp. 451. 471 note 1. 128. 83. 124. KdpV pp. KdrV A823–4/B851–2. 123–4. 443. KdpV pp. 366.29–30/M p. 47. treating all religious deifications as transcendent reifications of human characteristics. 32. 55. 139–40. R pp. 85. 417. 72. 415. 62. 110. 446. 131 note. 331. 121. 180. 354. R p. A806/B834. 431–2. PG pp. 457. 7 note/G&H pp. 108. 194–200/G&H pp. 70. 32.23–26. KdU pp. KdU pp. 19. TL p. A822/B850.4. 110–11. cf. 123 note. 132. 366. 95/G&H pp. PG p. 27. cf. 16. 118.6–11/M pp. 117.39–375. 25. 118. 76. 144.21–24/M p. 3–4. 433 note. 487. cf. 131. 168–9. 67. PG p. 444. 441). 125. 43. KdU p. 430. 465: TL pp. 434. KdpV pp. 464. PG 333.23–25. 32. 6. 396. 32–33. 46. 22.5–6. Gr p. 29–30. 374. 147. R p. 184–6. On Hegel’s adoption of such an analysis. 93–94. 481–482. 3. KdpV pp. 80. Gr pp. R p. 26. 113. KdpV pp. 3–4. 24. KdpV pp. KdrV A807/B835. Gr pp. cf. 73. 446. 113–14. Cf. 442. 157 note. KdrV A591/B637. Even though we are obligated to know our own moral perfection (TL p. 390. 121–2. cf. A818/B846. 326. see KdrV A840/B868. 118. 374. KdrV B431. KdrV A800/B828. cf.3–7. 32–33.8–10/M pp.25. 6–7 note/G&H6–7 note. Kant repeatedly insists that we cannot know our moral perfection at all. 3. 35. 70 note. cf. TL p. 7 note/G&H p. 32. 5/G&H p. PG 332. 57. KdpV pp. 4. 130–31. 143 note.21.19–32. 123 note. Gr pp. 18. 51. 456.3. 130. 123. namely. 23. 29–30. 36. R pp. 40. R pp. cf. cf. 408–9. 5. 25. TL p. R pp. 22. R p. p. 6 note. 55. KdrV A814/B842. 451. 125. PG p. 37. R pp. 420 note. see my book. 13. R p. cf. Hegel and later Feuerbach do not. 83–84. As will become somewhat more evident below. 6. 144–5. by upholding an account of autonomy derived from Kant while dispensing with Kant’s postulates. 1989). KdU p. KdpV pp. Gr p. TL pp. 81–2. KdpV pp. TL pp. cf. 182–8). A678/B706. 122. 145. 431. 330. cf.1–3/M p. On the primacy of practical reason. 61. 400. 74. 20. 115. 122. 386–7. KdU p. KdpV pp. 122. 34. largely because there is no experiential evidence for a spontaneous rational act of adopting a maxim. 14. 446. p. 41. 327. 330. 67 note/G&H p. 114–15.5–15. 426. 480. 106. cf. 148. While Kant approves of such construction and postulation. 6 note. cf. 461. KdrV A810/B838. 366. 401 note.11. 45. 124. 29. 83. 450. 62. 156–7. 325. KdpV p. 439. 5.36–374. pp. 450. KdpV pp. KdpV pp. and so is a serious 25 . KdpV pp. A800–1/B828–9. 433 note. 139. KdpV pp. KdpV pp.26–28. pp. 93. 54. cf. KdU p. 122. This is itself a serious problem in maintaining that we are obligated to achieve the highest good. 332. unclear or uncertain concepts have no objects: KdrV A481–2/B509–10. 405. R p. 393. definite grounds required for supposition: KdrV A769–70/B797–8. 453. 467–8. KdpV pp. KdpV pp. 481. R p. 122.16–18/M p.11–15/M p. RL p. 42. KdpV pp. TL p. 7 note/G&H pp. cf. p. 446. 6 note. KdpV p. R pp. KdU p. 112–13. 15. cf. 335. 139/G&H pp. 125. 31. 399. 68/G&H pp. 405.16–20. 61 note. 372. PG p. Hegel already began what m ade Feuerbach famous. 382. 451. 47–8. 79. 122. 4. 28. KdpV pp. 371. and we need to know the moral worth of others’ acts if we are to act to bring about the highest good. 124–5. independence from consequences: KdpV p. 373.22. 62/G&H pp. 431–2.22–24. KdrV A798/B826. independence from ends (“objects”): KdU p. 91–2. 337. KdU pp. 47. KdpV pp. 375. 450. Independence from inclinations: Gr pp. 160/G&H p. 192/G&H p. 124. cf. 456. KdpV p. 46. R pp. cf. 98 note. 43. 326. KdU pp. 373. p. 5/G&H p. 31. KdrV A670–71/B698–9. 43. 17.2–6. 123. TL pp.16. 4. TL pp. 30. 380. 140. 469. 368. KdpV pp. Hegel’s Epistemological Realism (Dordrecht: Kluwer. Gr p. 74. 48. PG pp. 21. 39. 73. TL pp.1/M p. cf. R pp. KdpV pp. 50. 33. 12. KdU pp. 168 note 2/G&H pp. PG p. 409.33–35/M p. 60–61. Logical consistency is sine qua non but insufficient: KdrV A673/B701. 75. A815/B843. 814/B842. 60–61. Gr p. 121. 333. KdpV p. 44. 47. Gr p. Gr pp. 471 note 1. 438. 86. 77.

324. KdU p. 8 note.4/M pp.31–324. 327.). 9 note. freedom: KdpV pp. KdrV 811/B839.37. 106.29. cf. 441.9–10/M p. 198/G&H pp. A815–6/B843–4. 392–3.28–333.33.problem with Kant’s postulates of immortality and God. 66.. 25. 469. cannot like doing one’s duty: KdpV p. TL pp. 44. 64. 118. 340. see KdrV A551/B579 note. KdrV A805/B833. syncretism: KdpV pp. 26 . KdU p. 335. KdU pp. 122. doing one’s duty not a source of happiness: KdpV p. 51. For a taste of Nietzsche’s assessment. 333. A606/B634. cf. 37 note.24/M pp.5–6. 335.16–18. 42 note. 383. 69. R pp. and the conformity of inclinations to duty: PG pp. PG pp. 43. 326.11. 378. 71). 53. p. 377. 145–6. 377. R p. 470.30–325. cf. 330. 130–31. 5. 328. KdU p. God: KdrV A814/B842. 154 note/G&H p. Gr pp. liking to do duty is a sign of a m orally good disposition: KdpV p. 469 note. immortality: KdpV pp. 329. see my article. 56. 490 note. 60. cf. 430. “How the ‘True World’ Finally Became a Fable. 333. the highest good: PG pp. 371.24–25. 132. 338. 49.17–18/M pp. 94. R p.27. 152–169). 90–91. 128–9.8–19. 125.16–18.20. 470. 333. 374. PG p. envy: PG p. 142–3. 378. PG p. 145–6. KdpV pp. Gr pp.36–37. 380. 142 note. 142 note.28/M p. 368. respect is not a pleasure: KdpV p. 336. R pp. virtuous motives are a source of contentment. 72. 117–18. 170. 470.10.5–6. 55. 46. 333.6.27–28/M p. 132. KdpV p. 116.8–30/M pp. cf.7. 56–7. 95/G&H pp. 337. 99. cf. 375.25–38. KdpV pp. Charges of dissemblance: PG pp. p. cf. cit. On the unknowability of moral worth. 339. 323. 4–5. For extended discussion see Hegel’s Epistemological Realism (op. 38. 407f. 396. cf. 48. 63. 369. 2 [1988]. 376. “Hegel’s Solution to the Dilemma of the Criterion” (The History of Philosophy Quarterly 5 No. 76–7/G&H p. and he honors earnestness: KdpV p. KdpV pp. KdrV A609/B637.4. 183/G&H pp. 132. The postulates of practical reason are quite distinct in kind from the “postulates of empirical thought” analyzed in the first Critique (KdrV A218–235. Kant is explicit about the contrast between successful action and virtuous resolution to act (KdU p.26. KdpV p. 329.14. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 328. 72–73. 185 note. 186. 173–188). For a critical review of these issues. 126. respectively. 451. PG pp. as a “negative satisfaction:” KdpV pp. lack of earnestness: PG pp. 460. 153 note.34–365. KdrV A810–11/B838–9. 132.34–35. 18. 380. 63. 22/ G&H p.5–6. 364. 54. cf. 130. 374. 335. KdpV pp. 419. performing duty is a source of pleasure: R p. see Manfred Kuehn. hypocrisy: PG p.15–16. p. 375. KdrV A809–10/B837–8.2–3.3. 43. KdpV pp. cf. KdpV p. 1989.16–17.36/M pp. 45. 171. 112–12. 2 [1985]. 399. 444. 334. IV. cf. KdpV pp.32.4. 338. Virtuous motives are a source of pleasure: KdpV p. 65. “Kant’s Transcendental Deductions of God’s Existence as a Postulate of Pure Practical Reason” (Kant-Studien 76 No. 396.6. TL pp. 340. 47. 450. the legality of one’s action is a source of pleasure: KdpV p.4. 369. KdU p.19–34. cf. KdU p. TL p. 98. 91–2. 460. pain from thwarting inclinations: KdpV pp. 83. KdpV pp. KdpV pp. 86. 19 note. 469.39–375. A815–6/B843–4. 451). 125.1. pp.4. p. 77. 51. virtuous motives are a source of self-approbation: KdpV pp. 382. 332. 70. 391.36.15.22–24/M p. 24 note 1/G&H p. 485. 129. 335. 61.” 57. 374. 380. R p. 52.26–28. 377. cf. 370. TL pp. KdrV A808–10/B836–8. 182. 324. 85.15–32/M pp. 98. 375. 44. Supreme practical principle: KdU p.23–25. 117. 62. 337. see Der Antichrist §10 and Götzen-Dämmerung (Twilight of the Idols) Bk. 7 note. TL p. 116. 367. 335.23. 125. 46. God: PG pp. Virtuous motives are not a source of pleasure: KdpV p. 374. For a concise discussion of some central points of Hegel’s method.40. R pp. 154 note/ G&H p.28–29. 67. 87. 446–7. 364.11–12/M pp.14–15.11–366. 160.4–21. PG p. KdpV pp.31–33. 370. p. 333. dissemblance: KdpV pp. 50.20. 59. 365. a good will is a source of contentment: Gr pp.18/M379. fulfillment of duty is a source of satisfaction: Gr p. B265–294). action resulting from virtuous motives is a source of satisfaction: KdpV p. A811–12/B839–40. 117. KdpV pp.25. Gr p. 470. Kant makes charges of hypocrisy: KdpV pp. 144. highest good: KdpV p. pp.25. 88. 24. At one point in the Religion he claims that we can know our own character to some extent (R p. 178–9. KdU pp.29. cf. 435–6. 122. 142 note. A814/B842. 80–81. p. KdU p.10–11/M pp.25–28. 377. 83. 382.9. syncretism: PG p. 58. 68. 125. 332. 378. 474. pp. 172 note.

183/G&H pp. 160. Nietzsche on Truth and Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 397. R pp. 4/G&H p. but only in one’s ability to judge that success. cf. 379. A534/B562).. R pp. p. A judgment of objective purposiveness is also a source of pleasure. 173. 58/G&H p.19–24. p. Even if this doctrine were retained. would not give a pleasure in the success itself. 171. 403. Kant’s key to rejecting the exclusive disjunction between natural causal determinism and free rational action (A536/B564) is to maintain that the impact of rational self-determination on the natural course of phenomenal events is not to rupture the sequence of causes and effects. 1990). and she does not notice that this happiness cannot result from successful execution of one’s duty qua duty. KdU pp. I say “most often” in view of Kant’s recognition. This am ounts to the contingent collateral source of happiness I have discussed in this subsection. 76. 3 {1989}. Gr pp. Thus a judgment of the objective purposiveness of a successful virtuous act. 61. it would not afford the happiness at issue in Hegel’s objection. Cf. 26. PG pp.) 73.. Kant pours all this scorn on the inclinations despite the fact that the inclinations themselves are morally innocent. and if it can make a difference. 81. While Allison is quite correct that Kant’s language of psychic force and obstacle is misleading. KdpV pp. 72. PG p. 30–31. Kant’s doctrine of strict determinism of human behavior at the psychological level must be given up (op. Hegel’s objection may seem unfair to Kant in view of his doctrine in the first Critique that all human behavior is open both to a com plete causal explanation (A550/B578) and to an intentional account in terms of free decisions (A553–4/B581–2). not even transcendental idealism can let Kant have it both ways. 78. Kant repeatedly describes the inclinations as “obstacles” [Hindernisse] to virtue that must be subdued and overcome: KdrV A809/B837. 126–7). that judging the aesthetic purposiveness of an object produces a specifically aesthetic pleasure in the judging of the object (KdU pp.4. 123f.37–376. 43–4. see Henry Allison. 433.4. 36. cf. 37. Gr p. Part I). Consequently.” and as such involves a certain amount of indeterminism (cf.37–376. In §341 of The Gay Science Nietzsche proposes the idea of the eternal recurrence of one’s life. and this remark leaves unspecified just what kind 27 . it must be able to make a difference in the causal course of nature. so that exactly what kind of effect a cause (specifically an agent) has is affected by what a free rational will decides to do (cf. 42/G&H pp. While a judgment of objective purposiveness would seem to be the kind of judgment relevant to enjoying one’s success in accomplishing a virtuous act. cf. exact in every detail. 376. pp. 88. 115. 432. 80. 190). ch. 77. pp. 405. For discussion of the complexities of the feeling of respect for duty. 47–8. 411. Christine Korsgaard has argued that Kant can allow that successful moral action results in happiness. where the adoption of any maxim is a free and spontaneous act of will (Willkür) (op. A556/B584). 365. cit. cf. 187. 375. Unfortunately. 325–6). 75.71. 37. KdpV p. cit. 325. 454. 192). 8. 79. She does not take into account the complexities of Kant’s philosophical psychology discussed here that prohibit such an attribution to Kant. 334. 380. and vice versa. Gr pp. (Unless otherwise noted. all references to Allison’s work are to this book. For discussion see Maudemarie Clark. 390. He also recognizes that the purposiveness of an object can be represented on the “objective basis” of (roughly) recognizing that the form of the object harmonizes with the purpose that produced that object. 58 note.1–7/M p. A551–2/B579–80. 74. 118. happiness resulting from succeeding at a moral act qua moral act. since no inclination becomes an end unless it is incorporated into a maxim. 428. Kant’s Theory of Freedom (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. but to alter the “intelligible ground” of causal relations. TL pp. 55.1–7/M pp. 51 note. Kant quite specifically indicates that this pleasure is not a pleasure in the thing judged. 4). 1990). Thus even if Kant could be brought to apply his doctrine of the pleasure in judging objective purposiveness to successful virtuous actions. See the references given in note 32 above. but is instead a pleasure in our own understanding as we judge the object (KdU p. Unfortunately. 397. Kant’s language underscores his conviction about how strongly tempting it is to adopt maxims that aim to achieve inclinations. Her case turns on claiming that Kant’s analysis does not exclude the common sense idea that successfully pursuing purposes will generate happiness. KdU p.5–8. that pleasure is once again quite distinct from the pleasure Hegel emphasizes in his first objection. because all Kant requires is that the motive for pursuing a morally obligatory purpose (and every duty does have a purpose) be its dutifulness. A549/B577. TL pp. 311–340]. KdpV p. only our choices about them lead to evil (R p. Kant says that a will cannot achieve “satisfaction” (sich selbst nicht Genüge thun kann) unless it has a definite goal for any act it contemplates performing (R p. cf. even if it is one’s own. cf. 375. p. KdU pp. A539/B567. and how much at variance with performing one’s duty this is. Kant does not follow up on this remark. Henry Allison has shown that even Kant’s account of practical freedom (as distinguished from transcendental freedom) involves the “Incorporation Thesis. 51). then exact predictability based on natural causal laws must be given up. 383. pp. 405. p. as a way of distinguishing those who would be utterly crushed at the mere thought of such recurrence from those who are exuberant enough to affirm this prospect joyously. in the third Critique. 485. 484.. both in terms of motive and rightness of action. 334. If freedom is to be effective. 433–4. pp. and not the purposes or consequences (“Kant’s Analysis of Obligation: The Argument of Foundations I” [The Monist 72 No. 32. 394. At one point. namely.

335..15–16/M p. and the “actualization” of the amoral agent mentioned previously (PG pp. 451. see Allison (op. which (over-) simplifies his task of responding to those who charge that there is something m orally amiss in responding to others in need out of duty rather than out of direct concern (op. 453–4. 130. Kant’s words are “finster und mürrisch. 453. [Cambridge: Cambridge U niversity Press. 336.31–33. 88. is what leads Kant to speak of the highest good as the final end of creation and as the kingdom of God (KdpV pp. PG p. p. 43–46. This is to fill out just a bit what Hegel means by “the self-actualization of self-consciousness” mentioned here. B. 390. 122. especially his account of choice. 87. KdU pp. 105. pp. p. 454–483).” the thesis. 471 note 1. “The Emptiness of the Moral Will” (The Monist 72 No. Rph §135 Remark. 444. 93. PG pp. 84–96. cit.27–39.]. TL pp. 60/G&H p. cit. KdU p.) 90. For discussion of why Kant thinks that transcendental idealism is needed to reconcile freedom and natural determinism. 98.19–29/M p.of satisfaction this is and whether it is found in presenting oneself an end or in achieving the end.. C. respectively. 391. which constitutes the highest good. emphasis added. 379. Regarding strict determinism in phenomenal realm. tr. Cf. 193–4. 31/G&H p. KdrV A815–6/B843–4. 453. p. Gr p. 128. Gr. not our choices about them. namely. 92. 100. 387. hereafter abbreviated “Rph”). 102. 83. pp.” Hegel’s charge that Kant’s views are motivated by envy is especially striking in view of Nietzsche’s contention that envy of the happy noble is a primary motive of the slave revolt in morality (cf. pp. 180). Cf. See the references given in notes 11 and 12 above. Cf.14. 129–30. and so cannot have reliable evidence for whether the vicious prosper. 366. This is the crux of Allison’s reply to Hegel’s charge (op. cit. KdU p. Autonomie und Anerkennung (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta. 1982). (“the greatest possible welfare”) KdU p. 197. cf. R p. 329. and so he doesn’t notice that Kant’s assessment of the waywardness of the inclinations needs to be revised in order to meet those concerns. PG pp. Kant offers no support for this stronger definition. 1991]. (Beck. Andreas Wildt and Allen Wood have done a great service to Hegel scholarship by reconstructing this crucial line of Hegelian argument. Now to deserve so much happiness also requires that people are very virtuous. p. 28 . KdpV p. KdpV pp.24–25. §124. Allison [op. 268. (“the greatest happiness”) 129.9–19. KdpV pp. 379. My present points rests on the causally determined nature of those inclinations themselves. Henry Allison is right that Kant’s analysis of duty doesn’t need to be altered in order to assuage concerns raised by Schiller that Kantian duty is burdensome or by recent commentators that acting from duty is repugnant (op. 149).. respectively). that an inclination does not become one’s end unless one elects to adopt a maxim that enjoins satisfying that inclination. involves a certain sort of indeterminism. and Wood. 86/G&H p. 325. Kant indeed states this as well (KdpV pp.28–40. KdpV pp. R p.31–32/M pp. 81. I fully agree with Allison’s contention that Kant’s account of agency. 439. R p. 94. 89. 337. 82. TL p. 3 [1989]. 91.9–21/M p. 474).. 97. 124. 96. 5. KdU p. cf.22–24/M370. This combination of perfect (or at least extraordinary) virtue and utter (or at least enormous) happiness. 377. 110–11. pp. even at the psychological level. This is most clearly stated in the Religion (R p. The Cambridge Companion to Hegel [Cambridge. 442. 54). cit. then Hegel is right that we cannot have reliable evidence about who is vicious. 104. 471 note 1. Nisbet. 183–4.21–23. respectively). 377. 5–6/G&H p. 128. However. 99. cit. This remark is therefore unhelpful in the present context. See Wildt. p. 335. see KdrV A798/B826. 103. p. 451. Elements of the Philosophy of Right (H. 197–8). despises the inclinations (ibid. KdpV pp. 172. 484.2/M p. 84. pp. PG p. 130–31). ed. pp.. Gr p. Beiser. 26). 86. 1960]. 85. KdU pp. 5/G&H p. 4. Allison downplays Kant’s intentionalism significantly. In the Tugendlehre Kant states that our judgment of the vicious is not competent (TL p. I sketch Hegel’s approach to these issues about autonomy in “The Basic Context and Structure of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right” (in: F. R pp. If this is so.33–337. 95. KdpV pp. and the experienced disjunction between happiness and virtue indicated in the passages cited in note 38 above. he completely understates the extent to which reason. KdrV A809/B837. As Beck and Allison note. PG p. Zarathustra II §7. 335. Cambridge University Press: 1992]). 101. due to what Allison calls the “Incorporation Thesis.). 446. “On the Tarantulas”). KdrV A851/B879. A Commentary on Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason [Chicago: University of Chicago Press.34. cf. 71. 124–5. 94–5. 377. on Kant’s view. 195–6.

188). However. 119 note. 394. 29 . cf. 6 note. KdrV A779–80/B807–8. 25. 61. cit. see Willem deVries. then the former claim must be sufficiently a priori to justify a priori rejecting Kant’s account of autonomy as inapplicable to human beings. If this latter claim is sufficiently a priori to justify a duty to promote the highest good. 42/G&H p. 336. 32.14. see Gr pp. 118. which form the background to his view of the issue of freedom and determinism. 20. p. [op. Hegel phrases his argument in terms of moral consciousness either existing or not. R pp. 32. 5). 30. 115. p. The fact that in the sentence quoted Kant speaks of “Bestimmungsgrund” rather than “Triebfeder” or “Neigung” indicates that the higher faculty of desire. 128 note/G&H p. tr. Ibid. KdpV p. 31. p. 125. See the references given in note 28 above. 122. 400. Bxvii–xxi. p. 76–77/G&H pp. 24.). 7 note. Definition of virtue: KdpV p. On the nature of our mixed wills. 405. TL p.28–368. 132. 6 note. VIII pp. 378. not will. 113. KdpV pp. PG pp. 384. TL pp. 29. 30. for in his immediately preceding Remark he distinguishes between the lower and the higher faculty of desire. 121. 450. 127. 107. when he infers that “the real object of our will” must be “an endless progress” because we as finite rational wills cannot achieve holiness (KdpV p. My way of presenting Hegel’s objection shows that it holds independently of the issue of whether Kant was a determinist. 412. evidence of virtue: TL pp. on mixed wills standing under imperatives.. 114. exhibition of virtue: R pp. 367. 457. KdpV pp. R p. 123. TL pp. 29–30/G&H pp. 123–4. 385.). KdpV pp. 118). 380. indeed. Allison’s response. 131. then Hegel’s objections go through (op. 31. 55. see Gr pp. cit. 403–4. I have defended Hegel’s position on this matter in chapter 3 of Hegel’s Epistemological Realism (op.. where the latter is practical reason itself (KdpV pp. 122–5. pp. It is worth noting that the claim that happiness always is a determining ground appears to have as much justification as Kant’s claim that happiness is necessarily the end of finite rational beings. 72. I reconstruct the structure of Hegel’s argument in the Phenomenology in Hegel’s Epistemological Realism (op. TL p.” ‘faculty of desire’. Kant here uses the term “Begehrungsvermögen. cit. 25. KdpV pp. KdpV p. R pp. 477. KdpV p. and where mixed wills can at best aspire to virtue. R pp. 25. cit. Consequently. 400. cf.15. 449. 120. both in the Transcendental Aesthetic (A23/B37–8. 116. R pp. The modality of this claim rests on the fact that Kant argues by elimination against transcendental realism and empirical idealism.1–23/M pp. 34–5/G&H p. 167. 11. “Hegel’s Dialectic of Teleology. 383. A32–3/B49) and in the Antinomies. Compare Allison’s own treatment of alleged cases of “overdetermination” (op. KdU pp. that does not affect the present point. 81. where duties hold (on Kant’s analysis) only of mixed wills. it holds even in view of Kant’s “Incorporation Thesis. Allison admits that if ends and motives cannot be distinguished in the way Kant requires. 128. 402. 439. 130. makes precisely this inference. 37. 1983]). 66–7/G&H pp. 129.” in this volume. 76. cf. 35–6/G&H p. 25. 122). 19–20. KdpV pp. 82. Reformulating it in terms of virtue is justified by Hegel’s stress on the close relation between morality and duty.). 381. Bxvi. 379 & note. 124. 337–8. R pp.” is at issue. cf. where he offers transcendental idealism as the only route out of these otherwise inevitable metaphysical contradictions (A497–502/B525–530). cf. 110. 399.3–328. 83–4. 112. 71. 111. 435. 84 (2). that Hegel’s objection looses its force because Kant is not a determinist (in the way Wood portrays him to be). 414.106. Bxl note). Hegel’s argument holds if it is formulated in terms of virtue. 117. This modality is also reflected in Kant’s claims in the Preface that transcendental idealism represents the only remaining path to pursue in these domains (Axii.11–39. A25/B40. 397. 5/G&H p. Kant. 380–81. 126. which he later calls “Wille. pp. Gr pp.]) Ak. At one point Kant states that the lack of an idea of a comprehensive end to all our dutiful action would be a “hinderance to moral decision” (R p. R pp. For a good discussion of Hegel’s views on teleology. TL p. 189). cit. 22–25). 119. 128. 6 note. cit. 109. R. TL p. 407. 60–1. TL p. KdU p. R p. 75. 327.” that an inclination is not one’s end unless one chooses to adopt it as such. 379. is simply beside the point (ibid. in which I specifically criticize Henry Allison’s defense of Kant (Kant’s Transcendental Idealism: An Interpretation and Defense [New Haven: Yale University Press. 108. KdpV pp. 36/G&H pp. ch. 434. 6–7 note/G&H pp. and not (really) to holiness. Allison (op. 34. 6–7 note. 34/G&H pp. “The End of All Things” (Humphrey..

p. 60–61. Kant portrays God as judge several times: Gr p. Consequently. 139/G&H pp.22–338. 131. In this regard. 192. KdrV A818–9/B846–7. 227. KdrV A818–9/B846–7. 135. 34 note). 99 note. 337. and Christine Korsgaard deserve credit for reconstructing a much improved Kant. 337. KdpV pp. 39 note/G&H p. having which would give us a basis to hope to receive physical happiness. recent commentators such as Onora O’Neill. KdpV p. A812–13/B840–1. 443. the operation of the moral law which fills man with fervent respect and hence deserves to be regarded as a divine command.. 49–50. PG pp. 122. 445–6. Allison [op. 110). R pp. 154. from respect for the law.9–14/M pp.26–37.. 94.13–23. 132. 487. 60. 171. 6. 72. 131. 455. 217–1. cf.g. 180. 5–6. PG p. since Kant equates it with having a constant disposition to improve our virtue. 42. Kant holds that we are to perform our duties as divine commands. 45. 84. 487.]. 171. and places God outside of man [R p. 144.19–27.33–330. 136. R pp. 338. this “moral happiness” seems not to be a feeling at all. even if in some way the moral law is supposed to be the will of God expressed in us (R pp.g. 90–91. 54. 153. 448. R p. 99. 160/G&H pp. 182. 139/G&H p. See the references given in notes 143 and 144 above. p. 460. 95.” “Godliness comprises two determinations of the moral disposition in relation to God: fear of God is this disposition in obedience to his commands from bounden duty (the duty of a subject). If it’s God’s will. KdpV p. TL p. i. 172–5. cf. is the disposition to obedience from one’s own free choice and from approval of the law (the duty of a son). 489. 380. 113–14. 131. 24. 481. 153. 489.32–40. 142. (Beck [op. KdU pp. 100. 69 & note/G&H p. PG pp. and if we don’t resolve to act of our own will. 95. KdU pp. R pp. KdrV A811–12/B839–40. Beck and Allison cede that Kant’s postulate of immortality is unsuccessful. 380. pp. 112. Kant’s strategy in the Religion for reconciling the antinomy between atonement and moral rejuvenation. and that we are to view transgressions of duty as transgressions of divine commands. 444. 67–8/G&H p. 170. 30.133. 452–3. Gr p. 135.8.. 154/G&H pp. KdpV pp. pp. TL p. 460. p.3–8/M p. 110/G&H p.) At one point Kant distinguishes moral happiness from physical happiness (R pp. 103. 130–31. 141. 100. 139/G&H pp. 445–6. cit. 157. namely. 171. 133. 328. See the references given in notes 143 and 144 above. 104. 183/G&H p. 183. 135). Gr p. However. 374.4–381. taken merely in different references. 227. it regards the self-same practical idea. 158. 487. TL p. R pp.]. as two different principles” (R p.38–370. 134. 156. 131 note. This addition to his doctrine does not solve the problems I have raised here. 183. 138. 156. 144/G&H pp. It will not do to suggest that Kant holds that we are to perform our duties solely on the basis of their being enjoined by the Categorical Imperative. 34–5/G&H p. 439. 338. 132. 67. 131. 139. 82–3. then it’s not our own will (Kant distinguished G od from man.3. e. to argue that the antinomy is only apparent. See the references given in note 43 above. 380. Gr p. 439. For to take the moral law in reference to God as a divine command is to violate autonomy. R p. KdU pp. 194. R p. 380. 487. 148). while disregarded the fact that they are also divine commands. 79. 114/G&H p. 155.11–12. it involves them all over again. KdU p. It is familiar that Kant speak of the categorical imperative as the sole moral law or as the (one and only) supreme principle of practical reason (e. 369. love of God.. the concept of a 30 . cannot be applied here. 37. How could it not. since. 142. R p. 147. Kant holds that divine command enters into our motivating considerations. KdU pp. 443. 443. 482. given what is at stake in divine judgment? 140. KdrV A814–5/B842–3. cf. pp. 143. 150. in the plural (KdrV A815/B843. 144. 104. Both involve. cf. 137. As several of the passages just cited indicate. 444.35/M pp. cf. 54. 129. Gr p. 146. 6/G&H pp. 149. TL pp. 389. then we’re not autonomous. 452–3. 139. 90 note 2. cit. 141. 416. 148. Barbara Herman. over and above morality. 110.. 183. 123. cf. 141. 151. 481. 129. TL p. 143. Cf. 61). 332. 144. 142–3. pp.e. 104.22. R p. cf. 152. KdpV p. 5–6]). TL p. 145. See the references given in note 14 above. cf. 445–6. Less familiar perhaps is Kant’s speaking of God as comprehending all moral laws. 142. “through a misunderstanding.. 119/G&H p. 37. 63 & note. R p. and Beck notices that Kant cannot grant that we may be happy after death. on the other hand. therefore. R p. TL pp.25–31. TL p. A815/B843. Compare the following statements: “.

433–4. Korsgaard 31 . See the references given in note 165 above. acting on specific duties in concrete circumstances is motivated as much by ends as by formal universality. he should regard the laws of logic and mathematics as holy. Acting on Principle (New York: Columbia University Press. 165.8–10/M p. She contends that Kant’s principles do provide some guidance for dealing with these questions. moral anthropology. 379. Though she made significant headway on it. 1963]. For discussion of these earlier sections. but it does not count even as a recognition of the problem Hegel posed. 164. 161. pp. 49–50. Gr. She doesn’t notice that Kant can never rule out a role for casuistry for interpreting juridical laws..” (R pp. 252–256). but only the viewer’s response to the object. 114). Mary Gregor points out that Kant’s claim that casuistry has no role in juridical laws holds only when the general principle has been formulated so precisely as to include all necessary exceptions (Laws of Freedom [Oxford: Blackwell.). 166. This is an interesting admission. T&P p.3–10/M pp. 167. 339. TL p.30–38. Hoy. (See “The Practice of Moral Judgment” [The Journal of Philosophy 82 No. because this doctrine only concerns “the subjective conditions that hinder or help man” in applying the metaphysical principles of morals (TL p. 328. 182.30–370. 103. 168. 388–9. p. 381. KdU pp. 454.. However. 103). Rph §135 Remark. 369. 87). 433 note. PG p. cit. 207–232). if inviolability were the whole issue. pp. 160. KdpV p. 426. 1975. 135). 300 note. 113–14. pp. 94. This issue is prominent in Hegel’s discussion earlier in the Phenomenology of reason as legislating moral laws (PG pp. 403. 401). 173. TL p. 216–7). 217). 159. pp. 8 {1985}. and that only a partial solution can be reached by reinterpreting and supplementing Kant’s theory (pp. pp. 433 note. 332). 199. pp. Her discussion is quite good. This position can be sustained only so long as Kant remains a formalist and ignores the aesthetic relevance of genre. This problem is not addressed by Kant’s counterpart to the metaphysics of morals. 175.27–329. However. cf. she admits that “Kant’s” solution to the problem won’t work in cases of mixed motives or self-deception” (p. Barbara Herman has argued convincingly that any Kantian theory must be supplemented outright by a set of “rules of moral salience” that help agents determine what features of their circumstances are morally relevant. her response to Hegel’s objections to the categorical imperative are inadequate. KdrV A132–4/B171–4. “Hegel’s Critique of Kantian Morality” (History of Philosophy Quarterly 6 No. Onora O’Neill gave considerable attention to it in her first book. but he only takes develops this so far as to apply his principles to human nature in general (TL pp. 2 [1989]. T&P p. Kant once admits that one might be mistaken in one’s judgment of one’s duty (TL p. 171. An p. 125–6). Kant explains the holiness of the moral law in terms of its inviolability (KdpV p. ibid. 61/G&H pp. TL p. RL 235–236 for a parallel treatment of the “right of necessity. 423–4..1.5. 224. 169.supersensible being provided with the attributes which are requisite to the carrying out of that highest good which is aimed at by morality but which transcends our powers. because there can be no assurance (especially on Kant’s view) that all of the empirically based necessary exceptions have been determined. 24–47]. 7).) While all of this work makes significant contributions to working out a Kantian ethic. 3. but I cannot discuss this here. 161. Kant does say that a metaphysics of morals must contain principles for applying universal principles. p. 385–7. it also implicitly concedes that Kant’s account of moral reasoning is quite incomplete as it stands.” “[men typically] cannot well think of their obligation except as an obligation to some service or other which they must offer to God . which understandably he never does.) First. KdrV A135–6/B174–5. KdU p. 45. 104. 2. 159. 228–232/M pp.. 162. 101–2). 176. 397–8. cf. cf.36–38. 174. She notes that grappling with specific circumstances may reveal that there are morally necessary exceptions to otherwise universal principles of obligation (cf. 414–436. 458. This is the topic of Korsgaard’s essay (op. respectively. 169. (This is also true of her replies to Hegel in “Kant’s Formula of Universal Law” [Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 66 {1985}. 437. 404. pp. This level of application leaves us with the very casuistical questions that give rise to Hegel’s objection. Presumably. and I suspect that it will ultimately confirm Hegel’s suspicion that once the details are worked out. The problem of relevant descriptions has been discussed extensively in the literature. though she stops short of reconstructing Kant’s grounds for contending that we are autonomous (ibid. 172. 428. 275. 381. Kant does not provide an analysis of such maxims for aesthetic judgment because aesthetic judgments do not judge the object. PG pp. She offered the interesting suggestion that when conflicting grounds of obligation are recognized. see David C. 170. their relative priority can be determined by determining which of the maxims that give relative priority to one ground over the other tends least towards a state of nature (p. TL pp. 431–2. chs.” 163. 54). 6. See the references given in note 73 above. 339.

and she doesn’t address this issue. 138–9.. this does not suffice to generate specific “laws” to which our “wills” commit us (as Korsgaard would have it [ibid. 105–6. 404. and illicitly claims that the apodictic necessity pertaining to the principles of the former also pertains to the specific duties of the latter. She grants that intelligibility is dependent on one’s social context and tradition (ibid. Ibid. cf. 133.). Fichte.. All of these factors. 192. cit. then the principle of obligatoriness is given a priori. 193. respectively. 103–104. Essays. p. 382. p. 76)... 339. 199. 59.. Grose. In singling her work out for critical comment. resources. 1845} vol. Moral. 130. 184. 7. 156. and knowledge. 478–9 & notes). However. 156.36–340. This lies behind Hegel’s charge that Kant’s view provides no immanent doctrine of duties (Rph §135 Remark). I.. (It may be that Kant trades on a narrower and broader concept of the will. 179.. 182. I do not at all wish to demean or diminish the accomplishments of her reconstructions. Emmanuel Kant: Philosophical Correspondence [Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. KdU p.) 177. 180. I]. pp. Hegel endorses m oral autonomy and motivational internalism.. 152. 115. Ibid. 82). 202.. Ibid.” p. 178. 64. x. 1799 (Ak. 70). Korsgaard avoids this problem only by using the term “will” in a much broader and looser sense than is allowed by Kant’s transcendental idealist moral psychology.20–25. are external to pure practical reason. ibid. 253–4). Ibid. 58. A...10. pp. 46–7.. p. XII pp. The principle of the categorical imperative supposedly is given by pure practical reason. “Of the Standard of Taste” (in: T. Green & T. too. pp. where one’s maxims are generated in view of our particular circumstances.. 186. Constructions of Reason (op. pp. pp. 181f. 138–9. Ibid. 154. aims. 54. H. 194. 330 and note 62). KdrV A805/B833.. 64.13/M pp.31–383.. 229–230. 88. Ibid. 94. Her lowered estimation of the extent to which the Categorical Imperative can guide or determine right action would appear to require further retracting or restricting the effectiveness of her earlier effort to solve the problem of relevant descriptions in connection with determining right action. obligatory. Fichte’s Sämmtliche Werke {Berlin: Veit & Comp. 88. See the references given in note 110. ed. Zweig.. 150. 154. Ibid. 131.. pp. and forbidden maxims. and pp. 266–284). 128. 227 note 16). Ibid. pp. On the conditional nature of Kantian obligations. 181. 103. PG pp.. eds. J.. 181–3. 330]). 198.” August 7. abilities. 472. pp. 185. Ibid. Ibid. 158.understandably doesn’t recognize that a main element of Hegel’s charge of “emptiness” concerns Kant’s account of moral motivation. on Kant’s analysis. p. 139 note 13. Hume. Although she claims that Kant’s test solves the problem of relevant descriptions (ibid. 189 note 2. Fichte propsed such a distinction (Zweite Einleitung in die Wissenschaftslehre [J. 6. pp.. pp. 46–7. Gr p. 1882] vol. 54.. 339. Political and Literary [London: Longmans. 59. pp. see ibid. 201. many of which are quite penetrating. Second. she doesn’t address this issue in her recent collection.. 32 . 160. This importation is present in Korsgaard’s reconstruction. pp. pp.. p. Ibid. p. In apparent contrast to these remarks. 64. 183. 141). 54. pp. H. 1967]. and Kant repudiated it in his “Open Letter on Fichte’s Wissenschaftslehre. pp. pp. 200. she also suggests that we can at least determine whether outward behavior conforms to a morally worthy maxim (ibid. 87). 161. 76. 190. 54. Hegel does not propose to import something external to the moral law to provide content.. but he does not endorse Kant’s specific analyses of them (contra “Kant’s Analysis . cf. for those laws are only generated on the basis of analyzing one’s maxims. 189. cf. p. her grounds for chastising deontological liberals for flirting with preference-based accounts of practical reason erode considerably (ibid. p. 191. If so. 382. respectively. 195. 117–8. Ibid. 188.. tr. Ibid. 196. 19. he instead contends that Kant must do this..28–32. H. she insists that autonomy only requires rationality (ibid. 370–1. G.. 187. chs. pp. 81. 197.. 137. 212 note 7. emphasis added. p.. overlooking the issue of reason’s providing a sufficient motive for acting on these determinations (ibid. pp. She infers that reason can be practical simply because the Categorical Imperative can sort permissible. Ibid. Once this is recognized. On treating others as ends. See the references given in note 110 above.

158. For discussion. pp. Rph §§126–8. 206. 230–233. cit. p. I am very grateful to Karl Americks.203. 33 . See the references given in note 174 above. 207. Sally Sedgwick. Ibid.. Op. 205. cit. T&P p. 235–6. 300.. RL pp. see “The Basic Context and Structure of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right” (op.). and Robert Scharff for their prompt and very helpful comments on the previous draft of this paper. 204. 208.